Food - Drink
Why Bean-Free Coffee Could Be The Way Of The Future
It is estimated that by 2050, up to 50% of the regions currently producing the world's coffee will no longer be able to support the crop's growth. This will likely result from rising temperatures that help spread a disease known as coffee rust, plus alternating droughts and floods that will make farming the crop much more difficult.
So what does the future hold for coffee? Hybrid plants aren't the answer, as coffee rust will evolve to overtake resistant genes, so Seattle startup Atomo has found a long-term solution that ditches the coffee bean entirely. They broke down coffee into a thousand molecular compounds in an attempt to reverse-engineer its aroma, body, color, taste, and caffeine.
Atomo then partnered with farmers to recreate a molecular formula for coffee by utilizing unused parts of plants, such as sunflowers and watermelons; this formula is then roasted, ground, and brewed like any cup of coffee, minus 93% of the carbon footprint. As for the flavor, taste test panelists actually ranked Atomo's beanless coffee over conventional cold brews in a 2:1 ratio.