The roaster’s first episode on YouTube features skits that poke fun at the humor within the coffee world.
BY KATRINA YENTCH
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos taken as screenshots from Stumptown Coffee on YouTube
Creative producer Tim Wenzel is probably the only employee of Stumptown Coffee who could list “professional actor” under his roles within the company. In addition to shooting, writing, and starring in the coffee roaster’s extensive list of beyond-quirky product advertisements and video content, Stumptown TV is Tim’s latest addition to the portfolio. Co-created with Stumptown designer Zach Marvick, Stumptown TV’s humor urges you to take a deep breath, relax, and laugh at the not-so-serious nature of coffee people.
Not to be confused with the American TV series Stumptown (which now yields an interesting mix of search results on Google), Stumptown TV Episode 1 is a release from Stumptown Coffee Roasters’ YouTube channel that pokes fun at coffee people, while at the same time incorporates elements of them that we all know and love. The series is composed of zippy skits; the first episode features the “magic of camp coffee,” in which characters Gunther and Tristan (played by Tim and Zach) create the perfect latte in the woods by setting a mug of milk and coffee grounds in a hole on fire. Another skit is an ode to the part-time barista-musician, featuring an impressively animated music video by Zach. We won’t give away too much, but you get the idea of coffee people-related subjects.
Although much of Stumptown’s eccentric humor can be seen throughout their promotional content, creative director Tim wanted to create something entirely for viewing pleasure. “My work has always typically been based around product,” Tim explains. “We wanted to do more of kind of loose-based skits, almost like The Kids in the Hall, or something like a weird little show that just is loosely based on the humor of coffee, and not have it really be about products. Just this vibe of a fun lighthearted coffee humor skit show.”
The first episode of Stumptown TV was originally intended to go live in juxtaposition with a more serious feature on Stumptown’s single-origin offerings earlier this year on YouTube. However, the release was pushed back after the initial week of COVID-19-related business shutdowns. Later on, the episode’s release proved to be a jovial feature to watch amidst a wave of brewing videos for home baristas, as many coffee professionals spent time at home perfecting their craft and connecting with the community online. “As this thing happened, it weirdly was timed nicely to have lighthearted humor as everyone was stuck at home,” Tim says. “It ended up being used more than the other videos.”
As previously mentioned, the ideas behind Stumptown TV are drawn from the humor of coffee people. After spending 16 years behind the bar at Stumptown, Tim gathered much of the inspiration for these skits through his experiences working in the company’s cafés. Tim has been the creative producer for Stumptown for three years now, and usually utilizes this kind of humor when he’s creating content.
“For me, I always kind of want to lean on more of a subtlety with the coffee, and not have it just be in your face or have it be more of a subtle punchline,” he says. “I always like making fun of myself or ourselves. I think within coffee, it can get as geeky and nerdy and weird as it could possibly be, and then also it can be a cool thing that everybody drinks and gets wired off of. … All the ideas just spawn from, ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if we spoofed this?’”
Watch Tim and Zach get goofy throughout the first episode of Stumptown TV, and stay tuned for the next episode later this year—socially distant filming will be in effect!