A start-up company is sending coffee beans to space and use the considerable heat of reentry through the atmosphere to roast them and create the perfect cup of joe.
The company called Space Roasters says that it has patented a technology called "space roasting capsule" in which the heat of reentry will be evenly distributed to four cylinders that contain the coffee beans. Each cylinder will have 75 kg of coffee beans floating in microgravity for an even roast.
After reentry, the capsule will land safely with parachutes. It will be recovered by the team together with the roasted coffee beans.
"The entire process will only last 20 minutes but will end with a marvelous aroma as the hatch is opened," said the company's founders, Hatem Alkhafaji and Anders Cavallini, in an interview with the magazine Room.
Revolutionizing How The Public Drinks Coffee
The idea behind Space Roasters started back when the two founders were still in a university. During a class, an instructor presented a graph showing how the interest of the American public on space exploration waned since the 60s.
With the advent of the new space age, the goal of the company is to bring people together and experience space every day. The best way to do that is through coffee.
According to a survey, 64 percent of American adults (18 years old and above) said that they have had a cup of coffee the previous day in 2018. For many, it has become a part of their daily lives.
However, the founders explained coffee beans are being roasted the same way for centuries now: a large, heated drum spins roasting the individual beans that contact the hot surface. They said that, while this is not the best way to roast coffee, it is widely accepted by enthusiast everywhere.
Similar to how the space industry has revolutionized aspects of the daily lives of regular people, the founders wanted to change roasting coffee beans.
Roasting Coffee Beans In The Atmosphere
The Coffee Roasting Capsule is designed to survive the launch, reentry, and landing. The company said that it is scalable; it can fit any kind of spacecraft that can reach a suborbital altitude of 180 km.
Space Roasters is already in talks with Rocket Lab and Blue Origin to attach the capsule to their rockets. The company hopes to serve space-roasted coffee by 2020 in Dubai before offering the product to international buyers.