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"Why the Kraken?"

09/07/2019
The question asked most often at our Grand Re-Opening party had nothing to do with coffee; instead people asked again and again, "Why the kraken?"

It was a question that inspired more introspection than was probably intended. All the time that we were building furniture, laying floors, and painting walls we never talked about why we picked a kraken instead of a coffee bean.

So how did we get here, puns at the ready, tentacles waving? It's as good a place as any to start an introduction.

"Krâken Kôfe" evolved out of "cracked coffee." One of the ways that roasters differentiate a light roast from a medium has to do with something called "first crack" and "second crack." A green coffee bean is tiny, a little dense rock of grass-flavored potential waiting to come out of its shell. As it roasts, the chaff crackles off and the bean opens up. When a coffee is rolling through "first crack" it sounds like popcorn, and the first chocolaty aromas cut through the air. Not long after this a light roast is finished; a dark roast or a medium are roasted to the "second crack" and beyond.

But part of our evolution included a need to move away from unintentional negative connotation. "Cracked" was too easily distorted, and so we kept spit-balling, waiting for something to click.

A few weeks before we started this final iteration of the coffee shop, we made the switch to paper straws. With viral images of distressed ocean wildlife piling up amidst increasingly violent weather patterns, and with the increasing availability of quality options other than single use plastics, it wasn't a hard choice to make. With the alliteration of consonants from "cracked coffee" bouncing around and a stream of Nat Geo specials running in the background, it wasn't long before we were looking up different ways to say "coffee" around the world in search of a second "k" word. A kraken doodle became a kraken logo, and a kraken sticker, and a...well, you get the idea. 

The rest, as they say, was history.