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Friends and Coffee? These Two are Creating a Whole New Flavor Experience

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Childhood friends Chae and YJ have known each other for 15 years. Contrary to the opinion that friends shouldn’t run a business together, this pair are having fun and fully dedicated to running their Korean instant coffee company, KimlyParc. When they officially launched in May 2023, their focus was developing the perfect Korean latte recipe with healthier ingredients. It was vital that they stayed true to the quintessential Korean coffee flavor, left customers wanting more, and challenged the idea that instant coffee lacked flavor.

Tell us about how KimlyParc came about? 

The choice of 3-in-1 instant coffee stems from it being a widely recognized and loved Korean coffee flavor. The name KimlyParc is inspired by a Korean saying referring to “everyone” as “김이박” (Kim, Lee, Park – most common last names), and we hoped it would become a brand enjoyed by all. Additionally, our mascot, the pony, was brought to life by a designer based in Barcelona whom I (Chae) discovered and connected with through Instagram. We selected the pony because it exudes an energetic and positive vibe, and its undeniable cuteness never fails to bring a smile. Interestingly, YJ and I are horses in the Chinese zodiac.

You’ve been working on the flavor profile. What’s that process like?

We prioritize our customers’ feedback and strive to maintain open communication. [We] received customer feedback through emails and DMs expressing a desire for a slightly stronger coffee nuance. While it may seem simple to add more coffee, achieving the right balance is intricate – even a 0.1-gram difference can significantly impact the flavor. We worked diligently to preserve the creamy texture while enhancing the coffee flavor and achieving the perfect dose of sweetness. This updated formula has been available since January.

Instant coffee has a bit of a dated vibe.  How are you showing consumers they can have a tasty but convenient new coffee experience?

Many people, myself included, haven’t had positive experiences with conventional instant coffee. There seems to be a barrier for startups entering the instant coffee category, primarily dominated by conglomerates. The emphasis on mass production often prioritizes affordability over quality, leading to cheaper, low-quality coffee beans. At KimlyParc, we aim to challenge this status quo by embracing craftsmanship in our production process. From carefully selecting ingredients to forming partnerships with local roasteries, every decision we make focuses on creating a superior product. Our upcoming product launch, Craft Espresso Powder, is made from specialty-grade beans. Each espresso shot is hand-extracted and freeze-dried.

How is KP different from other 3-in-1 Korean instant lattes?

The distinction lies in both flavor and form. Korean instant coffee commonly comes in individual packets, whereas American instant coffee is found in jars. Additionally, 3-in-1 Korean instant coffee is known for its distinctive, often very sweet flavor, leading many to consume it as a shot for a “sugar high.” At KimlyParc, we have adjusted our recipe from the traditional, very sweet profile to a more balanced and not-too-sweet flavor, offering a unique take on the classic 3-in-1 coffee experience.

Your company is big on sustainability. Why take those extra steps?

We feel a responsibility to Mother Nature, acknowledging that our well-being is interconnected with the health of the Earth. It’s our fate to minimize harm and foster a flourishing environment. Sustainability should become a habit, reflected in every decision we make. In shaping our packaging, we consistently ask ourselves how we can simplify and use fewer materials, and if we must use unsustainable materials, is it the only option? We explored paper and biodegradable materials, however, our research revealed that these materials are susceptible to oxidation, posing a risk of product contamination. Some brands use paper packets with a plastic coating inside, but our tests showed this is unsafe. Composite material emerged as our inevitable choice for ensuring food safety. Navigating sustainability is challenging and requires constant learning. It’s a responsibility we embrace happily.

I loved your blog post about “What is the most Korean.” With an increased interest in Korean culture, what does “most Korean” mean to you, and how are you infusing this ideology into your brand?

We are excited about incorporating distinctive flavors and ingredients such as Misugaru (grain latte-like) and Jeju Matcha into our product line. These less-known elements will add a unique touch to our offerings, bringing a taste of Korea to our customers. Having lived in the United States for about four years, I’ve realized that my strength lies not in seamlessly blending into the culture, but in being myself without hesitation. Infusing Korean-ness into our brand is about embracing our authenticity and presenting it unapologetically. Just being ourselves is our way of bringing a genuine Korean touch to KimlyParc.

Where can KP be purchased?

KimlyParc is available on, Amazon US, and in retail stores around New York and LA. We have a new product launch soon and some fun partnerships lined up for this summer. Stay tuned on our Instagram @kimlyparc 


Allanah Dykes

Allanah Dykes is a freelance writer whose niche is home decor and food, but she has written in almost every field from mental health to political op-eds. Her favorite pastimes are listening to Biggie and Bach and enjoying New York Italian ices and slices


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