The world of all-natural food alternatives is seeing another entrant, this time in the form of coffee that has been made without using actual coffee beans.
Seattle-based start-up Atomo has come up with a coffee alternative that mimics the taste, aroma, and mouthfeel of a standard cup of coffee. Co-founded by microbiologist Jarret Stopforth and Andy Kleitsch, the company has figured out a way to make coffee using upcycled date seeds that have been soaked with a proprietary blend of all-natural ingredients like grape, chicory, tea-sourced caffeine, and other natural flavours.
Kleitsch claims that this is a healthier and more eco-friendly alternative, “68 percent of Americans mask the flavor of coffee with cream or sugar,” he said, in an interview with FoodNavigator-USA, “The way we translate that is that two-thirds of the people that drink coffee are not actually satisfied with it. You’re also adding calories to your coffee with cream and sugar.”
Atomo’s coffee-alternative is a response to scientists’ repeated warnings that coffee plants, especially the coveted Arabica beans, are extremely susceptible to climate change, in that their taste would start changing and become more bitter over time. Atomo’s use of date seeds to create their innovative coffee is a step toward the solution the world needs. The company claims that its canned cold brews are more sustainable than the ones made with traditional beans, and have resulted in a reduced environmental impact, with 93 percent less carbon emissions and 94 percent less water usage.
When it comes to flavour, Atomo says that they conducted a blind taste test of their cold brew vs cold brew made out of coffee beans. The coffee-less brew won by a margin of two-to-one with panelists not being able to recognise that Atomo was made out of non-coffee ingredients.
The company had started a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds back in 2019 and have now received $40 million in fresh funding from investment companies to bring this ‘reverse engineered’ coffee to the masses.
Would you replace your coffee with this alternative?