Portent Interactive Visits Zoka Coffee

Portent Staff Jan 25 2010

Who says on-the-job research can’t be fun – and heavily caffeinated?

Last week, Portent Interactive took a field trip to the Seattle headquarters of what is quickly becoming our tastiest new client: Zoka Coffee Roaster & Tea Company.

In the Name of Research

A field trip seemed like the logical thing to do – even the biggest coffee junkies among us admitted that drinking four cups of Folgers a day did not a coffee-expert make. And getting to know our clients – their passions, their work ethic, their product – is a huge perk of the job. So who were we to say “no” when Zoka offered us a private cupping of some of their finest specialty brews?

It’s a good thing we went. The guys at Zoka bombarded us with history, facts, background information, fun stories and their intense love for coffee from the moment we walked in the door. Pens were scurrying and marketing wheels were churning as we tried to apply everything they said to brew up exciting ways to get the Zoka name out there.

The Cupping Experience

A tour of the roasting facilities in the headquarters’s basement was followed by a formal cupping of six Zoka specialty coffees, including a “test-blend” they were trying out on us. Roastmaster Josh walked us through the process, with interjections and helpful how-to’s from Zoka owner Jeff Babcock and the rest of his team.

Zoka Roaster Josh at the PI Cupping

We learned the conventions of a professional cupping, sought out the fragrance and the aroma (yeah, we didn’t know there was a difference either), and sniffed, slurped and spit to our hearts content. Top it off with a demonstration of espresso brewing and latte art and some take-home samples of our favorite roasts, Portent returned to the office bouncing off the walls – only to spiral into a desperate caffeine crash two hours later.

It was totally worth it. Portent Interactive is officially converted – Zoka Coffee or bust!

The PI Team at Zoka Headquarters

What’s Up Next for Zoka Coffee?

Portent is going full-steam ahead with Zoka. The Copy Team is signed up for the February BaristaJam, Zoka’s barista training day, to learn firsthand the art of the latte heart.

The Zoka blog is getting a revamp so coffee lovers everywhere can stay apprised on Zoka’s travels to coffee farmers around the world, fun Zoka news, and more coffee info than you ever thought possible.

Facebook, Twitter, SEO – oh my!
Stay tuned.


  1. Ian


    Full steam ahead! Get it?!

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