About HiLine Coffee - HiLine Coffee Company
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Our Story

How it all began

Our Mission

We’re Gene and Ted, the founders of HiLine Coffee Company. We created HiLine because we like high quality specialty coffee and don’t like overpaying for it. HiLine’s mission is to offer delicious freshly roasted coffee in a convenient single-serve format for less. Each of our blends contains what we think is some of the finest coffee on earth, named after our favorite spots in our hometown New York.

How Can We Offer Such Great Value?

We are a small, nimble company. Our size allows us to partner with specialty roasters that have spare capacity and specialize in high altitude, small lot coffees from Latin America and Africa. By selling directly to consumers, HiLine doesn’t have to support expensive stores or cafes and invest millions in award winning advertisements. Instead we sell our products online and market through word of mouth. As a leaner company we can invest more in our products, allowing us to offer delicious coffee and great value.

How It All Began

One cold New York morning, Gene realized to his wife’s horror that they were out of Nespresso pods. Without a Nespresso boutique nearby and unwilling to leave his wife uncaffeinated, Gene cut the lid off a used Nespresso pod, filled it with freshly ground premium coffee beans from his favorite roaster, and sealed it with aluminum foil. The result was extraordinary: beautiful aromatic shot, more delicious than the original. Later that day, Gene told his best friend Ted about the experience. Ted, a serial entrepreneur with an eye for great business ideas, had an epiphany. Soon HiLine was born and the rest was…well, we’ll let you taste for yourself.

Team Commitment

We are a small business made in New York and committed to delivering delicious coffee and great value to our customers and giving back to our community. Read more about how HiLine Coffee is Giving Back.


Gene Kakaulin

Gene enjoys making great coffee and experimenting with coffee makers. A certified barista, he would have been happy running a specialty café. Instead he spent most of his career on Wall Street, most recently investing in wind and solar energy companies. It took him a decade to realize that coffee is his favorite form of sustainable energy.

Ted Snyder

Ted is a born entrepreneur with a passion for great value and customer service. Always a bundle of natural energy, he is a decaf drinker. He's never satisfied with second best and insists that we deliver the same quality and service to our customers that he demands as a customer himself.

Tom Pittlik

Tom is an enthusiastic member of the Australian coffee diaspora, frequenting cafes around his home in the East Village. A computing enthusiast, Tom has built a social network for gamers with over 300,000 members.

Emily Laats
VP eCommerce

Emily is passionate about all things eCommerce and espresso. When she's not in the office, you can find her running around Gramercy Park. Emily's favorite coffee shops include Stumptown, Blue Bottle and Brooklyn Roasting Company.

Julia Korosteleva
VP Marketing

That hot, freshly brewed coffee—Julia just can’t live without. Not only does she love coffee but she’s also a guru on how to get it into your hands: she figures out what people want and then gets HiLine to develop and market that product. Joe’s is Julia’s favorite café, since she drank thousands of their espressos while studying at Columbia.

Andrew Hetzel

Andrew is a restless traveler, spending 200+ days on the road each year working with coffee growers and roasters on six continents. Life long coffee aficionado, Andrew is a Coffee Quality Institute instructor, juror at Cup of Excellence competitions and board member of the Specialty Coffee Association of America.