Minus is a new company producing bean-less coffee — that is to say, a caffeinated beverage that tastes like coffee, while sidestepping all of the agricultural and roasting processes, and the waste that results from them. As the company explains on its website:
Coffee production is double trouble. It contributes to AND suffers from the effects of climate change. So we got to work to protect our favorite ritual and our home planet. Minus produces coffee with less water, less environmental damage, and shorter supply chains. It's coffee minus the beans.
Minus Coffee gives you that legendary coffee taste and all the morning pick-me-up you crave, while also leaving you proud that you're doing your part to help unf**k the planet.
This made me intrigued, but still skeptical. Then I read this review from Neo.life, with a little more detail:
It's made by fermenting roots, pits, and seeds, about half of which are upcycled, or waste products. "We use grape seeds, date seeds, chicory, carob, lentils, and millet malt," Saenz says. "Each one of these ingredients has a specific role, whether it's to help with the mouth feel, the acidity, or the sweetness. We then grab some of those ingredients and put them through our proprietary fermentation process that allows us to develop some of the complexity around flavor and get some of the brightness and acidity notes that we're looking for. And then we brew it with a process as close as possible to traditional coffee."
Minus is meant to taste like a mocha java blend, with a medium roast, some chocolate and almond notes, and no acidity, according to Saenz. NEO.LIFE was sent a single 8.4 oz bottle of mocha java-flavored Minus Cold Brew to sample, which we split between four tasters. "It's great," said one. "Pretty good," said another. In terms of flavor, the taste was strong but pleasant—neither lacking in flavor nor off-putting in any way. The most apparent taste was a slight hint of chocolate. It was hard to detect any discernible coffee flavor, but most commercial mochas don't have an overpowering coffee flavor anyway. In any case, it wasn't really missed. All four tasters liked the beanless coffee.
While they're out of stock right now, I'm certainly interested to try it. At $5 a can, I'm not making any plans to fully replace my French Press. But if I'm getting my buzz from a shop, then that's about the same cost as a normal cold brew anyway.
How to make coffee without beans [Jacopo Prisco / Neo.life]