MiiR and WCR


The future of quality coffee is not a foregone conclusion and few know that better than World Coffee Research. A non-profit organisation, they have set themselves the audacious but laudable goal of supporting the development of varieties of coffee that are not only high yielding and climate resilient, but also delicious. 

Partnering with Seattle-based drinkware brand, MiiR, World Coffee Research have collaborated with two artists to create a series of sustainable drinkware to raise both awareness and funds for their work. For every item sold, World Coffee Research will receive US$8 (EUR 6; £5). 

The first artist is Lucy T. Smith, perhaps best known for her work with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, as well as her commissions for David Attenborough. Smith’s fine, intricate botanical drawings perfectly capture the beauty and fragility of the arabica coffee plant, which is the basis for 60% of global coffee production. 

The second is Portland-based Michael Buchino. Injecting colour and vibrancy into the collection, his pieces aim to capture the joyful labor of coffee research—in the lab, in the field, and in the cup. 

The initiative has been spearheaded by MiiR’s UK distributors, Workshop Coffee, and following a pre-release in Autumn of 2021, the global initiative has already raised almost US$20,000 for World Coffee Research.

We’re ecstatic and really proud of what this initiative has already generated for World Coffee Research. We’re enormous proponents of the continued work that they do, and the entire specialty coffee industry is a benefactor of their commitment to lab and field research. With general release slated for 17th January 2022, we’re excited to see the impact this collaborative project will have and are pleased to be supporting a cause that means a lot to us.

Richard Frazier, CMO of Workshop Coffee

The MiiR x World Coffee Research products are available to consumers from a host of retailers across the world from Monday 17th January 2022. This includes Black Oak Coffee Roasters (California), Bridge Coffee Co. (California), Camber Coffee (Washington), Coffee Circle (Berlin), Fulcrum Coffee Roasters (Washington), Intelligentsia (USA), Workshop Coffee and Union Hand Roasted. 

The MiiR x WCR collaboration is extraordinary because it lets us hold in our hands a truly beautiful object that reflects the joy, passion, and optimism for the future that underpins the work of coffee researchers. Along with delicious coffee, these mugs hold something else precious—hope for the future of coffee.

Hanna Neuschwander, WCR Director of Communications and Strategy

Coffee businesses worldwide are invited to join the collaboration and to make MiiR x WCR products available to their customers. To order, contact miir@workshopcoffee.com

More on the Artists

Lucy T Smith

Multi-award winning botanical artist and illustrator, Lucy is perhaps best known for her work with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, but has also created works for Sir David Attenborough. She produces illustrations in pen and ink, as well as water colour, and is rigorous in her approach. Translating the discoveries found by plant hunters, accuracy in Lucy’s work is absolutely key and in telling World Coffee Research’s story, she wanted to show the development of a coffee plant:

In my work I have used classic botanical illustration to depict many coffee species both known and new to science, and here I’ve treated Coffea arabica in the same style, showing its main botanical features. Not just a crop plant, it represents just one of many coffee species. All deserve to be cherished and protected, to preserve them and their wild habitats.

Lucy T Smith

Michael Buchino 

Illustrator Michael Buchino aims to tell stories through pictures. Living in Portland, Oregon, with a bike and pencil, he creates subjects that are both thought-provoking and useful. When turning his attention to World Coffee Research, he wanted to do more than just emblazon our MiiR canvas with an eye-catching illustration – he wanted to show that coffee is a process:

World Coffee Research is working in the lab and on the farm to make sure we get great coffee in our cups each day. With their work, we can count on coffee being a viable industry for years to come.

Michael Buchino

Taking inspiration from vintage advertisements, sport illustrations and old how-to short films, he’s created three characters that embody the work of World Coffee Research and its impact at every stage, from the field to the final brew. The Lab Technician oversees the intensive task of laboratory research, whilst The Farmer propagates and harvests the result of that work. And, finally, the Coffee Connoisseur has the luxury of brewing and savouring the results.

More about World Coffee Research

World Coffee Research (WCR) is a 501(c)5 non-profit agricultural research organization formed by the global coffee industry in 2012 to drive collaborative innovation to ensure the future of coffee. WCR focuses on innovation in coffee agriculture to improve coffee productivity, coffee quality, climate resilience, and farmer livelihoods to support origin diversity.

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