Craft—or "third wave"—coffee is trending hard right now, and nothing bolsters a business these days quite like exclusivity. But if rare, hard-to-come-by coffee beans are what you're in the market for, boy, do we have something for you. According to Adweek, a collective of Russian roasters called Chernyi Cooperative has gone overboard with its latest blend, Chernyi Black: the "first legal product advertisement on the darknet."
The darknet, also known as the deep web, is best known as a marketplace to traffic illegal drugs and other nefarious items. Chernyi, however, believes its customers will appreciate its edgy, hard-to-find webstore. The company is betting that coffee-loving Russians ultimately possess enough tech savvy (and Bitcoins) to make the new business model a success.
"We faced a difficult challenge—to attract the attention of trendsetters who already have access to plenty of interesting content," Maxim Fedorov, the social media director behind the coffee-selling scheme, tells Adweek. "That is why we chose Tor. The target audience of 'Black' is familiar with anonymous marketplaces. They know how the purchase process is organized and are aware of the subtleties in attaining what they desire."
Interested parties can obtain a sample of “Black” at cherniyx23pmfane.onion, but only if they have a Tor browser—a free software that allows users to move through the internet anonymously. Those daring enough to make it to the page will find bags of “1,3,7-Trimethylpurine-2,6-dione” (basically caffeine in science-speak) for $12 worth of Bitcoins, the infamously volatile cryptocurrency and payment system.
Chernyi Cooperative got the word out about its product by advertising in Moscow night clubs and on Facebook groups for local party-goers (exclusive!). The company also released a sketchy video that looks more like a "Just Say No" campaign than a coffee ad. Check it out the commercial below and decide for yourself whether “Black” is worth exploring the deep net for.