We all know that coffee is a hot topic and a staple in many people’s diets. People have their prefered drinks and condiments, and changes are rarely welcomed.
Some businesses are on a mission to create a better, more environmentally friendly morning cup. Coffee is prefered by more than 60% of Americans above water as a daily beverage. Unfortunately, this popular beverage is both a victim and a cause to environmental issues, leading some firms to think outside the box.
Maricel Saenz, the creator and CEO of Compound Foods, is working on a coffee-free drink by extracting molecules. The company, which was created in 2020, earned $4.5 million in seed capital recently, increasing its total funding to $5.3 million.
The idea is to make a coffee-like beverage using less water and more environmentally friendly ingredients. The company is currently experimenting with the mix and hopes to have a product ready by the end of the year. Another goal is to recreate varietals with flavours from around the world, such as those from Brazil and Costa Rica. Coffee lovers have been enlisted to help with the technology and to join the marketing, product, and business teams at the company.
Synthetic coffee is only one example of a growing push to make lab-grown and molecular meals that are potentially healthier, have lower environmental effect, and are more long-term sustainable. Memphis Meats, a cultured-meat company, has been one of them. Kentucky Fried Chicken’s latest efforts to manufacture chicken nuggets in a lab are similar. In addition, a German company is creating a lab-cultured chocolate alternative, as the chocolate industry has its own impact on people and the environment.
The coffee business faces challenges such as a lack of land for farmers and the vast amounts of water required for production.
“Rising temperatures, along with irregular precipitation, are resulting in decreased crop yields,” Saenz told TechCrunch recently. “The same crop can no longer grow in the same location, or the result will be of lesser quality. Costa Rican farmers are being forced to sell their land or relocate further up the mountain. In the next few decades, experts expect that half of all farmland will be unsuitable.”
In 2019, Patrick Grubbs stated on TriplePundit, “Climate change is already having a measurable influence on the coffee-growing sector, and the consequences are anticipated to get substantially worse in the following decades.” A slew of deteriorating environmental issues jeopardises the ability to continue producing the 2.25 billion cups that consumers rely on every day.
When considering the complete value chain, coffee is also the fifth most polluting crop. According to some estimates, 140 litres of water are needed along the crop’s value chain to generate that morning cup, which starts people’s days.