Why Did We Launch The Hero Range?
At Java Republic we are passionate about connecting our products, and indeed our customers, with coffee origins – the countries, the farms and the farmers where the beans come from. We are known for using our expertise to create 100% arabica, premium blends from a mix of origins. However, we also want to give our customers a range of single origin coffees, that are chosen specifically based on the unique characteristics of the one location where the beans are grown.
Some coffee experts describe Rwanda as the “Switzerland of Africa”. This coffee comes from the southern province of Ruhango, a region known locally as “the land of a thousand hills”. Ruhango is a rolling carpet of a million verdant grassy peaks, with mountain cities, towns and villages dotted throughout the hills that swoop and dive across the landscape like a rollercoaster.
This is a superb speciality single origin coffee that conveys hints of orange and lemon, with berry notes and lingering milk chocolate, with a hazelnut finish. This coffee boasts an impressive SCA rating of 87, placing it at the upper level in terms of premium quality.
North of Peru lies Lonya Grande – home to the Marañón River. The steep mountainsides here create a microclimate abundant with orchids and home to the treasured "Nacional cacao varietal". A perfect environment for great coffee. Aproccurma, founded in 2015, has since grown to 467 producers and spread across 867 hectares. The coffee is picked ripe and, after an initial flotation, passed through a de-pulping machine. Tanks are then used for fermentation and washing before a controlled drying process using wooden platforms and solar tents; all resulting in giving Aproccurma its distinct taste and renowned quality.
This speciality, certified organic coffee has a distinct taste and has a high SCA score of 83.5. It features a delightful combination of pineapple juice, lemongrass, ginger and apple; leaving a very juicy aftertaste.
Colombia boasts a wide variety of climates and geographic locations that, in turn, produce their own unique flavours in their coffee. Colombian coffees have been renowned for their full body, bright acidity and rich aftertaste since the early 19th century. The coffee producers of Colombia consistently ensure that their coffee is of the highest quality, with only the best being permitted to be exported around the world.
This coffee begins with green apples, anise, chocolate, walnut and shortbread biscuits; followed by a clean and sweet aftertaste.
Once we had selected the three coffees from Rwanda, Colombia and Peru, the journey to create the perfect artwork that would convey the story of their origins commenced. To help us on this journey, we collaborated with brand agency Image Now and Irish illustrator Fiona McDonnell. We wanted the packaging to combine the core Java Republic values (passion, expertise and conscientiousness), while bringing the design to life in a new way.
From Belfast, Fiona McDonnell is known for a distinct and colourful style of work. For the Hero Range, Fiona was inspired by the cultural connections shared by Rwanda, Peru and Colombia, and was skillfully able to marry the elements of each unique culture together in perfect harmony. From their bio-diverse farming methods and weather to their cultural celebrations, the final artwork showcases the strong relationship between farmers and landscape.
The illustration concept also combines the idea of textile patterns with "coffee as the common thread" that connects these countries. Furthermore, it builds on the lifestyle of each country and how they live by an intricate agricultural calendar, which changes based on their weather.
A mix of traditional and contemporary clothing in the people reflects the old and the new. Stages of the meticulous coffee farming process are also referenced in the illustration.
The colour palette is inspired by the iconic Rainbow Mountain of Peru, considered by local tradition to be a spiritual protector of native people. The colours have been expertly and intricately transformed into the illustration. The fresh white packaging was then specifically chosen to really bring the colours to life.