Thanks to a helpful reader who today pointed out this find to us: Just Bottled: “Firelit” Blue Bottle Coffee Liqueur – Ünnecessary Ümlaut. If Starbucks is good enough for the booze bottle, why not Blue Bottle Coffee? Apparently that’s the question asked by the folks behind Firelit, a new coffee liqueur made from Blue Bottle beans.
Just five years ago, Starbucks branded itself with Jim Beam to create its own coffee liqueur. (Curiously, you can no longer find it on the Starbucks Web site.) Back then, a lot of people still thought of Starbucks as a luxury brand rather than a ubiquitous commodity, so slapping on the Starbucks name (supposedly) upped the liqueur’s street cred. Co-branding being such a universal practice in product marketing, the Starbucks name featured no fewer than three times on the front of the bottle.
Fast forward to today, and now we have the Firelit guys seeing an opening with the small-batch and local angle — popular with a number of discriminating consumers these days — leading them to produce a coffee liqueur with Blue Bottle branding. With the Starbucks brand now sitting somewhere just this side of McDonald’s, this move suggests the possibility for more co-branded product marketing using notable small-batch coffee roasters.
Still, we did have to ask ourselves if this story was even coffee-relevant enough to post here. (Including last week’s coffee inhaler story going around everywhere this week.) We haven’t sampled the product, which hits local retail shelves later this week. But once you process great coffee with alcohol and other ingredients and suspend it in a bottle with a shelf life of several years — as opposed to the two week shelf life Blue Bottle requires of their bean resellers — just how much will the choice of beans really matter besides branding?
Hence why we liken this product idea to using your best straight-sipping tequila to make strawberry margarita mix.
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