When Jonas Seyppel moved to the U.S. in 2006 to get a business degree from NYU Stern, he grew homesick for the quality coffees he enjoyed while growing up in Germany. He remembered traveling by train throughout Eastern Europe and stopping at small Turkish café houses and savoring their delicious coffee, teas and small treats. And that is where the inspiration for MÜHLHAUS COFFEE began.
Lofty goals achieved
Seyppel wanted to create a premium artisan coffee that needed no special equipment, was sustainable for the environment and could be made anytime, anywhere. Something that would be perfect for coffee lovers, travelers, sports and outdoor enthusiasts, as well as busy professionals.
The result is a line of organic ground coffee that comes in portable, pour-over filters that feature 60% compostable/100% renewable packaging. Just add hot water.
The coffee is roasted using a specialized fluid-air-bed technique that delivers deep rich European flavors. Seyppel purchases only coffee beans that are ethically sourced from Guatemala, Mexico and Ethiopia, and the company only uses true fair-trade farmers.
The coffee producers also dedicate part of their social premium and harvest inputs to help the company give back to the local communities with clean water, improved infrastructure and healthcare services.
Impressing the investors
Seyppel’s unique, on-the-go coffee idea earned him a spot on Season 4 of Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch in November 2018. The web-based show from Entrepreneur Magazine gives entrepreneurs 60 seconds to pitch a product or business idea to investors. If the investors like what they hear, the elevator doors open and the entrepreneur is invited into the boardroom. If not, the elevator is sent back down.
Seyppel was invited into the boardroom and his innovative pour-over coffee filters saw him walking away with $75K for 20% equity as well as unlimited PO financing.
Now, along with seeing more than 400% month-over-month growth on Amazon during its first year, the coffee is also being sold in hundreds of stores around the country and is expected to be in several large retail chains in late 2019.
Why packaging is important
With enough plastic coffee pods being produced to circle the earth 10 times, Seyppel knew there had to be a better way. So he created the single-serve biodegradable coffee filters and coffee sachets that are easy to take on the go and as earth-friendly as possible.
The company uses Biotre 100% renewable packaging for its coffee bags. The pouches are also resealable, making them perfect for travel, in the office or at home.
For his labels, Seyppel wanted a high-quality look that would stand out on an endcap, near the grab-and-go section or cashier. To add some pop to the brown paper pouches, he uses a 5.5″ x 4.5″ matte chrome label in both sheets and rolls from Avery WePrint. The company orders 10,000 labels per SKU each time.
The coffee line currently offers five roasts, with a CBD-infused coffee most recently being introduced in the U.S. The original roasts include Turkish Kávé, Wanderer Roast, Vienna Mélange and Kávé Decaf.
“I love the outdoors and adventure, so I thought it fitting to focus on creating four coffee flavors where inspiration comes from near and far – Jonas Seyppel.”
Seyppel’s recommendation to businesses just starting out?
“Refine, refine, refine. And don’t order too much in the beginning.”
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