Apr 23, 2024 - Food and Drink

Coffee, but hold the beans

Illustration of coffee beans with a "no" symbol forming in the negative space.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

As Americans drink record-breaking amounts of coffee, one food startup is offering what it calls a sustainable "beanless espresso" in Austin.

Why it matters: Coffee farming is linked to deforestation, shipping beans creates carbon emissions and research suggests climate change could impact the global coffee supply.

What to expect: Instead of coffee beans, Seattle-based Atomo Coffee uses millet, guava, fructose, date seeds, ramon seeds, pea protein, baking soda, sunflower seeds, lemon and fenugreek to get a coffee-like flavor.

  • Some of those ingredients would otherwise become plant waste, according to Atomo.

Try it: Atomo's product is available in Austin's Madrone Coffee as of Monday.

Between the lines: The milk-based drinks that use Atomo's espresso alternative will cost extra, similar to the way other specialty sips, like mushroom coffees, have been sold.

  • Atomo's grounds sell for $20.99 per pound wholesale.
  • Each shop determines its own pricing, according to Atomo.

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