Coffee and music. Music and coffee. Coffee is music. Music is coffee. Over the years, we’ve celebrated all manners of music and coffee—from coffee inspired songs, interviews with musicians inspired by coffee, band brand collaborations, and so much more. Today we’re featuring a beautiful band/brand collaboration between the iconic upper PNW soft emo/melodic 21st century rock band Death Cab For Cutie and delicious Bellingham coffee roaster Camber Coffee. The collaboration was spearheaded by their “Coffee Music Collaboration Manager & Chief” Ryan Russell. Russell has been a long time Death Cab For Cutie collaborator and photographer and his photos of the band appear throughout this article.
Rather than calling the coffee offering “Ben’s Blend” or “Steadier Footing Brew,” Camber instead roasts and spotlights coffee producer Negusse Nare of the Sidama region in Ethiopia. This coffee comes packaged in a special edition bag to celebrate Death Cab For Cutie’s latest album Asphalt Meadows, along with matching mugs.
Death Cab For Cutie’s website goes into detail on the coffee’s producer Nigusse Nare, “Nigusse farms ten hectares of land in the Huro Hibiro village of Bensa, Sidama. Here he grows various varieties from the Jimma Agricultural Research Center, selected for their disease resistance, high yield, and cup quality. His coffee is all processed and dried at his family home, and he has consistently produced exceptional natural processed coffees.”
To find out more about how this all went down, as well as what Ben Gibbard’s favorite brewing method is, read on.
We spoke with Camber Coffee Marketing Specialist Ryan Russell to learn more.
Tell us about Camber Coffee’s coffee music collaboration program!
Before joining the Camber team in 2016, I spent 15 years in the music industry as a photographer and an album designer working for various bands and labels. I was added to Death Cab for Cutie’s stable of photographers back in 2006 and have become good friends since. The Camber team has dreamed about creating a special Death Cab for Cutie coffee for years. Admittedly, Death Cab is my favorite band and with Asphalt Meadows’s release it seemed the perfect timing for the collaboration.
Ben Gibbard has spoken about his love for AeroPress coffee on tour—can you confirm this.
I can confirm this. Most folks in the music industry travel as compactly as possible and the AeroPress is a popular brewer for many of the bands I’ve toured with.
How did y’all land on Nigusse Nare for DCFC?
We sample roasted a few different origins and processing methods for all five band members to brew at home. They wanted a fruit forward cup and fell for the sweetness and juiciness of Nigusse Nare.
Tell us about the packaging and mug design!
Ben shot the photograph that ended up as the cover of Asphalt Meadows while on a run. It’s such an amazing photo and the clergy figures were so striking on the cover that I wanted to carry them over to the label design, while also staying true to Camber’s minimalist branding. The halftone version of the clergy figures created by their merch team is also featured on the mug.
Where can a fan of Camber or DCFC pick up a bag?
Exclusively at deathcabforcutie.com
How much is it?
What’s a perfect Death Cab For Cutie song for roasting Nigusse Nare?
Roman Candles from Asphalt Meadows.
What’s a perfect Death Cab For Cutie song to brew coffee to?
A Movie Script Ending from The Photo Album (fun fact: the Camber Flagship cafe is on the same Bellingham street mentioned in the song)
But what’s the perfect Death Cab For Cutie song to drink coffee to?
Passenger Seat from Transatlanticism!