Archive for the ‘Terra Keramik’ Category

Finals Results – MRBC 2009

January 23, 2009

This is the 2nd annual Mountain Regional Barista Championship, and the 2nd year that the amazing Mike Strumpf of Allegro Coffee Company (the event host) has organized another great opportunity for baristi from the Rocky Mountain region to get together and demonstrate their passion for coffee and raise the level of awareness and quality of what’s in the cup. Mike organized fantastic PR coverage of the event, including several articles in the local news media and a segment on the NBC Channel 9 local 5 pm news. Check it out on Mike’s blog.

The Open Round was held on Saturday and the following 6 baristi qualified for Sunday’s Finals:

Jesse Bladyka of Coal Creek Coffee, Laramie, WY
Greg Lefcourt of Ozo Coffee Co, Boulder, CO
Robin Crosby of Coal Creek Coffee, Laramie, WY
Philip Search of Sole Coffee Roasters, Boulder, CO
Emily Kryska of Caffee Sole, Boulder, CO
Thai Patton of The Cup, Boulder, CO

Results of Sunday’s Final Round:

3rd place- Philip Search
2nd place- Jesse Bladyka
1st place- Greg Lefcourt!

Above results via Mike Strumpf’s blog and his post on Congratulations to Greg Lefcourt and all the participants!!! By winning this regional championship, Greg automatically qualified for the semi-finals of the 2009 United States Barista Championship to be held in Portland on March 5-8.


2009 Mountain Regional Barista Championship

January 12, 2009

Next weekend, Allegro Coffee Company (wholly-owned subsidiary of Whole Foods Market) will host the 2nd annual 2009 Mountain Regional Barista Competition in Denver (Thornton), Colorado. Professional baristi from Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho will be competing from January 16-18, 2009 for the right to participate in the United States Barista Championship in March 2009. Last year’s winner, Jon Lewis, has assumed a key role with the Cup of Excellence program and will not be participating, which should open up the field.

Mike Strumpf of Allegro Coffee Company (which is again acting as host) commissioned us to create sets of custom cobalt blue cappuccino cups for the top three finishers (hand inscribed by the artisan with the event and place of finish) and custom black cappuccino cups for each competitor. Last year, Allegro awarded red espresso cups to the top 3 finishers and black espresso cups to all participants, so baristi who competed last year and are coming back this year will be able to collect both espresso and cappuccino cups.

The winner will receive 6 Terra Keramik cobalt blue cappuccino cups plus a TORR espresso tamper handcrafted by Cafe Kultur in Germany from FSC-certified Palisander wood with a stainless steel base.

Good luck to all the participants! We will post the final results after the competition.

Thank you Mike and Allegro Coffee for selecting Terra Keramik to create these prizes for your regional barista championship.





Rebranding – Part 1

December 31, 2008

Building Vertical Communities

Single Artisan, Product Focused Website

In November 2006, we launched the online marketplace to introduce a single artisan, Terra Keramik of Switzerland, to the North American marketplace. Because we represented exclusively Terra Keramik, we created the initial website under the Terra Keramik brand with a focus on its 12 tableware products. The initial online marketplace was organized around beverageware, dinnerware, and a section called studio.

Business Challenges

We faced several business challenges with that product centric approach. For example, to launch the Terra Keramik coffee beverageware in North America, we had to build a premium brand from ground zero that appealed to the professional and home barista markets. We wanted to differentiate ourselves from the numerous online stores that sell $5 white and brown, machine-made, porcelain coffee cups displayed on “catalog pages” with little information about the product and no other subject relevant content or advice.

Rich, Relevant and Interactive Content

We wanted to provide useful information about the product, show how the products are used by professionals and home consumers, and provide a rich, interactive browsing and buying experience with relevant information about the entire coffee trade (growers, roasters, baristi, cafes, consumers). In effect, we wanted to build vertical online communities without duplicating the content and features already offered by successful online coffee communities such as coffeegeek, home-barista, coffesnobs, baristaexchange, and coffeed. We wanted to provide some of the basic and necessary information and tools that these much larger communities may lack, may be hard to find, or present them in a more user-friendly format.

Multiple Artisans, Vertical Communities

In late 2007, about a year after launching the Terra Keramik tableware, we introduced a second Swiss artisan, Glasi Hergiswil and its lead-free, mouthblown crystal glass products, to the North American market. This was followed by the launch of Café Kultur of Germany and its handcrafted espresso accessories. We now faced a third business challenge, how to convert from our online marketplace representing a single artisan with few products, to multiple artisans with potentially hundreds of products, each with its own distinctive brand and product lines. It reinforced our desire to build vertical communities and also compelled us to start thinking about creating an independent brand that would represent and support multiple artisans.

Rebranding – Part 1

In the summer of 2008 we began to organize our online marketplace around four vertical communities:

  • Coffee & Tea
  • Wine & Beer
  • Dining
  • Home Décor
  • The following screen shots show the online marketplace as of December 2008, organized around the above vertical communities.

    Home Page

    Home Page with neutral gray, top navigation bar showing the 4 communities and the studio (about us, etc.) tab.

    Coffee & Tea

    Coffee & Tea Community, highlighted in green on the top navigation bar. Pages with a 3-column CSS layout.

    Wine & Beer

    Wine & Beer Community, highlighted in red on the top navigation bar. Pages with a 3-column CSS layout.


    Dining Community, highlighted in orange on the top navigation bar. Pages with a 3-column CSS layout.

    Home Décor

    Home Décor Community, highlighted in light blue on the top navigation bar. Pages with a 3-column CSS layout.


    Studio tab, highlighted in cobalt blue on the top navigation bar. Pages with a 3-column CSS layout.

    My Account

    My Account section, accessible with the “Account” button above the top navigation bar. Pages with a 2-column CSS layout.


    Gift and Wedding Registry section, accessible with the “Registry” button above the top navigation bar. Pages with a 3-column CSS layout.

    Stay tuned for details on building out the vertical communities