San Antonio-based graphic design startup Art of Caffeination is coming to the coffee table with an ace up its sleeve. Its first product is a deck of smartly crafted playing cards focused on the intricacies of coffee called “Sip-to-Suit Cards About Coffee.”
The card set has been a royal straight flush on Kickstarter, generating more than $36,000 with more than three weeks to go in the crowdfunding campaign, as of this writing.
“The unbelievable first day [of the campaign] was definitely a thrilling ride for us,” Art of Caffeination Founder Vincent Lam told Daily Coffee News. “The project was actually conceived a few years back, but when the pandemic hit my wife and I found ourselves with more time to pursue this truly personal passion project.”
The standard 52-card deck with four French suits offers a range of coffee info on things like brewing methods, classic drink ratios and recipes, details about roast levels, and more.
“Over the years I have amassed many brewing gadgets and coffee devices, and in turn, started a coffee journal with notes, drawings, and tables to remind me of what parameters I should be using for a variety of methods,” Lam said. “The coffee journal was super useful to me because each maker is so similar, yet so subtly different in its brewing requirements.”
For the project, Lam received professional coffee training through the San Antonio Barista Academy, crystalizing techniques, tips and tricks he’d previously picked up through visits to local coffee shops, online resources and coffee events.
He also reached out to the manufacturers of every piece of equipment mentioned in the deck for permission to mention them and to confirm the accuracy of the cards’ recommendations. The Lams also received consultation and guidance on the deck from Simon Gautherin, a coffee educator and barista trainer based in Sydney, Australia.
“We went over the deck in detail,” said Lam. “He was very helpful, going over card by card with feedback and discussions along the way. Ultimately, he loved the coffee brewing information and the card design.”
Of the numbered cards, the 18 black cards explain different brew methods that rise in complexity with the number value on the card, and the red cards explain coffee drink recipes, rising in the intensity of coffee flavor with the numbers on the cards. Black face cards offer basic brewing guidelines; red face cards offer helpful brewing tips; and aces detail differences between roast levels. The package also includes two jokers, one card of introduction, and one additional card featuring a unit conversion chart from fluid ounces to milliliters.
The cardstock is premium black core with a linen finish for durability and smoothness. The three variants of the deck slated to begin shipping in July of this year are a standard edition, a limited green Kickstarter edition, and a washable, waterproof edition.
After pre-order sales, the standard deck will sell $20 and the waterproof edition for sell for $26.
Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.