Check The Label: Fresh Kaufee’s T-Shirts Smell Like a Fresh Brew

“Doing’ great, just made a cup of coffee”

It’s 8:30 in the morning, and we’ve caught Lenworth “Joonbug” McIntosh in his natural state. An illustrator, designer and proprietor of the Fresh Kaufee clothing brand, the caffeinated nectar of the gods is the muse for this busy artist whose trademark is retro lettering and a character named “Beanboy,” and whose line of t-shirts all smell like coffee.

Residing in Jamaica before transplanting stateside (to Dallas), McIntosh’s earliest memories involve running through fields of green coffee berries and a great uncle that would come down from the hills to paint at the family home. You can now find McIntosh’s work in coffee shops, sure (for example, he’s been known to collaborate with his favorite brewers and roasters for a pop-up shop in the Bay Area and beyond) but his influence is spreading farther. Devout hip-hop fans will recognize his handiwork from album covers and tour posters for legendary Detroit rapper-producer Black Milk; record collectors may remember the logo he did for Josey Records, the near-mythical music store in his adopted hometown of Dallas.

When did you discover coffee? That’s an interesting question. It was when I younger in Jamaica that I would play in the coffee fields near my house, you’d see the berries there. And I knew that it was coffee but I didn’t know it would manifest in as what I’m doing today. It kind of ties together a lot things I’m doing in my life. Whether it’s energetic things, the clothing company I have or the friends I meet. [Laughs] It’s weird. [laughs] It’s weird, man.

What’s your favorite roast of coffee?
I’m into light roasts right now. I’ve got an AeroPress at home. I like to grind it myself and everything. So I’m a light to medium-roast kind of guy. Right now I’m drinking some Cultivar, from Dallas. My homies there gave me some really potent stuff. It’s crazy when you’re talking about coffee and people think you’re talking about something else. Like I have my scale and everything [author’s note: precise measurements and timing are key to a proper cup of coffee] and whenever I take it out, people are like “What are you doing? You about to grind some stuff up?” And I’m like, “Yeah, just some coffee.” I’m not too much of a snob, but once you’ve had a good cup of coffee you know what you want. I’m not like, “Oh, you’re drinking [chainstore] coffee, I can’t talk to you.” But I can steer you towards something better. I’m not too much of a “coffee-zilla” but I do like good stuff.

If you could sit down and drink coffee with any artist ever, who would it be and where would you go? [Long pause, lots of thinking] It would probably be… Gosh, man. I would say Lupe [Fiasco]. I find his work similar to mine in that there are a lot of hidden gems in there, in the sense there’s that rewind factor. A lot of time when i do a lot of detail, [my work] has that rewind factor too. You can look at it again and again. You might have missed something but if you look at it again you’ll be like, “Dang, how did I miss that before?” Where we’ll go would probably be, hmm, somewhere in Africa. Somewhere in Africa, possibly Ethiopia. If you could have coffee with any a cartoon character who would it be? Chowder. ‘Cause he loves food and I feel like he would appreciate coffee. And I’m a food lover, so yeah, we can definitely get coffee. I was gonna say Flapjack, but Chowder is more suited to it.

Yooow! —#beanboyfk #illustration #handlettering #layout #back #FreshKaufee A photo posted by @freshkaufee on

All this talk about Beanboy! Catch him in the shop, www.freshkaufee.net

A photo posted by @freshkaufee on

#espressoself. Have you ever? Shop at www.freshkaufee.net A photo posted by @freshkaufee on

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