There's an entire internet that the average person never stumbles upon. But one Russian coffee roaster has begun to advertise their coffee on the darknet, a hub of websites that aren't accessible through conventional internet browsers, to advertise its wares. The Chernyi Cooperative, a Moscow-based coffee shop and roastery, dubbed its foray into selling darknet coffee as "the first legal product advertisement" to appear on a part of the internet that most folks don't dare to visit. But if you're a bit more web-savvy than most, fire up your Tor browser and get ready to spend a few bitcoin to get your hands on some black-market coffee beans.
To help itself stand out in a crowded market, the Chernyi Cooperative capitalized on Russian perceptions of coffee—which tend to suggest that a daily cup of the stuff can be a health hazard—to help hawk its coffee. Eschewing conventional marketing channels, the company opted to create its own darknet coffee homepage, cherniyx23pmfane.onion, to advertise two of its roasts. The link to the Chernyi Cooperative's darknet coffee site first spread through flyers at a trendy Moscow nightclub, but soon caught the attention of coffee geeks across the internet once word broke that the shop had taken this unique marketing twist.
The aesthetic of Chernyi Cooperative's darknet site is on point with general perceptions of the deep web—it's dark, scary, mysterious, and illicit. The page itself opens with the video above before asking users to click through to check out the company's wares. Next are two options—the collective's Ecuadorian blend and a Colombian espresso roast, which have the "sweet smell of caramel, first sour citrus notes, and then a long sweet finish" and "tart" respectively.
If you want to get your hands on some darknet coffee, be prepared to take a few additional steps that go well beyond ordering a latte on the Starbucks app. First, you'll need to install a Tor browser, which will allow you to go to the Chernyi Collective site. Next, you'll need to get your bitcoins ready, as the site does not take credit cards. Basically, if you can't make it through an episode of Mr. Robot without getting lost, this coffee might not be for you. But if you're well-versed in internetting, then getting your hands on some black market coffee might just be the best, most legal thing you can buy on the darker recesses of the web.