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Sustainable coffee is here, no beans about it

SAN FRANCISCO — A food-tech startup has developed a sustainable spin on coffee, a daily staple for more than half of American adults, according to a YouGov poll.

Maricel Saenz, founder and CEO of parent company Compound Foods, said Minus Coffee, which is due to debut next year, does not contain coffee beans and is both a culprit and a victim of climate change. Said he was a person.

“Instead of beans, we roast upcycled roots, seeds, and legumes, grind them up, and produce caffeine-laden luxury,” said Saenz, a Costa Rican-born entrepreneur with a background in biotechnology. We will brew in a fermented batch,” he said. “We are proud of our success in recreating the flavor, aroma and effects of coffee. We have also removed from the chain crops, his sixth most polluting agricultural process concentrated in equatorial regions. .”

The brand’s first product is a canned cold brew blended with dates, chicory, sunflower seeds, carob, lentils, grape seeds and millet malt. Saenz says production requires significantly less water, lower carbon emissions and a shorter supply chain than conventional coffee.

“Rising temperatures and erratic rainfall have dramatically reduced coffee yield and quality,” she said.

Founded in 2020, Compound Foods raised $4.5 million in a seed round last year to improve its formulations and develop and scale its fermentation technology. Backers include Supply Change Capital, Lowercarbon Capital, SVLC, Humboldt Fund, Collaborative Fund, Maple VC, Petri Bio, One Way Ventures, Ulu Ventures, and angel investors.

“Our first focus area is coffee and our first product is cold brew, but for us this is just the beginning,” Saenz said.

The startup aims to roll out in specialty retailers and foodservice outlets in the coming months. Future product launches may include additional ready-to-drink options and ground coffee alternatives.

“One of the great things about our approach is that it can be tailored to develop different flavor profiles,” says Saenz. “Coffee farmers are at the mercy of the sun and rain, but roasters can play with the flavor profile.”

According to the company, Compound Foods is partnering with organizations to help coffee growers transition to more sustainable farming and land-use practices, such as intercropping climate-tolerant crops. This will increase your income per pound of product.

Minus coffee development continuesRaised $40 million in Series A funding from Atomo Coffee, Inc., Seattle, earlier this year. Founded in 2019, Atomo aims to reverse-engineer coffee using upcycled ingredients, according to the company.The first products Atomo has launched include two of his instant coffees, Black and Ultra Smooth. Includes cold brew to drink.