They say blood is thicker than water, but is coffee thicker than both? For Emma Chamberlain, it might be. Her connection to the caffeinated beverage runs deep, a love that she inherited from her parents. Before becoming a YouTube star as a teenager, she had a dream to work as a barista. Hey, maybe she still will someday. At the moment, the 19-year-old is channeling her passion into a total revamp of her company, Chamberlain Coffee, with brand-new blends to start.
Emma told POPSUGAR "the whole aesthetic" of Chamberlain Coffee is about to change drastically. She could've made a gradual switch to different packaging and products, but where's the fun in that? "One day the brand is different . . . she's a whole new b*tch," Emma said, walking me through her thought process. "Let's just transform her. Let's give her a glow up in every sense."
"Let's just transform her. Let's give her a glow up in every sense."
This transformation includes signature characters that go along with each new flavor: Early Bird, Careless Cat, Social Dog, and Night Owl. "It was about finding four blends that I genuinely really loved," she said. "And then the branding around it just all fell into place so organically, which was amazing. And I'm so excited to see what blends people choose and which ones they relate to the most. I'm pumped." Check out more of my chat with Emma about all things Chamberlain Coffee: the past, present, and future.
Which new blend is her favorite
To no one's surprise, Emma likes all of her upcoming blends, but she pairs different brews to suit different moods. "The Social Dog and Careless Cat, those two are my favorite for when I'm unsure about where I'm at," she shared. "Because the caffeine in those, for me . . . well, I can just drink a lot of caffeine and it's just too easy for me."
"But my go-to when I need a lot of caffeine is the Early Bird," she added. "Because I need that. That's the highest caffeine content that we have. When things are tough in the morning, that's what I'm going to. When it comes to what I've been drinking recently, randomly it's been the Night Owl. It's my vibe right now. Even though I'm not drinking it at night, I just love the dark toastiness of it. I've been drinking that one a lot."
Where her love of coffee started
You could say coffee is a family heirloom for Emma at this point. "My mom and my dad love coffee. They've always been very big coffee drinkers," she reflected. "I remember on the weekends my dad would take me with him to cafes. I'd get a little scone and we'd get coffee — it was just such an amazing memory.
"As I got older and got into middle school and high school, I started to need caffeine. I needed energy and everybody said, 'Well, you drink coffee.' And I said, 'OK.' So, I started using it for studying, or my friends and I would go after school and get coffee at little cafes around town. I started to really love it."
Slowly but surely, coffee became a part of Emma's daily life. When she started her YouTube channel, it took up a natural place in her onscreen routine. "I was making coffee on camera, talking about it, getting coffee on camera," she said. "My dream job has always been anything relating to coffee. I wanted to be a barista so bad. It just all came crashing into my face. . . . All these little things throughout my whole life has led up to me doing something with it."
What her coffee routine looks like nowadays
Emma's actual coffee routine follows a "Do as I say, not as I do" attitude. At the beginning of sheltering in place, she adopted some "really bad" coffee habits as a result of video games and endless time at home. "My friend and I were quarantining together and we were playing video games and drinking coffee all day long," she said. "That was all we did. So we'd wake up, make ourselves coffee, play Fortnite for six hours. We'd take turns playing and would make each other coffee.
"It was a mess, I had five or six [coffees]. I've cut down around two to four, because I need to take care of myself. Also, you don't need that much caffeine when you're not doing anything. We don't need to be drinking that much coffee when you're playing Fortnite. There's no need. So I try to turn it down."
Her dream coffee-shop vibe
Emma wants to own a chain of coffee shops one day, and she knows exactly what the mood will be given all of her time editing videos in different cafes. Although that goal is still off in the distance, she has already narrowed down her ideal locations for the first storefront. "I've been deciding between San Francisco and LA," the Bay Area native who now lives in Los Angeles said. "It's funny because part of me is, 'Emma, San Francisco, duh. What do you mean?'
"At the same time, I want to be able to go into it every day. That is my dream. So I think it would have to be LA, then second spot would definitely be San Francisco, and then third, New York. . . . I'd also love to open one in Maine because I grew up going to Maine every summer and it's just such a special place to me. "
A Chamberlain Coffee shop is also destined to be cozy and relaxed, Emma told me, with plenty of couches and comfortable chairs. You'll be greeted by an oldies soundtrack from the '50s to the '80s. "Just anything that makes you feel calm I think is really important to me," she said. "I like really chill music. I hate when I go into a coffee shop and there's blaring rock music. . . . Lots of art around, really soft colors everywhere that don't hurt your eyes, but also pop — the aesthetic of the whole brand. A mix and match of everything, that's my dream. I think just perfect music, comfortable, great colors, great art, and a nice barista that I yelled at to be nice."