Sustainability, Design, Convenience Drive Terra Kaffe


As of Monday, Terra Kaffe estimates it’s saved almost 70.8 million plastic and aluminum coffee pods -- weighing 936,000 pounds -- from ending up in landfills since launching its high-end in-home coffee machines in 2019.

Instead of using pods, the two Terra Kaffee coffeemakers brew directly from whole beans with the push of just one button.

"As climates change and coffee crops risk extinction, making the most of your coffee is more important than ever,” says Delaney Doria, vice president of marketing, in a statement.

But sustainability is just part of Terra Kaffe’s appeal, Marketing Daily learned during a talk with George Lubitz, the brand’s director of communications and editor-in-chief of its online TK Mag.

Terra Kaffe offers two models: the $895 five-year-old TK-01, which has sold at least 35,000 units, and the $1,495 brand-new TK-02, which was pre-ordered by 10,000 people, began shipping recently, and now has another wait list of some 5,000 people. (If you think those prices are high, a competitor, the Jura 8, is currently selling for about $2,500.)



The difference between the two Terra Kaffe models?

In short, the TK-01 is an “all-in-one espresso machine,” with built-in instant access to single and double espressos, Americanos, lattes and cappuccinos. The TK-02 does all that and adds five other pre-loaded drinks.

The TK-01 launched online in 2019 and began appearing in retail stores a year later. Currently, it can be found in such outlets as Best Buy, Nordstrom, Saks, Bloomingdales,  CB2 and Parachute Home, but D2C still accounts for 90% of sales, Lubitz says.

Not long after the TK-01’s launch, COVID-19 hit, and Lubitz notes that the pandemic played a part in the brand’s growth -- and not just because people were staying home.

“We found that people were investing in their home,” Lubitz says, “and saying, ‘I live here now more than I ever have, let’s make it even nicer.”

He points out that the Terra Kaffe machines purposely look different from other coffee makers, describing them as “furniture for people’s homes… the design is a very big part of the Terra Kaffe brand.”

And, despite the hefty price points, those buyers aren’t particularly wealthy, with Lubitz pointing out that “we’ve found a lot of success with customers who make around $60,000 a year dual income,” Lubitz reveals.

A typical Terra Kaffe buyer, Lubitz says, is a “pod graduate”— “people who previously maybe had a Keurig or a Nespresso” who are tired both of the price of pods and of “stale coffee… the coffee that’s in those pods are grounds that can be stuck in there for up to two years at a time.”

These are people who are “looking to step up their coffee game without sacrificing convenience,” he explains.

Continuing communications with these customers is a key part of the Terra Kaffe brand, Lubitz relates, adding that 95% of the features and design of the new TK-02 “came from direct feedback and conversations that we had with TK-01 customers.”

And while Terra Kaffe’s customers are predominately in the 18-45 age range and buying online, which makes such communications easier, Lubitz points out that the brand also uses retail personnel to connect with the “older demographic [who] are buying in store.”

Another communications vehicle, for both Terra Kaffe users and potential customers is TK Mag, a digital magazine which Lubitz says serves the same purpose as other brands’ blogs in using keywords to generate SEO and SEM -- but not how “they write the most disgusting drivel you’ve ever read in your life because the only interest is getting keywords.”

Instead, TK Mag features what Lubitz calls “new content that is both considerate of what else Terra Kaffe believes in, what else does Terra Kaffe do, what other coffee things can we talk about that are not directly related to our products?” Recent examples include an article titled “3 Coffee Crafts to Reduce Waste” and a Valentine’s Day-related recipe call “Cupid’s Strawberry Latte.”

“We’re much more concerned with building a brand, and making products and content that are cool and interesting, versus just getting a keyword pulled up,” Lubitz declares.

Next story loading loading..