We all have a closet full of coffee shirts we’ll never wear and coffee toys we’ll never use. Here’s a collection of some of the best coffee swag we’ve seen.
The New Year brings promise of a new-and-improved you. Perhaps this is the year you’ll start working out, or the year you’ll give up smoking. For others, this might be the year you simplify your life, and that often starts with cleaning out your closet.
If you’ve been to any coffee event ever, your closet inevitably has some sort of coffee ‘swag.’ T-shirts, hats, keychains, mugs, coozies, pencils, chapsticks, notepads, and much, much, much more. While you might be grateful to have that tote-full of freebies the moment you receive it, you know in your heart of hearts that there’s no way you’re going to wear or use most—or any—of that hodgepodge of promo items you’ve just been handed.
Every now and then, though, a company makes something really cool, something no one else has made, or something that looks totally amazing, or even something that actually proves to be very useful. For me, it’s a baseball cap from Onyx Coffee Lab—a design-minded creation that looks really cool. We asked baristas from all over to tell us about the best piece of coffee swag they’ve got—and here’s what they said.
Most coffee events have some sort of commemorative shirt made. Most, however, are not making any fashion statements. When they won a trip to visit Daterra in Brazil for placing in the finals at the 2015 World Barista Championship, champions Charlotte Malaval (France), Ben Put (Canada), and Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood (U.K.) were given custom Havaianas flip flops upon arrival. allow you to express your dedication to coffee in a stylish way.
You don’t have to look outside of coffee to find great apparel. Lanny Huang, filmmaker and former coffee extraordinaire, shares his favorite coffee swag—a shirt from Presta Coffee Roasters in Tucson, Arizona (pictured below). The pocket on the side is not only made of coffee beans, but “the pocket is in the shape of the state of Arizona,” Lanny shares.
Making a statement about coffee with your clothing is bold, and may not be for the faint of heart. However, you don’t need to make something wearable to make something people want. Sometimes, all you need is something small to make a statement about your coffee brand. Bailey Arnold of Gregory’s Coffee likes stickers—and lots of them. She collects stickers from roasters, coffee events, and places, and puts them on her water bottle.
Tote bags are another low-risk and easy way to go, although, the design really has to stand out in order to make a statement. Café Imports Europe made a tote bag featuring an octopus using a sample roaster, which is the favorite item of Maciej Kasperowicz, also of Gregory’s Coffee.
It makes sense that coffee folks like coffee gear. Austin Ferrari, owner of Provender Coffee in San Francisco, loves his custom-made mugs from friend and ceramicist Sophia Clay (her mug is in the featured image).
But when you’re done with your shift, or when it’s after 5:00 (or earlier…) you might want a tool that helps you enjoy another type of beverage. No matter who makes them, bottle openers seem to always be a popular swag item. From the openers made by Square One in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to the ones made by Synesso Espresso Machines in Seattle, Washington, beer bottle openers are a toy almost all coffee pros can use.
So let’s welcome 2017 with our favorite coffee trinkets, and let’s remember to clear out our closets and make space for a whole slew of new toys, gadgets, and coffee gear. And send us a picture of your favorite coffee swag you’ve ever received, and we might feature it in an upcoming article.