Coffee lovers will travel far and wide to seek out new blends to satisfy their craving – but would you venture into the murky world of the Dark Web to get your hands on an exclusive bag of beans?
For anyone wanting to buy Chernyi Black – a unique blend from Russia – the only place you'll be able to find it is through the same nefarious internet back alleys infamously associated with those anonymously browsing underworld marketplaces for drugs and illegal weapons.
This black market brew, however, is not illegal. Actually, it's not even rare or insanely expensive (roughly £12 a bag), but it won't be easy to find – and that's the appeal. Its creators, the Chernyi Cooperative, a Moscow-based coffee shop, brewed up the idea because they are attempting to make coffee even trendier, and wanted to tap into an exclusive audience.
"We faced a difficult challenge — to attract the attention of trendsetters who already have access to plenty of interesting content," Maxim Fedorov, social media director of Possible Moscow, told AdWeek.
"That is why we chose Tor. The target audience of 'Black' is familiar with anonymous marketplaces. They know how the purchase process is organised and are aware of the subtleties in attaining what they desire."
Interestingly, Digital Trends explains that in Russia it is generally regarded that coffee is harmful and shouldn't be consumed daily – something that's a far cry from the culture seen in other caffeine-fuelled cities around the world. The Chernyi Cooperative therefore devised the idea to sell its blend via the Dark Web as to thumb its nose at the notion. They also claim to want to change perceptions on how the Dark Web is used. "People are happy to see that the darknet doesn't only exist to service what some may term 'undesirables'. This project demonstrates it can be used by anyone looking for a secure and private connection."
If this has hit your hipster weak spot then Tor awaits. Anyone wanting to buy the $12 bag of coffee will have to download the anonymous browsing tool and locate its onion site cherniyx23pmfane.onion. The creators of the marketing gimmick have not held back either – they even consulted an ex-police officer who specialised in the darknet to deliver a cryptic website for a fully authentic flavour of the whole internet underworld.
Those who manage to navigate the site can buy the coffee using bitcoin or a contactless payment system in-store – the address of which is provided in suitably clandestine fashion in the form of coordinates.