Atomo 'molecular coffee': No bean, no problem

I tried what's believed to be the world's first molecular coffee from Atomo: coffee made without a bean.

Lexy Savvides Principal Video Producer
Lexy is an on-air presenter and award-winning producer who covers consumer tech, including the latest smartphones, wearables and emerging trends like assistive robotics. She's won two Gold Telly Awards for her video series Beta Test. Prior to her career at CNET, she was a magazine editor, radio announcer and DJ. Lexy is based in San Francisco.
Expertise Wearables, smartwatches, mobile phones, photography, health tech, assistive robotics Credentials
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Lexy Savvides

First came dairy-free milk. Then, the Impossible Burger took a bite out of the meat world with a plant-based burger. Now, it's coffee's turn to get a high-tech makeover.

Seattle-based startup Atomo has engineered what it calls the world's first molecular cup of coffee, made without beans. The company's first product, a cold brew that should go on sale in 2020, looks and smells just like a regular cup of coffee, except it's designed to taste smoother and less bitter than your regular cup of joe. So you might not need to add cream or sugar.

Even though it isn't made from actual coffee beans, Atomo's brew still contains caffeine. The formulation is made from natural ingredients; while the exact recipe is proprietary, some example materials the grounds may have include watermelon seeds or sunflower seed husks. Atomo worked with food and beverage development company Mattson to help build their coffee. 

And while you may question why coffee needs to be re-engineered, Atomo's founders say that we need a more sustainable solution to help satisfy our daily habit because of the growing effects of climate change.

So what does it actually taste like? And can it go head-to-head with real coffee in a blind taste-test? Watch the video on this page to find out.

If you want to try it for yourself, Atomo's cold brew should go on sale in the first half of 2020, with grinds to follow later in the year.

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