FLINT, MI – Flint Rock is known for its graffiti.
It’s no surprise, then, that when a piece of art inspired by local graffiti is brought up in discussions, it becomes the centerpiece of Mackenzie Lehnst’s new work of art.
His web, however, turned into something a little different – the front label of Rootless Coffee Company’s latest roast.
Flint-area illustrator and digital graphic designer named Mackenzie Marie was about to design the cover for the company’s sixth blend “There No X in Espresso”.
Working on the idea with Jono Diener, the company’s co-owner and creative director, the duo wanted to make sure the label was transformed into a Flint-centric masterpiece.
Lehnst, 27, got to work and put together various items from across town, including the arches of Vehicle City, a silhouette of the downtown cityscape, the lights of Buckham and Brush Alley, the weather balloon and the aforementioned Flint Rock.
“I thought about putting a Flint building on the cover, but nothing is as distinct and used community-wide as Flint Rock, so I knew this had to be a staple of this room,” Lehnst said. “The rest fell into place as we went both ways to make this system very Flint-centric.”
The name itself came as the crew joked about the espresso, Diener said.
This new blend was first available on January 4th and is a single origin, Brazilian medium roast.
The goal was a unique blend that can be used both as an espresso and as a coffee in all formats, he added.
“It will have a bit more of a roasted flavor than our other blends. You’ll get that full body, nutty, chocolate (and) dried cherries in the tasting profile, ”said Sean Murray, CEO and Founder of Rootless Coffee. “As an espresso shot, it won’t have that tangy acidity, but rather a round, well-balanced shot with depth of flavor without hitting you in the face with fruity notes.
“This roast not only tastes good as a pulled espresso, but works great in a drip coffee maker, French press, or pourer,” he said.
The team tried a number of different variations before landing on this flavor profile. It will become a staple food available all year round, Murray said.
Lehnst also stars alongside Diener’s wife Ashley in a humorous commercial, filmed and edited by creator Flint Bryce Mata.
Commercial jokes about the name of the mixture in the tongue of the cheeks, highlighting the common mispronunciation of the word “espresso”.
Between artwork and advertisements, Jono Diener said the company has an ongoing goal of working with a variety of local and state artists to showcase their skills.
Other artists who have helped cover the mixes include Craig Horky, Kelly Williams, Emily Pearson, Matt Emmons, and Justin Tordella.
“They’re almost mini-movies, and that’s what sets us apart,” Jono Diener said. “As long as we’re having fun, we’ll do whatever we want.”
A bag of the new roast costs $ 14.99 and is available at rootlesscoffee.com, Penny’s Café in the Flint Farmers’ Market and various grocery stores in Southeast Michigan. Coffee is also available for wholesale in coffee shops and cafes.
Other rootless blends currently available include A Damn Fine Cup of Coffee, Dark, Berry Kiss, and Decaf.