Cometeer Coffee’s Flash-Frozen Capsules Are Revolutionizing the Way I Drink Coffee

This is Highly Recommend, a column dedicated to what people in the food industry are obsessed with eating, drinking, and buying right now.

I am happily addicted to caffeine. Most mornings I’ll brew a pot at home with beans, usually medium roasts with notes of chocolate or caramel, sourced from whatever coffee shop I was at when I was due for a refill. But when I’m on deadline or wake up groggy from a late night out, grinding beans and making fresh coffee feels like an insurmountable task. Instant coffee isn’t an option for me—I guess you could call me a coffee snob—so when a friend told me about Cometeer, I was immediately curious.

The Massachusetts-based company makes frozen coffee capsules by grinding beans at peak freshness, brewing them at 10 times the strength of normal coffee, then flash-freezing the results into concentrated pods for easy home melting. Developed by a team of MIT chemists and engineers, Cometeer’s proprietary extraction technology considers factors such as oxidation, grind size, and roast level to achieve the best-tasting coffee, which is then plunged in a liquid nitrogen bath to lock in the flavor. And they work with some of the country’s top roasters like Counter Culture out of Durham, Equator from San Francisco, and New York’s Joe Coffee.

I ordered a mixed box of 32 Cometeer coffee capsules. When they came in the mail a few days later, I boiled a pot of water, popped an icy brown puck into a mug, and poured the hot water over the frozen concentrate. Not only was the cup of coffee delicious, but as I made my way through the various roasts in my box, I was able to notice the nuances of body and flavor in each variety.

“I’ve been in this business for 20 years, and we love to wax about how coffee should be appreciated like wine, but there’s always been this inescapable elephant in the room, which is that you do not need to brew your own wine,” says Kyle Glanville, founder of Go Get Em Tiger in Los Angeles, one of Cometeer’s roasting partners. For Glanville, Cometeer eliminates the barrier for people to enjoy high-quality coffee at home. Since melting a capsule with hot water doesn’t require any equipment or skill, he says Cometeer’s process is a “profound step forward” for brewing specialty coffee in their own homes.

Cometeer coffee pods can also be utilized in a number of other ways. Once you run a sealed capsule under warm water, you can use it in any K-cup compatible machine (like a Keurig), combine it with cold water or milk for iced coffee or a latte, pour it over ice cream to make an affogato, or shake it with vodka, simple syrup, and ice for an espresso martini. Better yet, Cometeer is a more sustainable option than typical coffee pods: the aluminum packaging is recyclable and the company composts all of their used grounds.

Keeping Cometeer in my freezer hasn’t changed my entire attitude towards coffee. I still hit my neighborhood coffee shops a few times a week, buy beans, and brew coffee fresh. But it has made it easier than ever to enjoy a great cup of coffee. That’s true when traveling too. Although I’ve yet to take Cometeer on the road, the company promises that the pods taste great for up to 24 hours after they’ve been thawed. And at under one fluid ounce per pod, they’re TSA-approved, so you can take them on the plane. Next time I’m headed somewhere where the coffee situation is unpredictable, Cometeer is coming with.

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