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Starbucks, 2018

Starbucks®, the American coffee shop giant, asked four artists to represent the life cycle of a coffee seed. Ricardo Cavolo was chosen to illustrate the stages of roasting and was asked to fly down to the Starbucks® headquarters in Seattle to meet the alchemists behind the magic beans.

Ricardo was then initiated by their in-house master roasters and discovered the secrets of their blends. Following his apprenticeship, he created three astonishing visuals for the packaging of selected coffee blends, as well as a giant Mural at their HQ in Seattle. This collection can be found in all Starbucks in Canada, the United States and Mexico. In his bold, bright and almost vibrating visuals, Ricardo emphasizes the prism of human touch that controls the fire of the roast in taming the coffee bean. He portrays the master roaster as a thousand-year-old deity with immense wisdom and uses birds to represent drops of coffee flying joyfully onto one’s palate.

“Once I understood how fundamental roasting is in the coffee process and to its final result, I decided to do something similar when creating the colors to paint with. I carefully mixed colors until I found the one I was looking for, in the same way that at Starbucks they experiment with roasting until they reach the flavor and aroma they desire.” - Ricardo Cavolo