A&O: Your company, Oak & Bond, has a special origin story — can you share how you landed on the name?
Oak & Bond: Oak & Bond Coffee Co. was opened with a Barrel Aged single origin coffee and (Lauren and I) happily married couple. As a reminder to where the company began, it was important to find a way to incorporate both of those aspects into the company’s name.
The first coffee offered was aged in a once used Bourbon Oak Whiskey Barrel. It became obvious that the word Oak was very important to the beginning of the company and a word that was critical as part of the Oak & Bond name.
The Bond of Lauren and I as a happy couple opened the company with a Bourbon Barrel Aged Coffee offering. Also, tThe term ‘Bond’ has been used in the Bourbon Whiskey community since the passage of the Bottled-In-Bond Act of 1897. As an ode to the Bond of us as a married couple and the term Bond in the Bourbon community, it seemed only fitting that Bond composed a portion of the Oak & Bond name.
A&O: Your first batch of coffee was barrel aged. Was this happenstance or was it by design? How did you go about selecting the barrel?
Oak & Bond: Great question. In a way it was happenstance. Our approach when opening Oak & Bond was that we would offer two incredible coffee lines. 1) our Specialty line composed of Single Origins and Blends 2) our Barrel Aged line. At the time we had been working through the design of both packaging but were able to land on a design of our Barrel Aged line packaging first. I had also been talking with many of the best distilleries in Kentucky. We created a great relationship with many of them and were able to source only the best Bourbon Whiskey Barrels. Our approach has always been, first selected the best quality coffee for our specialty and barrel aged line, and select barrels from only the best distilleries to create an incredible barrel aged coffee line. This allows us to create a truly special flavor profile and one we are convinced you will truly enjoy.
A&O: Coffee, like bourbon, is rich in competition and flavor profiles. How do you know you are getting a winning combination in flavor when selecting both your coffee bean and barrel.
Oak & Bond: You make a great point. In many ways tasting, scoring and selecting coffee is very similar to the approach distilleries use. We cup through hundreds of samples a year from many of the best coffee growing regions in the world. When cupping or tasting coffee (which you may have seen from the loud, sometimes funny coffee slurping) we have already planned a profile we are looking for. We strive to select a truly specialty coffee which has a wonderful profile from flavors to body which we find will combine well with the barrel type we are aging in. This allows us to provide a perfect marriage of coffee and whiskey.
A&O: If I gather correctly, your O&B began shipping in early 2018 and hasn’t looked back. What do you attribute your rapid growth?
Oak & Bond: That's correct! We first opened our doors online in June of 2018. Currently we do not have a brick and mortar shop location, which means we have to create all of our relationships online. We love interacting with our followers and friends of Oak & Bond on all the social media platforms. We strive to create a community and always want to be an open book for questions. We find that talking with our followers and interacting with others online creates a great environment for everyone to not enjoy great coffee but have great comradery and community.
A&O: O&B Packaging is beautiful. Drawing inspiration from spirits and canned beverages — how did you decide to put your own twist on traditional coffee packaging?
Oak & Bond: Not only do we love providing truly special coffee. We love the aspect of visual design. Lauren and I spent many many hours discussing ideas and designing our packaging. Just like our approach for the marriage of flavors between coffee and whiskey, we wanted to do the same for the visual aspect of our barrel aged packaging line. Packaging first in our gold stamped, valve coffee bag then placing in our decorative canister (similar to scotch and bourbon bottle canisters), we find it's a great way to bring together both the coffee and whiskey both in flavor profile and visually.
A&O: What is next for O&B and what would a successful 2020 look like?
Oak & Bond: We're so excited to start 2020. We want to continue to offer our Specialty and Barrel Aged Coffee lines to a bigger audience and grow the Oak & Bond coffee community. We also plan to bring some new exciting coffee offerings to our line up in 2020, and can't wait to share!