Roaster Profile ~ Hiline Coffee

Posted on Thu, Aug 07, 2014


As you read in my recipe for Dirty Chai this week, I am a dirty cheater.  Yep, I have been stepping out on my Keurig every. single. day.  Hiline coffee made me do it. 

Hiline is an artsy start up company in New York City.  A young group of entrepreneurs, Harvard Business School graduates and coffee lovers banded together to solve the age old issue that all Nespresso users face...where to buy the capsules. Nespresso capsules are quite elusive, they can be difficult to find and once you do find them they are intimidating to select. 

This very dilemma led Gene Kakaulin (Hiline CEO) to the idea of creating a Nespresso alternative.  Gene has a thriving career as busy Wall Street executive but, what his constituents might not know about him is he is also a certified barista with a true passion for specialty coffee. Gene gathered a few friends and investors and viola...Hiline was born.

Before we get to the heart of what makes Hiline great (amazing coffee) let's address the fun factor.  Hiline has playfully named their roasts after a few of their favorite hot spots in the big apple such as, Chelsea, Wall St, Liberty and Soho just to name a few. Anyone who knows me is quite aware of the fact that I adore NYC, these names captured my attention hook, line and sinker.  Not only that but the they actually make sense- Chelsea is light and fun, Liberty is strong and bold, Wall St is is simply brilliant. 

Now for the espresso.  This is my favorite part.  It is pure genius.


Sourcing great coffee can be unbelievable cumbersome.  traveling the world, meeting with farmers, cupping in labs, scientists doing whatever they do, etc, etc, etc.  

Hiline knew it did not need to be that complicated. Yes, they do employ an incredibly beyond qualified expert to source their coffees but, that is where the complexity ends.  You know what they do to choose the perfect roasts? Hold on to your hats for this one...they try their own homes...and have their friends do the same. End of story.  

This minimalist approach also applies to their advertising or shall we say, lack their of. They do not employ any overpaid spokespeople or rely on expensive retail outlets.  They simply count on word of mouth and it works. 

This no frills, lean business design leaves them able to offer us a great value on a premium alternative to Nespresso capsules. 

I am so excited to welcome them to our family of single serve coffee products.  I am even more excited to review all of the varieties of espresso over the next few weeks (it's a tought job , but somebody has got to do it!) and share my thoughts with you!

If you would like to read more about each roast click on the links below:


Central Park




Times Square

Wall Street

Are you a Nespresso user?  Have you tried Hiline yet and what did you think?

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Topics: Nespresso