Adventures of Organic Coffee Bean

Meet Alexander.

Growing up as an organic coffee bean in Colombia is not always the easiest task, especially when all of your friends are chemical addicts. The peer pressure to experiment with pesticides and other chemicals was not always easy to cope with.

All of his friends took chemicals and made it look so cool. They were bigger than he was and always warding off unwanted visitors. Alex didn’t look the part, nor did he realize, but he was just as strong as his peers.

He knew intuitively that everything would be alright. He had bigger dreams than rural Colombia. He aspired to travel the world, grinding his way to the top. Rest assured, he made that dream a reality.

Alexander now lives in my coffee mug. Good morning.

Organic coffee beans cappuccino from HiLine

Does Caffeine Really Stunt Your Growth?

Back to School. Little girl using laptop
Has anyone checked out the latest TV ad for the new Amazon Prime Phone? The commercial features two pre-adolescent hipsters sharing a French Press while showing off their new smart phones to two women we’re guessing are their babysitters. Putting aside our feelings on kids with cell phones…since that’s a battle we lost with our own kids…we thought that children weren’t supposed to drink coffee. Growing up, we were told repeatedly that coffee would stunt our growth. It’s one of those parental wisdoms passed down for generations; along with your face will freeze that way and don’t sit too close to the TV. It’s an old wives’ tale so ubiquitous it was even mentioned in the movie Clueless (remember how Cher wanted to be 5’10” like Cindy Crawford).

So for years we sat and watched as our parents enjoyed their delicious brew every morning at the breakfast table. We waited…pretty patiently we might add…for the day when we would be old enough to have some too. Of course at the time we were only assuming it was delicious based on the fact that mom and dad HAD to have a cup every morning, and we were often asked not to speak until they had savored that first steaming sip.

So we decided to do some digging, and it turns out that coffee has not been scientifically proven to have any correlation to height. In fact, we found a number of articles dedicated to refuting this theory.

Think of all those lattes we could have enjoyed!

One study we read about in the New York Times (so it must be accurate) tracked 81 adolescents for six years and found that those who had the highest daily caffeine intake had no difference in bone gain or bone density at the end of the study than those with the lowest.

That said…coffee does contain caffeine, which might reveal the root of our parent’s deception. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, adolescents should consume no more than 100 mg of caffeine a day, and there is an average of 95-200 mg in an 8oz cup of coffee.

One of the reasons behind this recommendation is that caffeine can interfere with sleep. It’s hard enough to get your little ones to bed without adding an extra jolt to the mix. Just imagine a six-year-old hopped up on espresso.

At this time, we feel it’s also important to note that most sodas, energy drinks, and even semi-sweet chocolate chips contain caffeine!

And while we’re not going to be serving the younger set anytime soon, we do feel slightly uneasy knowing we’ve spent the bulk of our adolescent and adult years believing such folklore. So now if you’ll excuse us…we need to call our moms.

The Overnight Coffee Challenge

Picture this predictable morning scenario. Brewing that perfect cup of espresso and sitting down to savor the first sip only to be pulled into a meeting. Upon returning to your desk an hour later you find said espresso room temperature, the cream beginning to separate in a cloud-like swirl. Not exactly the delicious jolt you were hoping for…

Office desk

Unless you’re making an iced Americano, there’s really not much worse than a lukewarm cup of espresso in the morning. That’s why when we heard about an ingenious PR stunt brewed by the folks over at Thermos, we just had to share the warmth.

To prove its insulation prowess, Genuine Thermos® teamed up with local coffee roasters to overnight boxes filled with steaming cups of Joe to various journalists on the east coast. Referred to as the “Overnight Coffee Challenge,” the stunt was performed to promote the brand’s vacuum-insulated 40-ounce Stainless King beverage holder and to substantiate claims that the tumbler can keep hot beverages hot and cold drinks cold for up to 24 hours.

Let’s take a moment to consider all the things that…taking the logistics into account, and the fact that FedEx wasn’t in on the stunt…could have gone askew.
1. There’s a shipping mishap and the coffee remains in a distribution center, not arriving at its specified destination in time.
2. The Thermos is improperly sealed, and the package recipient opens a box soaked in coffee.
3. Referred to as bottle shock by wine aficionados, there’s really no telling what spending more than twelve hours traveling via air will do to the coffee’s original flavor.

