Terra Kaffe
Terra Kaffe is the elegant, automatic espresso machine. It can brew a full range of espresso drinks with all features from milk, bean grind, temperature, to water firmness all customizable for the user.
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Under The Hood: Cate from Terra Kaffe

Cate is the chief experience office at Terra Kaffe.

 Welcome Cate! How has Terra Kaffe grown since day 1?

I was employee number 2 in early 2020, and we now have over 30 full-time employees - and we’re hiring! I began my time at TK as the Customer Experience and Ops Manager (which meant a little bit of everything), and I’m now the Chief Experience Officer. When I started, we sold our one hero product, the TK-01. We’ve now grown our offerings to include rigorously selected coffee, care & maintenance products, branded merchandise, and we’re getting ready to begin shipping our second generation TK-02! The TK-02 is an IoT-connected smart espresso and drip coffee machine that is years beyond anything else available on the market. TK-02 pre-orders actually sold out this June (we now have a waitlist), and the first installment of units is set to ship between September and December 2023. 

TK-02 waitist page


How have you organized your team?


The CX team is the biggest team within the company, and the way we approach CX at Terra Kaffe is significantly different than anywhere else. My team and I analyze the customer journey end-to-end, meaning we start in partnership with the marketing and creative teams to build ads and content consumed by prospective customers, assist customers in the deliberation process akin to a traditional sales team, support them as TK customers, and work toward capturing our highly engaged community and harnessing that enthusiasm to build our referral network and boost retention and LTV. We also support hybrid roles in our CX department - our team members work with engineering, source and onboard new coffee roasters, and produce our instructional video content, among other things. Our CX team members have two critical roles - the first is to support the customer in their entire journey with TK, and the second is to amplify the customer voice within the organization. No decision is made at TK without first considering how it will impact our community. 


Talk me through the deliberation process and converting customers.


We have a strong referral network - 15% of our customers are through referrals, so word of mouth is a huge boon for us. To acquire new customers, we lean into the aesthetics of the machines themselves, and our creative team produces absolute magic. As a design-first company, we leverage Instagram ads, posts, and other visual platforms to begin the customer acquisition process. This piques customers’ curiosity, and they then want to understand what the machine actually does, so they head to our website. Once customers are on our website, we use Kustomer to segment them into two groups - prospective and current customers. If they sign up for emails, we then use Klaviyo to segment and funnel them into different email flows. 

Many of our customers are Nespresso or Keurig owners, and some are coming from our legacy competitors. The average age of our competitors is over 100 years old, so our competitors haven’t utilized traditional DTC channels and aren’t as nimble in responding to customer desires.


15% is a strong referral number. How did you build that program?

Most people aren’t googling “super auto espresso machine” - it’s such a niche term -  so word of mouth and experiencing the product are super important for prospective customers. We have a very straightforward referral system powered by Referral Candy.  If you refer a friend, they get $100 off their purchase, and you get $50 to spend on our website. 



Are you looking into SEO at all to build brand awareness?

Absolutely. It’s an ongoing experiment and analyzing the cost of bidding terms vs. results. We bid against the names of some of our competitors as well as more specific teams like “coffee maker,” “coffee pot,” or “commercial coffee machine.” Some of our most successful terms have been the result of experimentation - for example, Terra Kaffe was showing up when people googled Tesla, because the AMEX Departures Magazine called us “The Tesla of espresso machines.” We took that and ran with it from an SEO perspective.

Tell us about your subscription program.


We launched our ”Roaster Roster” three years ago so our community could access and learn about high-quality coffee beans to pair with the machine. We’re using Prive to power our subscription program because of the user experience as well as the backend controls. Prive makes it simple for customers to sign up for a subscription with full customization - you may be on vacation and want to pause the coffee bean subscription, and Prive makes it easy to do that.

Coffee Subscription


Terra Kaffe is also available at Saks, MoMa, Goop, and Nordstrom. How do you manage the CX on a 3rd party site?


We’re extremely selective about the retailers we partner with, honing in on how potential partners build our brand equity as well as the journey of a prospective customer with that partner. We need to understand their CX process in depth to make sure it aligns with ours. We’re asking questions like:

·   What's your return policy? What about exceptions?

·   What's your replacement and repair policy?

·   If a customer is having an issue with their machine, are you comfortable handing them off directly to us? If so, what does that process look like?

We also do an audit on the company and analyze the other brands they’re selling. Are the brands they’re selling aligned with ours? Does being on this platform boost our brand equity? Is being on this platform going to help us reach a new segment of the market, open up a new section of the total addressable market? Our finance and expansion team considers margins, pricing, etc. 


Terra Kaffe has an amazing magazine and blog on its site. Can you tell me a bit more about that?


Our customer base is way more engaged than we ever expected.  Customers were interested in the brand, not just coffee or the machine, from the international origins to the sustainability component. We started in Berlin and are now headquartered in Brooklyn, so customers are naturally curious about our story. The first version of our blog wasn’t updated frequently and was limited to recipes that included coffee, and our community wanted more - they really wanted a glimpse into the Terra Kafe ecosystem. Being a bit more broad with content means we have articles about the science of coffee, conversations with like-minded brands, and recipes that go much further than what we originally published. And the cool part is that articles are authored by team members across departments at Terra Kaffe! 

What’s your tech stack?

Shopify - ECommerce

YotPo – Reviews

Klaviyo – Email Flows and SMS

Prive - Subscription

Referral Candy  - Referrals

Black Crow AI - Analytics

Kustomer - Support

Aftero - iOt