Terra Kaffe closes funding for single-serve, podless espresso machine

1 Dec 2020

Superautomatic espresso maker Terra Kaffee closed a $4 million funding round with the New York-based venture capital fund The Seed Lab, bringing its total funding to just shy of $5 million since its debut in 2019.

This new espresso machine blends the convenience of a Keurig machine with the quality of hand-drawn espresso but does so with an eye toward the environment. Unlike machines that use pods to produce coffee, the system opts to forego additional plastic by implementing a bean reservoir that grinds and brews the coffee with the push of a button.

Terra Kaffe closes funding for single-serve, podless espresso machine
Courtesy of Terra Kaffee

Consumers are increasingly looking to support companies that are environmentally conscious. In 2019, 71% of consumers considered the environment at least occasionally when making a purchase, according to global management and consulting firm Kearney, however, that number jumped to 83% by April this year as the pandemic threw the health of the environment into stark relief.

At the same time that the environment has become a larger concern for consumers, coffee consumption is on the rise. With people continuing to limit their travels away from the home, the number of cups of coffee consumed in-house continues to climb.

According to the National Coffee Association, in the U.S., 79% of Americans prepare coffee at home on a daily basis. While there are many options to make coffee, single-serve remains a sought-after solution for a majority of coffee drinkers. Recent studies have shown that almost half of Americans rely on single-serve coffee brewing machines for their cup of joe. Demand for single-serve options rose 50% since 2018 with Keurig and Nespresso systems commanding the lion’s share of the market.

However attractive these easy-to-use systems may be, they have also come under fire for their contribution to plastic waste. In a study by U.K. coffee brand Coffee Hit, of the 39,000 capsules produced worldwide every minute, 29,000 of them end up in landfills.

With such unflattering statistics attached to these pod-using systems, Terra Kaffee hopes to offer an alternative. On its profile page on The Seed Lab website, the brand touts the fact that is has saved nearly 750,000 capsules from use since its inception.

And it’s not just a long black that this machine is capable of making. Much like a fully equipped espresso machine, the Terra Kaffee offers eight different styles of coffee at the push of a button on its touch screen.

As a new brand on the market, there is plenty of testing that still needs to be done before it can be determined if a system that grinds beans will become a rival of the seemingly ubiquitous pod machines. However, with $4 million in fresh funding percolating in its coffers, Terra Kaffee is well equipped to begin the expansion of its direct-to-consumer brand.

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