New Rituals in Specialty Coffee
Hooked Coffee: Specialty Coffees in a Pour Over Pouch
What does it take to convince someone to become interested in specialty coffee these days? And what does it take to get them to actually try them?
The simple answer here might be to get a sample in someone’s hand. At a coffee festival, a local pop-up, or a supermarket. After all, it’s a long-standing strategy used by consumer brands. Not just the ones in coffee.
But whether someone will actually brew the coffees themselves may be an entirely different question. In fact, getting someone to become interested in specialty coffee may very well hinge on this question.
What if the customer doesn’t have the time? Or the equipment to fully enjoy these coffees? What then?
The question also happens to be at the heart of why Natalie Ma founded Hooked Coffee. A specialty coffee company based in San Francisco that’s on a mission to help people access some of the best coffees around via the single-serve pour over pouch. With no need for grinders, scales, or other specialized equipment typically used by aficionados.
Some purists may turn up their noses at the idea. And that’s fine.
The point here is that the product offers a solution for other segments in the market. That are now ready to try what the industry has to offer.
So how exactly did Hooked come about? And why?
Hooked Coffee’s Single-Serve Pour Over Pouch
Like many startup entrepreneurs, Natalie wanted to solve a problem she faced in her own life. As a busy finance professional working in asset management, she relied on coffee to get through early mornings and long days. But she found the options – at the office and at nearby coffee shops – to be frustrating.
While travelling in Hong Kong, she discovered a solution that fueled her determination to start Hooked Coffee: The single-serve pour over pouch that hooks over a mug. And brews coffee in just 90 seconds with hot water.
As Natalie explains, “The first thing you hear from normal coffee drinkers is ‘I’m not a coffee enthusiast.’ But with this solution, they can easily access premium coffee, rather than buying from coffee shops or going by their old ways which is instant coffee or K-cups.”
Indeed, it’s a compelling way to introduce more people to the world of specialty coffee. And to provide that craft coffee experience, the company sources the coffees from respected brands like Onyx Coffee Lab, Equator Coffees, Andytown Coffee Roasters, and Partners.
And how did she convince these roasters to work with a starting company like Hooked?
“They really liked what we were doing – making premium coffee accessible. Meeting people where they are and bringing them along the journey,” she says.
Specialty Coffee Selections from Hooked Coffee
Natalie’s focus and determination to meet people where they are is also crucial to understanding why Hooked exists. It’s certainly helped her identify partners that align with the company’s values. But more importantly, this ethos corresponds to the demands of the market. And what her customers want.
She explains, “Consumers are getting smarter. They know there’s another world out there that they haven’t quite explored. Whether it’s the sustainability aspect, or the quality of coffees. But they’re not going to put the effort in. So being able to access these coffees so easily is going to be a win for them.”
It’s a win for Hooked as well. In fact, the same rationale drives how she markets the company to her audience: Appearing on camera and speaking directly to them via social media. About herself, her day-to-day as an entrepreneur, and why they should give single-serve pour over coffees a try.
“Being a consumer myself, I get bored when brands post things all the time. You don’t care. But when you provide value to a customer, talking about entrepreneurship, about what we do, it’s more fun for the customer. It drives loyalty to a brand long-term,” she says.
Natalie admits that her superpower is her connection to people. Her ability to be personable and authentic.
And like other startup entrepreneurs who lean on their strengths, she’s planning to do what she does best: Showing up IRL. Doing more pop-ups. Meeting more people wherever they are. And convincing them to try her products.
Sometimes, the best sales pitch is the person making the pitch. Luckily for us, the product will also speak for itself.
Geometry Blend – Hooked Coffee’s Collaboration with Onyx Coffee Lab
Today we’re pleased to offer Geometry Blend. Hooked Coffee’s collaboration with Onyx Coffee Lab. It’s typically available through a Hooked subscription only. But rejoice – we're bringing it to you as a standalone product exclusively on our marketplace.
This light-roasted blend has notes of stone fruit, early grey, berries and honeysuckle. Which together produce a subtle sweetness with a stern edge. Leaving a stubborn impression.
We liken it to an avant-garde, floral brigade. Etched into a marble interface. Delicate yet stoic. Weighty and memorable.
Origins: Colombia, Ethiopia
Brews in 90 seconds with hot water. Contains 12 pour over pouches.
Hooked Coffee ships within 3 business days.
Shipping: $5 Flat Rate
Office Subscription Service (NYC)
Are you looking to improve your office coffee game? Then consider our specialty coffee subscription service for office settings in NYC.
Good stuff starts with good coffee. And we’re on a mission to deliver the premium stuff to companies throughout New York.
Curated by us.
Sourced from the best local roasters.
And tailored to what your team needs.
If you’d like to learn more, reply back to this email to get in touch.
Coffee Event (NYC)
If you’re in the East Village next Saturday (Oct 7), join us for a coffee hangout at Hard To Explain (224 E. 10th Street) from 8am to noon.
Oval Coffee Roasters will serve coffees from its fall single-origin collection, spotlighting the flavors of Asia and the Pacific.
We’ll also be showcasing coffee machines from Ratio. With Jake Escher, Director of Marketing at Ratio, in attendance.
The event unveils our exciting partnerships with both companies for our office subscription service.
I’ll be on hand to answer all of your burning questions.
See you there!
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