Kind of needless to say at this point, the package arrived with steaming coffee intact: Brewed at 205 degrees, entering the Thermos at 179 degrees, and allegedly arriving an impressive 150 degrees. Well within the optimal drinking temperature range. The flavor on the other hand, didn’t fair as well. According to writer Liz Clayton, the “dimension and body decreased, and any sense of delicacy was muddled. It had that airpot flavor, there was no doubt about it.”

Check out the details of this truly amazing caffeinated journey in this recent Atlantic piece.

And FYI…The Overnight Challenge will continue through the end of 2014, with Thermos partnering with coffee shops around the country to send steaming brew to winning fans. You can nominate your favorite coffee shops to be featured in the program on the Thermos Facebook page or tweet @Thermos #OvernightCoffee.

Ways to Brew Coffee at Home

We love our coffee and find few joys in life more exciting than trying a new brewing method.  Luckily for us, every year we get more and more brewing devices that allow us to experience the same coffees in new and unexpected ways.  From variety of ceramic cones to Cemex to aeropress and siphon, the consumer has never had so much choice!

Which coffee maker? Nespresso machine, Keurig, drip, french press, siphon or percolator?


We group coffee brewing methods into the following categories and describe its primary pros and cons:

1) espresso method: near-boiling water is forced by significant pressure to go through the coffee grounds.

  • pros: produces a small highly concentrated thick cup of coffee; extracts oils (in crema) for a very strong coffee shot; easy to mix with microfoam to create delicious milk drinks.
  • cons: requires specialized expensive equipment that demands significant training and long time to prepare; produces a small shot only; usually bitter intense taste without milk or sugar. (Nespresso and other single-serve machines solve some of the problems).

2) drip / pour over method: near-boiling water is poured over coffee grounds

  • pros: milder flavor with less bitterness than espresso; doesn’t require expensive equipment (countertop drip,  cone drippers, cemex are normally priced $20-$50), easy to make, using manual process gives a lot of control (caffeine concentration, extraction, cup size).
  • cons: requires more ground coffee; filters and equipment may leave after-taste, so need to be chosen and washed carefully.

3) french press: near-boiling water is poured on coarsely ground coffee beans to brew for several minutes before filtering the coffee with a plunger

  • pros: milder flavor; doesn’t require expensive equipment; allows control over brewing time and cup size.
  • cons: a bit more time consuming for making and cleaning up; coffee sludge gets in coffee cup.

4) percolator: stream from boiling water goes through the coffee grounds.

  • pros: hotter coffee; easy to make without expensive equipment; pleasant aroma during brewing
  • cons: over-extracted coffee, hotter than optimal brewing temperature. Siphons solve some of these problems, but they are very complex to use.

5) aeropress: hot water added to finely ground coffee to brew and then forced through filter by significant pressure.

  • pros: more concentrated coffee flavor (almost espresso), more portable equipment, doesn’t require expensive equipment.
  • cons: takes some training, a bit messy.

For more information about which particular device to pick, we recommend Tim Cartman’s article in Washington Post.


8 Great Coffee Facts


  1. Coffee is second most valuable traded commodity in the world, only second to oil. (Source:
  2. Coffee beans are actually the seeds of coffee plants. (Source: Wikipedia)
  3. President Teddy Roosevelt may have consumed a gallon of coffee a day. (Source: Buzzfeed)
  4. The original New York Stock Exchange began in the Tontine Coffee House, a real coffee shop on Wall Street. (Source: Huffington Post)
  5. All coffee in the world is grown in the “Bean Belt,” or the area between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. (Source: The Oatmeal)
  6. Coffee provides two-thirds of the caffeine in our diet, with soft drinks in second place and tea in third. (Source: TIME)
  7. Seattle has most coffee shops per capita in the country – 35 per 100,000. (Source: LiveScience)
  8. The iconic blue and white cardboard coffee cup so often seen on the streets of New York is called the Anthora, and was designed by a refugee from Nazi Europe named Leslie Buck. (Source: New York Times)

Studying Coffee in California

file1581263009952Coffee and academics usually mix pretty well, as seen in nearly every laptop-filled coffee shop and study group. Now, the University of California, Davis is taking things to the next level.

