Daumantas reached out to me on instagram to tell me he’s launching a coffee subscription service. And to ask if he could send me a sample.
I said yes. Obviously. And like any proper bootstrapping startup, he personally delivered a box to my home. What struck me about PercBox was not the coffee. Don’t get me wrong – the Encounter Coffee Roasters Ethiopian was the highlight of my month.
What struck me about PercBox was the experience.
The experience of receiving a beautiful box, unpacking it excitedly to see which coffee I was sent, and the surprise find of a gift, which, of course, I wasn’t expecting. I won’t say more. I want you to experience it for yourself. It’s just… wonderful.
So I interviewed Daumantas to find out more.
So, who is Daumantas?
Well, there are probably a few answers to that!
First of all, I am a new dad and so finding my feet as a family man. My career background has been working for one of Europe’s largest fintech companies and this is what brought me to Dubai 4 years ago.
But the honest answer is that I am yet to really put my finger on it.
That’s kind of where Perc has come into the picture. I’ve always enjoyed creative outlets but working for a payments company doesn’t have too many of those! So when I started to explore the cafes of Dubai and then stumbled on to the home grown roasteries I really loved the fun spin many of these brands and people had.
What is PercBox?
I’ll flip this a little and start with what Perc is not.
It’s not a coffee subscription that exists to ensure you have enough coffee to last you the month. This is really important to mention because the idea behind Perc is to explore new coffees, new products and the stories behind those brands. Therefore, what you get is a monthly box, with a really special bag of coffee partnered with a gift that will, without a doubt, lead you down the rabbit hole of specialty coffee. Where it comes from, what makes it special, who are the people involved and how to nail a perfect brew.
We’ve launched today and people can subscribe here for a monthly or a quarterly subscription.
Tell us more about why we should subscribe to PercBox
It’s an experience. You leave yourself open to discover new products and new roasters. I also find the anticipation of receiving something in the post quite nice because you’re keen to find out what exactly is in there this month. It also convenient – as we approach the summer months in Dubai and remote working has really made its way into mainstream work environments, people are keen to enjoy coffee in the comfort of their homes. This then becomes a perfect solution for them!
I love the artwork that greets me when I open the box. Tell us more about it.
When working on the packaging I really felt that what I had initially was not where I wanted it to be. I wanted people to receive a surprise when they open the box and so I knew I had to have something inside.
I came across Mouj, aka Mary-Joe, on Instagram some time ago. Her work was quite dream-like and she used light pastel colours without harsh outlines. I just really liked it.
So we started speaking and I was honestly shocked at how much we had in common in terms of our artistic direction and love for coffee! Before I told her my idea on the art, I asked her for her ideas. I really mean it when I say that she literally had the same idea – showing the journey of the coffee we drink from the farm, to the shipping ports, the roasters and then your home.
It was just one of those rare moments where it was all so in sync and I am extremely happy with the outcome and having had the chance to work with her.
What do you think is the future of specialty coffee in the UAE?
I think there needs to be more education. Specialty coffee can be such a refined and beautiful product but without teaching people what they are drinking or how it should be prepared, it goes to waste.
My wife is the lucky person who gets to read my blogs on percbox.com before they go live. I do that because she will tell me if its too complicated from the look on her face as she reads! It’s funny but it also tells me that I need to dial it down. I read a lot of articles and some of them are borderline science papers. Now, I am a bit of a geek so I love the detail but if specialty coffee is to reach more people (and it should) we should do a better job at making it more relatable and understandable.
If more bodies get behind the movement of specialty coffee so much more can be achieved in the important aspects of the process – treating farmers fairly, looking after the land and showcasing a great product.