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Compound Foods: Brewing Sustainable Coffee

To say that I love coffee is an understatement. Yes, I’m one of those with a coffee-infused bloodstream. I mean, what’s not to love? Just waking up to the smell of it instantly puts me in a good mood; the taste, divine.

The problem is the global issue of climate change and its effect on agricultural production. Right now, the prices for coffee crops are going up due to the land not being suitable enough anymore to produce as much. In the coming years, this diminishing production may lead to an insufficient supply to the demand worldwide, and the quality might be compromised. Being a coffee lover herself, Compound Foods’ CEO and founder Maricel Saenz came up with sustainable coffee produce to respond to this foreseeable dilemma.

Coffee without beans

With the company just being born last year, they allocated a lot of time researching and examining the makings of good coffee. Thanks to biotechnology, the Compound Foods team has managed to come up with something with the similar acidity, aroma, and taste of coffee without the beans.

Unlike other companies that use other fruits and plants to remake coffee, Compound Foods uses sustainably grown microbes along with food science and fermentation technology to get that perfect blend. This method doesn’t use as much water compared to normal coffee production and emits less carbon.


Future of coffee

After nailing the primary coffee blend, one of Compound Foods’ goals is to recreate coffee flavors from around the world as well. Making this nearly possible is the $4.5 million seed fund they recently received, making their total into a whopping $5.3 million to date.

The company is firm that they’re not competing with coffee itself. With the livelihood of the coffee farmers in mind, the company thought of partnering with NGOs to help small coffee farmers transition to this new sustainable approach. All for the love of coffee, Compound Foods helps not only the environment but also the people who financially depend on it.

Photo credit: The feature image has been taken by Joshua Rodriguez.
Sources: Nigel Hunt, Jonathan Saul, Marcelo Teixeira (Reuters) / Christine Hall (TechCrunch)

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Sam Albano
Tech Journalist