Scientists Are on a Quest to Create the Perfect Cup of Coffee—Without the Beans

Ahh, coffee. Is there anything more delicious, more satisfying? It’s always there when you need it, be it first thing in the morning or for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. According to the Sustainable Coffee Challenge, global consumption of this vital brew is around 600 billion cups per year (I know—I would have guessed higher, too).

But as with many of the products we consume, there’s a cost beyond what we pay at the store. Producing coffee—like producing meat, or almonds, or corn, or pretty much anything—has an environmental cost, too.

It’s that cost that’s led innovative entrepreneurs to seek a more Earth-friendly way to produce everything from beef to milk to salmon. Now coffee is joining the club, with startups in the US and Europe experimenting with new ways to make crave-worthy coffee—sans any coffee beans.

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