Is Molecular Coffee Brewing A Sip Of Coffee's Future?

It's no secret that Americans love their coffee. They enjoy it in all its forms, too, from a steaming pot of French Press to iced coffee to chocolate-covered espresso beans and more. While the type of coffee people most commonly flock to is made with coffee beans, that's not always the case. Take for instance chicory coffee, which gained popularity in the late 19th century at Café du Monde in New Orleans. Chicory coffee is made with chicory root, doesn't contain any caffeine, and is still consumed widely.

It's said that coffee bean alternatives like chicory root came onto the scene when coffee was in short supply during the Civil War, explains New Orleans Roast. While coffee beans are much more accessible today, there is a new company that's turning the spotlight away from coffee beans and seeking coffee alternatives for a different reason than scarcity. And they're doing it with the help of modern technology. To understand Atomo Coffee's cold brew, you have to get down to a molecular level.

The science behind beanless coffee

As Food Dive explains, Atomo Coffee's cold brews are made with reverse engineering, a process that makes it possible to examine specific chemicals and isolate desirable flavors in a given food. By using reverse engineering methods, Atomo is able to get their key ingredients like upcycled date seeds, chicory root, and grape seed extract to taste pretty identical to coffee beans.

The company currently offers three canned varieties of cold brew, including Classic Black, Ultra Smooth, and Oat Milk Latte. But are they any good? So far, Atomo's cold brews have been a hit, with taste testers preferring the brand's beanless drinks to other common cold brew beverages 2 to 1. This is good news for Atomo, which got its start in 2019, especially since the brand is invested in the sustainability of its products as much as the taste of them. According to the Atomo website, the beanless coffee the company produces requires 94% less water than regular coffee and emits 93% less carbon than traditional roasting methods.

That may be great news for the environment, but what about the potency of Atomo cold brews? Many coffee drinkers love their morning cup because they love the dark, rich taste of roasted coffee beans, but a lot of people enjoy drinking coffee for its caffeine content, too. Fortunately, Atomo's cold brews still contain caffeine, about 84 milligrams per 8-ounce serving.