Able Brewing Equipment x Jolby & Friends – A New Design

Art & Design
Matt Higgins and Keith Gehrke unveiled a new packaging design for their stainless steel Disk filter for the Aeropress. The design is minimal, sleek, and industrial. My attention is immediately drawn to the icons on the front of the package and on the instruction card. There is an icon for the Disk filter, the Aeropress, and for each step in the brewing process. They convey the simplicity of brewing a good cup of coffee with the filter, and the icons will be used consistently throughout the Disk, Kone and One-Cup packaging.

Josh Kenyon & Colby Nichols at Jolby & Friends created the design. Their past work shows a pattern of creating memorable and distinctly modern imagery for clients. I ask them a few questions about the Able designs:


You have a foundation in illustration. How did this affect the design?

“Both Josh and I have a passion for design as much as illustration and tend to live between both worlds at all times. For this packaging, we wanted to use strictly design and let the small things tell the story. Although a bit of our illustration aesthetic comes through in the icons (we couldn’t help it).”

How did you come up with the icons for the directions and the custom icons for each product?

“We wanted to keep the icons very simple, clear, and really easy to digest at a glance. They ended up having a very instructional and minimal look which works perfectly for the product. Able really wanted the wording to be minimal, so that the icons and design had to drive the packaging. We added emboss to a few areas (and some hidden ones) that feel great when you’re holding the envelope.”

Anything else you can tell me about the project?

“Our main inspiration were old Americana products like oil cans, machinery boxes, factory parts, bags of grain; the real simple but powerful bits of design from back then. We liked the idea of how that stuff hit you in the face with “this is exactly what’s inside, no frills”. A big thing for Able is that all of their products are made in the USA and we wanted the design to reflect that. Being inspired by that era was the easy part, but adding a modern twist was the most challenging. The design system that we came up with for the Disk packaging is being rolled-out through other products and its been fun playing with and pushing this style forward for Able. They are doing big things this year!”


There are details to the design that are very subtle, so I hope you are able to get your hands on an Able Disk.

I should also note that Coava Coffee Roasters and Able Brewing Equipment are now completely separate. The Disk, the One-Cup, and the Kone filters are now Able Brewing Equipment products, while roasted coffee and the cafe will always be branded under Coava Coffee Roasters. Below is a list of Coava and Able coverage on MARROW, beginning with the original Kone posting:

Coava Coffee Roaster – The Kone Filter

Coava Update & Packaging

Matt Higgins – Growing Coffee Plants

The Coava Disk – Stainless Steel Filter for Aeropress

NW Regional Competition With the Coava Kone

Able One-Cup Coffee Filter – A Sneak Preview

2 Responses to “Able Brewing Equipment x Jolby & Friends – A New Design”

  1. billy says:

    Speaking of Coava/Able and packaging, I have to say that their whole-bean coffees are poorly packaged. Great beans but they decline quickly in those basic brown paper bags. It’s possible to package in one-way valve bags that are biodegradable. Environmental concerns are valid but one doesn’t have to sacrifice freshness.

  2. Coava says:


    Thank you for taking the time to comment and address our bags.

    It is important to us that we use coffee bags that are not only environmentally friendly but designed well. We chose to use a bag that can be composted and has a great feel to it. We then hand stamp and emboss all of our bags. The look is exactly what we wanted. And the environmental aspect was also achieved.

    To respond to our bags having a negative impact on freshness.

    If coffee is purchased shortly after roasting we feel that no valve bag is needed. Once the valve bag is opened then the seal is broken and is then acts the exact same as our current bag.

    But we do feel that for shipping it could benefit the coffee in its travel to the end drinker.

    We looked into any options for a bag that could be sealed for shipping use. When we started no such option was available. A few months ago a bag came on the market that is seal-able and is biodegradable. But the valve is not. Also the bag has printing all over it. Because of the valve not being biodegradable and the printing preventing us able to stamp the bags we cant use them just yet.

    I called the company a few months ago and they said we would need to order 10,000 units to have the printing removed so it is a “custom” bag. This is not an option for us yet as we are a small business.

    We will always do our best to provide the highest quality coffee we can and that also includes the best packaging for us.

    If you have any other questions for us you can e-mail us at



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