Back in 2010 my wife and I were doing our very first farmer’s market in Anderson Township, OH. We were total rookies. Everything at our booth was hand-written and made on a very tight budget. Except the coffee!
From the beginning we spared no expense on sourcing really great coffees, and every week I would be so eager to share what was new with people. But a funny thing started happening that I wasn’t quite sure how to handle.
Back in those days, it was not “cool” to do dark roasted coffees. Light roasts were all the rage among emerging roasters, as that style of roasting allows for much more of the origin character and flavors to emerge and dominate the cup. But that roasting style also tends to feature an elevated acidity, and dark roast lovers were not enjoying that.
This created a dilemma. These dark roast loving folks really loved what we were doing and wanted to support us. They loved our passion for quality and for helping others. But lighter roasted coffees were just not their thing.
So, was I going to be one of the “cool kids” and try to convince them that they needed to lighten up, or was I going to listen to them and expand my customer base by figuring out how to give them the best dark roast I could?
The answer was an easy one. I’m going to grow and expand my skill set and give these people something they will love and something I can be proud of.
Knowing I needed help, my wife and I flew out to Seattle to visit our main importer, Atlas Coffee. The goal of the trip was to work with their owner and lab roaster to source and create two repeatable high quality blends. One would be based on a classic American breakfast style coffee. And the other would be a really tasty dark roast blend.
The trip was time well spent and we came away stoked to share these new blends with our customers. The classic American style breakfast blend we named Tres Fincas Signature Blend since it really epitomized our commitment to sourcing fully traceable coffees and roasting in the light to medium roast spectrum. The second we named French Roast Blend, which, honestly, was quite boring and not at all reflective of how great a coffee it was.
This is where our customers come shining through! After several weeks of us selling this coffee at the farmers market and through our small sales channels, a buzz began to emerge. People started coming to us saying things like, “Hey, this French Roast stuff is amazing, I can’t get enough of it,” and, “I’m addicted to this stuff, it’s great!” This went on for a few months, with customers coming by our farmers market booth and commiserating about their love of this new dark roast, until one day a lady (I think it was Jan Snell) just blurted out, “This stuff is liquid addiction!”
After we all had a good laugh my wife and I began talking, and Addicting Liquid was born! No more boring French Roast Blend. The next week we hit the market with Addicting Liquid on the labels and people loved it! For the first time in our company’s history we created a name that aptly matched the experience people were having with the product. Or should I say, we just listened to our customers, who are really the ones whose experience inspired the name!
Getting that name right was really a win for the fans of this coffee. I mean, when you’re really excited about a coffee, do you want to go around telling people about this amazing French Roast Blend you love, or do you want to say, “Hey, you just gotta try this Addicting Liquid coffee! It’s my favorite?”
I think you get the point, and I invite you to give Addicting Liquid a try!