Thursday, September 03, 2015

Starbucks Is So Passé! The Marketing of Coffee Takes a Turn


Supposedly "translated" by Bing: "The café with care given the exposure the white-collar workers on LinkedIn. ‪#‎walterscoffee‬" (Hmm, seems to lose something in "translation." But the link works.)

by Noah

Inspired by Breaking Bad, aka the greatest TV show ever, an astute Turkish food and beverage industry veteran named Deniz Kosan has created what looks to be the "world's first Coffee Super Lab," as reported by, and it's not even disguised as a laundromat, chicken restaurant, ordinary RV, or anything else. Walter's Coffee Roastery brazenly operates, as Gus Fring would say, "hidden in plain sight," in Istanbul, Turkey.

The Turks are known for their love of coffee, always have been, but it took Kosan to see that Breaking Bad was the perfect merchandising opportunity for his coffee, or, as Walter White himself would say, "the product."

Kosan has designed his coffee shop to look like Walter White's beautiful subterranean high-tech stainless-steel meth lab. His employees even dress up in those wonderful yellow hazmat suits and black masks that Walter and his young protégé, Jesse Pinkman, don for every cook of "the product."

That's not you-know-who and you-know-who, is it?

Kosan says that the precise moment of inspiration came to him as he watched Season 3, Episode 6 of the legendary show. That's the episode in which former high school chemistry teacher, now master meth maker, Walter White (Bryan Cranston) discusses fine coffee with Gale Boetticher (David Costabile), his ill-fated assistant. Walter marvels at Gale's brilliantly brewed coffee and wonders aloud, "Why the hell are we making meth?"

Why make meth, indeed! Kosan knows that, in the real world, coffee is a far more popular drug, and it has the extra advantages of not costing as much and being totally legal. Not only that, but you can add sugar -- as much as you want!

Speaking of sugar, Walter's Coffee Roastery also sells a beautiful blue candy that looks, very suspiciously, just like Walter White's classic blue "product." It's even sold over the counter -- again, in plain sight!

Ahem, samples of "the product"?

Unfortunately, Walter's Coffee Roastery only has the one location -- in Turkey. For now, that is. But, just like Walter White's meth spread 'round the world, there's always hope that one day soon there will be a Walter's Coffee Roastery near you. When you have what people want, expansion is easy.

Kosan's move is as good an example of inspired marketing genius as you will ever find. I'd be hard-pressed to find a better way to sell a food or beverage product based on the creepy factor or crime factor of a TV show or movie.  I suppose one could start up a Texas Chainsaw Massacre Steak House. Silence of the Lambs, anyone? Maybe I'll just move to the Gulf Coast and open up a chain of BP Seafood Huts. "The secret is in the oil."

That's definitely not Walter and Jesse (or Skyler).

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