Fabian Essigkrug

Urban Bartender

This project is about growing mint at bars to have stabil quality, reducing trash and giving the possibility to grow a diversity of different mint plants. The two main parts are going to be logistic problems and how to attract attention about doing  this.

So wouldn’t  it be nice to walk into a bar where the bartenders grow their own mint?


To harvest mint all over the year you have to grow them with artificial light and controllable temperature. So the best way might be to build a grow box like a hydroponic that could be located in the storage room. Pests are also a problem that should be solved because you wouldn’t breed birds or other natural enemies in your storage room.


Just telling people that you grow something isn´t as fascinating as if they can see it. So there should be some plants in the bar that are attracting attention. Maybe it dosen´t matter if your actually using them. It´s just a visual part of the bar that let the people ask you about.

Done already

I plant six different mint in my kitchen ( where i don´t have a window) and installed grow LED´s to get some experience in growing.

I´m a bartender at „Barroom München“. So I have some experience in working behind a bar and the opportunity to ask guests about their wishes and ideas. Also I know some other bartenders and already told them about my concept and got some feedback.

(update 15.06 ….)

Bars are ……

So it´s quite hard to make it fit for all of them, but it should.

Now “Why is it nice to see that a bar grows its one mint?”. That was a question I asked my costumers in the bar where i work the last weeks. The answer had been the most of the time that it shows up the crafting skills, the passion and the professionalism of the bar and its bartenders. Against such bars where they just opening pre bottled cocktails and serve them on ice.

Also it´s more tangible for them to talk about mint and its diversity instead of discus about cold drippers, dust, smoking guns, rotary evaporator and so on. Telling your costumers about the diversity of mint fascinate them because moste people think mint is mint, but it isn’t.

So growing and harvesting your mint by your one shows up that you are really like what your doing and that you are interested in improve yourself even in something “simple” and daily like mint.

Because the main interests or fascination is the handcrafted part the “pot” should look like the bartenders take care of their mint. That´s the reason why I developed three different concepts:

(must haves are light and water-tank pot)

#1 Showing the irrigation system

The water level can be seen to control if it´s enough.

#2 Mint diary

There is a place for a small book and a scissor at the pot to show up your “mint diary” where you right down thinks like: How much water you poured. How much you harvested. If there are any problems.

#3 The gauging mint-pot

There are different gauges integrated in the pot to measure the water-, PH- and temperature-level to give it a scientific look.




  1. Ein Loch im Boden des Topfes ist praktisch. Der sorgt dafür, dass das Wasser sich nicht staut und die Wurzeln nicht faulen. Daher würde ich sie auf jeden Fall nicht stapeln.
    Interesssant wäre es sicher die Unterschiede zwischen den Arten schon beim Ansehen zu erkennen. Wenn man die Pflanzen nah beieinander hat, lassen sich die Unterschiede schnell wahrnehmen, daher wäre vllt ein größerer Topf/Beet mit Beschriftungen cool.

  2. I´m missing a bit of a context, for example, where is the difference between 1, 3, 5, 10, 11,16 (i know one is in a bottle, and the other one isn’t but where is it installed ?…).

    Pots hanging from the ceiling are cool but is there a benefit?

    If I had to choose an idea, I would go for the stacked or wall (14,8) concept especially if you use different types of mint because you could directly compare them.

  3. I agree with Fynn. What are your concerns and thoughts about those different ideas? Are they merely of an aesthetic nature or do they imply functional ideas/innovations as well?

  4. I like your sketches. But have to agree with Ralph and Fynn. Differences in your sketches are difficult to understand and it’s not too clear for me where you put the main focus. If its about the aesthetic part I would go for 1,2 or 9 for example. If more important for you is the functional part, I would rather choose 8, 14 and 15. Maybe you can make the function and differences more clear through adding some short explanations to your sketches, like arrows, details etc.
    Maybe you can also think of dividing your topic into finding aesthetic constructions which tell the customer who visits the bar that here they are growing mint (sketch 1,2,9) and the functional part which is only meant for growing and producing (sketch 8,14,15).

  5. thank you all for your good feedback!….
    I´m going to work on that points to make it better understandable and rethink the “hanging from the ceiling” idea.
    I´m looking for a device for a bar that looks good and make it fit to different locations.
    The innovation of it is that you have the possibility to grow mint and show it to your costumers so that they gonna ask for it. So it´s more an aesthetic task to do.
    It helped me really out that you all remind me on giving more context and that there are huge differences between publishing sketches on a blog and showing them someone face to face.

    1. Giving each sketch a little more room could help them to be more legible. Also clustering them in groups and adding a few notes might be a good idea.
      Before you start again from scratch I suggest you try to work on what you have already done.
      Although starting with new sketches altogether might be a good way to elevate your concept to the next step after all.

      Looking forward to what you come up with eventually. I really dig it so far!

  6. I still think that defining the key objectives of the project might help you out. Here is another example for what such a key objective might be: Maybe it is all about adaption. More specifically maybe it is about designing a system that can help the plants (the mint) to adapt to the environment (the bar) and the bar to adapt to the plants. As consequence you might have to define what the needs and outputs of both are and how they can be synchronised. This also involves the design of a learning period. Each barkeeper (and the plants) would have to go through a phase of learning with all its ups and downs (this might take years!) to integrate the plant into an environment.
    So if adaptation (this is just one example!) was your key objective then the design of the pots/beds would reflect that. Maybe it would provide you with features to adjust / find out about the best lighting situation for a plant, the best soil. Maybe it offers multiple ways to connect the plants to the water system of the bar. Maybe the pots are many small modular entities each with unique conditions so one can experiment different conditions in parallel.
    Just to make sure: I am not saying that adaption should be your key objective, I am saying that defining the actual goal(s) of the project helps you (and others) to come up with specific designs. And it helps you to focus on a specific task and avoid the trap of trying to solve any and all problems.
    Does that make sense?

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