The best part of waking up… is coffee-less coffee in your cup? That’s right, coffee is the latest addition to the list of lab-grown foods and drinks to keep up with popular demand. Per Eater, Horizon Ventures, an investor in Impossible Foods, is doling out $2.6 million dollars to Seattle-based startup Atomo to develop “molecular coffee.”
Wait, what is molecular coffee?!
According to Atomo, the vegan product will consist of FDA-compliant sustainable ingredients and chemical compounds that are currently under wraps due to ongoing testing and development. Here’s what Atomo co-founder and Chief Science Officer Jarret Stopforth had to say about the coffee’s makeup:
“We looked at green beans, roasted beans and extracted (brewed) coffee samples and through advanced analytical procedures studied the volatile and non-volatile compounds present. By evaluating the individual compounds in coffee we were able to map the most significant ones contributing to the characteristic aroma and flavor of coffee.”
Atomo hopes their bean-free coffee will lessen the environmental impact of coffee production, including deforestation, and become an affordable alternative for drinkers who dare to try something different. It may not be great news for coffee bean farmers, but the company insists that they want to simply help ease the demand for a cup of joe.
The (other) big QTNA
It’s certainly an interesting concept, but there’s only one real question that needs an answer: How does it actually taste? Atomo put their product to the test with a blind taste battle between their pending product and a little company called Starbucks. The University of Washington’s students and staff sipped free coffee and 70% of them selected Atomo’s brand. Of course, this is just one group’s opinion but the positive taste comments are a promising sign.
The molecular grounds could arrive at stores as early as 2020, but there’s a chance for curious coffee connoisseurs to jump on this new trend. The Atomo Coffee Fan Club promises free stuff, updates on the company’s progress, and eventually a chance to test the final product. So, if you dare, sign up and stay tuned for the next phase in coffee’s evolution.