Part 4: How It's Still A Lot of Hard Work at Caphin

One day, I got to the kitchen just after the team had already finished a batch of Caphin Artisan. The radio was blaring some south side dance from Houston's own S.U.C. (Screwed Up Click). The fans were turned on high. And sprawled on the immaculate floors was half the team--exhausted from making Artisan.

We are at it daily for you. Washing hundreds of bottles. Calling all our amazing retail accounts. Boiling gallons of hot water. Posting pics on social media. Roasting hundreds of pounds of coffee. Teleconferencing at all hours of the day. Sacrificing weekends to sample at Revival Market, Welfresh, Hong Kong Supermarket, Roost, etc.

It's still a lot of hard work by a bunch of people who care about putting out a good product. 

We get energy to do that work, when our retailers call asking for more product. We get a high when you stop us in the street to tell us you like wheat we're doing. But right now, we'd love it if you'd stroke our ego by sharing this post or sending us a picture of you and a bottle of Caphin Artisan or Caphin Signature.


Part 3: How We Got Mad and Created Caphin Artisan

During the months we were working with all the trades to make Caphin Signature, our team got frustrated. Here we were, a coffee company with thousands of pounds of coffee beans and no f***ing coffee for our family or friends.

So, we thought, we'll just make some coffee ourselves--screw the trades. We'll make it here in Houston. How hard can it be? 

Turns out, it's pretty hard. Brewing one 4 ounce pour of coffee is pretty easy when you have 10 minutes to wait while eating pho. Making even just ten 16-ounce bottles seems like a nightmare in comparison.

So, we worked day and night for weeks to create a way to brew coffee so that it brings out the chocolate flavor you get on the first sip of Caphin and the dark wood and moss flavors you get at the end. When we finally tasted that first good batch, we thought, "Oh my god, this is good." Nirvana

The problem? We use a beautiful boston round bottles with a pressure cap. We use a lot of good coffee and condensed milk. We hand-roast small batches of coffee. It's all expensive. We were nervous about the price, but figured what the heck... It's Houston. People will pay for handmade products crafted with quality, love. Fortunately, we were right.

Show some more love and tell us in the comments where you pick up your bottle of Caphin Artisan and where else you think we should sell these bottles of Nirvana.

Photo from the last test batch of Caphin Artisan before commercial production. Beans were hand roasted on a wok.

Photo from the last test batch of Caphin Artisan before commercial production. Beans were hand roasted on a wok.

Part 2: How we Almost Screwed up Caphin Signature

Getting a tasty product out to market takes a lot longer than getting just any old product out. We thought we could get the Caphin in your hands in just 12 weeks. It took us 36 weeks.

We knew from the beginning that we wanted Caphin Signature, a Vietnamese Iced Coffee with good strong flavors that you could pick up and go. All the experts told us it would take just a few weeks for our first production run. What the product consultants, food scientists, co-packers, and suppliers didn't tell us was that a product made that fast would taste like crap. So it took us a lot longer to make Signature because we wanted it to taste good.

It took us weeks to source the beans because we didn't want to use the low grade beans the suppliers were pushing onto us that they used in their other coffee products.

It took us weeks to try out different flavors because we flew out to California to work directly with the food scientist to get the right ratio of condensed milk to water to coffee.

It took us weeks to find a co-packer we could work with--our production method means that there are only 2 factories in the United States that can produce Caphin Signature.

It took us weeks to get FDA approval for the Caphin Signature production method.

But it's in your hands now. Know that Caphin Signature is a labor of love from your friends at Caphin. Go buy a case or two of Signature at any of our locations And tell us in the comments section, which lunch spot or breakfast spot we should talk to about stocking Caphin Signature.

Caphin SIgnature

Caphin SIgnature

Part 1: How Caphin was Born Overnight

A lot of businesses take hours explain. It takes even more time to get people excited about the business. Caphin... not so much. 

"I want to put ca phe sua da in a bottle." I said to a few people. Boom... Their eyes lit up.

It spread fast. From idea to company formation took just a few weeks. The team that you see in the Instagram and Facebook photos formed fast. And, here's the thing... most of us didn't know each other before we started the company.

We thought we'd have to explain what ca phe sua da (Vietnamese Iced Coffee) was. But a lot of people in Houston (including the non-Vietnamese) already know. It says something about Houston's diversity that we don't have to explain what Vietnamese Iced Coffee is very often.

Help us grow this wildfire of an idea by writing in comments section when you were first introduce to Vietnamese Iced Coffee.


Traditional method of brewing Cafe Sua Da

Traditional method of brewing Cafe Sua Da