In other coffee business news… 30 September – 6 October 2022

First Ascent makes coffee for the stars, fans marvel at BLK & Bold’s new partnership, Caravan cans packaging waste and Diageo raises a glass to its latest acquisition 

250 servings of First Ascent’s Dawn Patrol instant coffee have been sent to the International Space Station | Photo credit: NASA


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First Ascent coffee gets stratospheric reception  

Approximately 250 servings of First Ascent’s Dawn Patrol instant coffee have been sent to the International Space Station aboard NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission, which launched on 5 October 2022. The zero gravity in space means the instant coffee grounds are packaged in individual foil pouches with a valve on one end. Astronauts need to pull the coffee pouch out of their locker, apply a straw, add hot water and shake before consuming. “We’ve all wondered what it would be like to go to outer space. Now in our own way, we get to be there,” said Sam Higby, Co-owner of First Ascent. 


BLK & Bold becomes unsung hero of upcoming Marvel movie 


US coffee roaster BLK & Bold has partnered with Marvel Studios for the production company’s upcoming film, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Iowa-based BLK & Bold said two of its signature blends, Smoove Operator and Rise & GRND, will be available for purchase in limited-edition Black Panther packaging. This is not the first marketing retail partnership BLK & Bold has agreed – the company has previously distributed a blend called The Warm-Up via a partnership with the NBA. 


Caravan adopts can-do attitude to sustainable packaging 


London-based coffee roaster, restaurant and bar group Caravan has launched a new coffee packaged in a recyclable aluminium can. Having already transitioned to an industrially compostable craft capsule range, the company marked International Coffee Day on 1 October 2022 by launching its Costa Rica Santa Anita blend in recyclable can format. Andrea Otte, Head of Coffee at Caravan, said: “Making the switch to aluminium cans won't happen overnight, but we believe the format has massive potential – reducing packaging waste while offering even better shelf life than your average coffee bag.” 


Diageo gets into the spirit of coffee 


Alcoholic beverage giant Diageo has acquired Mr Black, an Australian premium cold brew coffee liqueur. Mr Black is reportedly the fastest growing brand in the global coffee liqueur category and is available in 22 countries globally. Tom Baker, who co-founded Mr Black in 2013, said the product was created to ‘inspire people to take their love of coffee into their evening drinks’. Diageo acquired a minority stake in Mr Black through its Distill Ventures subsidiary in 2015. Full details of the acquisition were not disclosed. 


illycaffé flips conventional thinking on its head 


Italian coffee roaster illycaffé marked International Coffee Day by launching its CupSideDown campaign to raise awareness of the importance of the circular economy in coffee production as an alternative to the current method of discarding products at the end of use. The company said turning the iconic illy cup upside down is ‘a symbolic gesture that shifts the consumer's traditional perspective’. The campaign, which will run in all illycaffè locations throughout October, will educate consumers on the importance of responsible farming practices. 

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