It seems that rock ‘n’ roll and hot beverages do unlikely bedfellows make. A bizarre proliferation of reggae artists, indie musicians, film directors and electronic DJs are ditching the decks and taking to java, in a bid to perfect their own brand of the jumping bean. Bring in David Lynch coffee and Mr Scruff tea!
David Lynch, whose debut solo album Crazy Clown Time (2011) was released to mixed critical acclaim, has famously launched his own brand of David Lynch coffee, which was available for a short time through Amazon and is now available on a specialist website. Having sampled it personally at the Twin Peaks UK festival, I can confirm it’s strong but delicious, especially how Lynch’s suave coffee-loving hero Special Agent Cooper loves to drink it: “Black as midnight on a moonless night”.
David Lynch is not the first or the last muso to take his inspiration to the world of caffeinated drinks. Take American indie singer Will Oldham (a.k.a Bonnie Prince Billy), who launched his own limited edition Kona coffee, available through his label Drag City, and promised overtones of “chocolate, leather, and non-wacky tobaccy”. Prince Billy joins Wilco, who have their own approved coffee brand, and LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, who is launching his own coffee brand after his girlfriend gave him a coffee roasting course as a present: “I have beans that I like”, he’s stated in interview.
Bob Marley’s son Rohan has been trading off his father’s fame with his own coffee brand Marley Coffee, part of the Jammin Java corporation, which features such flavours as “Mystic Morning, “Buffalo Soldier”, “Lively Up!” and “One Love”, and their new, lightly roasted blend “Get Up, Stand Up”. This is not the first time Marley’s name’s been used to endorse a relaxing beverage: Marley’s Mellow Mood, created in partnership with Marley’s family, offers “natural relaxation beverages” (read tea) to “soothe the mind”.
So whether you like tea mystical or electronic (British DJ and artist Mr. Scruff has his own organic English Breakfast blend Mr Scruff tea, and a “Big Chill” tea, which encourages you to “Big up your tent!”), there’s something for everyone. However, wannabe rock star baristas beware. Hindsight suggests you’re best sticking to the java and steering clear of the teashop, after that 90’s vegan rock star Moby set up TeaNY, a tea café in New York City’s Lower East Side in 2002 that set on fire in 2009.
Celebrity-endorsed coffees are not unusual in a world where 50 Cent has his own Vitamin water, you can drink Danny DeVito’s limoncello (and listen to the song, sung by the great man himself, which goes: “Danny DeVito’s Limoncello, it’s a taste delight from this famous fellow/ It’s so very nice, perfect served cold on ice/ The finest summer drink from Italy”) and rev up on Steven Seagal’s Lightning Bolt (or not). Targeting the ever-booming coffee market is wise, and benefits from the appearance of seeming cultured, bourgeois and stylish. Coffee also remains a small, economic and affordable treat in times of economic strife. So take a leaf from Special Agent Cooper’s book in Twin Peaks: “Harry, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it. Don’t wait for it. Just let it happen. It could be a new shirt at the men’s store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot black coffee”.
words Sophia Satchell Baeza