PSFK sits down with Michael Horn, founder and CEO of Craft Coffee to discuss why our culture is so java obsessed.
At PSFK we have grown to love Craft Coffee, a monthly subscription service which offers a selection of some of the most delicious expertly sourced and roasted coffees available. We sat down recently with Michael Horn, founder and CEO of Craft Coffee, to find out more about what makes his service so special:
What inspired this business idea?
Every coffee has a story. That’s the idea behind Craft Coffee. Each month, we bring our customers a curated selection of the most exceptional coffees available in North America. Each of the three coffees in our monthly box is from a different roaster, and each has its own story to tell.
My coffee story starts when I got to law school. I quickly discovered that there were no Starbucks in town. So I was forced to search for an alternative. I stumbled onto a local coffee roaster called Gimme! Coffee and I was immediately hooked. They showed me that there was more to my daily brew than I had realized. For 10 years I thought about how to tell that story until the right opportunity presented itself.
Craft Coffee pioneered a new k
ind of coffee-of-the-month subscription. It turns your morning coffee into a moment of discovery, curated by New York’s top coffee pros. There’s nothing else like it.
How do you source the coffee?
We’re the most selective coffee program in the world. Every single month, we receive dozens of samples from roasters around North America. Our expert panel blindly taste-tests 50+ coffees, all to find just 3 standouts that our customers will receive.
What criteria goes into making your selection?
Our expert panel intensively evaluates each coffee, a lot like how you evaluate wine – body, aroma, acidity, balance, structure. But a Craft Coffee selection is more than the sum of its parts.
First, it’s delicious. One interesting fact is that the best coffees taste great even as they get cold. Some Craft Coffee selections actually get better as they get colder. That’s always a great sign! We also find that Craft Coffee selections have a distinct and memorable character, like a juicy cherry flavor or an acidity that reminds us of apple cider. Even months later, I often remember our selections that way. Finally, when you finish a cup and ten minutes later you find yourself craving more, you know you just found a Craft Coffee!
Do you think that people are getting tired of Starbucks-style consistency?
For me, coffee is a daily ritual. It’s how I start my day. I personally would get bored with the same old thing. But everybody has their own coffee experience and that’s ok.
What we find is that good coffee is a little intimidating, just like good wine. And when people start to experience lots of different amazing coffees through our subscription and also get to learn about where they come from, it’s an eye opener. Our goal is to make your daily ritual just a little more special. Every time a customer tells us we’ve done that, we feel like we’re on the right track.
What is it about coffee that feeds our society’s obsession?
Coffee has a very romantic history, and even has a mythical origin story — a goatherd named Kaldi in Ethiopia accidentally discovered a magical plant whose fruit filled his goats with energy. For such a small thing, coffee has a way of inspiring us. It seems like there’s somehow always more to it. That’s the story we try to tell.
Be sure to check out more over at Craft Coffee–what a great gift idea for the holidays!