According to the Sacramento Bee, UC Davis recently announced the creation of a Coffee Center, which will bring together leaders and learning in the field of coffee.  This week, they’ll be hosting a research conference to talk about issues like  the genetics of coffee plants, the energy efficiency of roasting beans and the health impacts of coffee consumption.

Although the center is in its early days, the school expects to develop a major in coffee science in the future.  We only have one question: where do we sign up?

Spread the Word, Earn Free Coffee

A referral is one of the highest compliments you can give. 

dreamstime_xs_14050724When we first created HiLine Coffee, we were so excited about it that we had our friends over to  to share it with them, get their feedback and refine our product. We weren’t sure if those sleepless nights were caused by all the coffee, or just our excitement about the new business.

Now, we invite you to share HiLine Coffee with your friends. As a way of saying thanks for future referrals, we’ve introduced our Refer a Friend Program. Simply login to your account here, and look for the green “Refer a Friend” button to tell your friends about HiLine Coffee.  It’s easy to spread the word to your fellow coffee lovers through e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter.

When your friends place their first orders, they will save 10%. And, you’ll receive a $10.00 credit toward future HiLine Coffee orders for each friend you refer who makes a purchase!

We hope you’ll enjoy this perk of being our customer, and of course, the free coffee!

Survey Reveals Top Three Things Your Partner Wants on Valentine’s Day

dreamstime_s_22402761NEW YORK, Feb. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ – To start Valentine’s Day morning right, what your partner wants most won’t cost you. Nearly half of Americans (43%) said what they want most in the A.M. is either for you to initiate sex, make them coffee and breakfast, or confess your love, according to a new survey by HiLine Coffee Company, makers of Nespresso compatible coffee capsules. So set your alarm a bit earlier, brew an espresso and get to it!

You can even skip the flowers, chocolate and jewelry this year, because more than half of respondents (52%) hope most for a nice dinner out, a quiet night at home with their partner, or to simply have sex on Valentine’s Day. Less than a fifth of people combined (19%) wanted flowers, chocolate, jewelry, a sentimental card or letter, or a gift.

But don’t put your pen down just yet. Love letters may be the answer to more sex. When asked what would make you want to have sex more often with your partner in general, receiving romantic love letters won out over doing more work around the house, flowers, coffee in bed or even if your partner looked more like a celebrity. Not much of a writer? Then you may want to take advantage of the romantic holiday to get some action now.

Join the conversation on Facebook at /HiLineCoffee or Twitter @HiLineCoffee.

The survey was conducted by YouGov Plc., a full service market research agency. Total sample size was 1151 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 7th - 10th February 2014. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+).

About HiLine Coffee Company

Founded by two coffee-loving best friends, Gene Kakaulin, a certified barista, and Ted Snyder, a serial entrepreneur, HiLine Coffee was created with the goal of bringing new quality to the emerging Nespresso coffee market at an affordable price. With its small size and limited production, the company is taking a fundamentally different approach to capsule coffee production with an emphasis on quality from the farm to cup.

For more information about HiLine Coffee, visit

Espresso-infused Chili for Sunday’s Big Game

This Sunday, we’ll be watching the Seahawks and Broncos face off — right in NYC’s backyard! If you’re hosting a party, try our recipe for vegetarian espresso-infused chili. This classic mouthwatering dish — with a coffee twist — is sure to be a hit!



  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 8-12 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
  • 1 can of olives (black or green), drained and chopped
  • 1 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 28-oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 4 15-oz cans of beans, drained and rinsed (can include black beans, cannellini beans, chick peas and/or kidney beans in any combination)
  • 5 HiLine Coffee espresso shots
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Assorted toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped cilantro, chopped scallions


  1. Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until tender, about 5-6 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes.
  3. Add chopped bell and jalapeño peppers and sauté for another 2 minutes.
  4. Pour in cans of tomatoes (including liquid), olives and beans. Stir together. The mixture should be thick.
  5. Brew shots of HiLine Coffee and pour them into the chili.
  6. Season with chili powder, cumin, oregano and salt. Mix well.
  7. Turn the burner down to low heat. Simmer uncovered for 1.5-3 hours (the longer, the better flavor!), stirring occasionally to prevent the chili from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  8. Create a chili bar for your party by placing toppings in individual condiment bowls. Ladle chili into bowls and let guests add their own toppings.

Adapted from Epicurious and some testing in our own kitchen!