Nevertheless, when the Costa Rican-born entrepreneur, now residing within the Bay Space, noticed how local weather change was affecting espresso growers world wide — espresso is the fifth-most polluting crop within the worth chain — she wished to create a espresso product that tasted good, however was additionally sustainable.
“Temperatures are rising and mixed with erratic rains are resulting in decrease crop yield,” Saenz advised ahosti. “The identical crop can’t develop in the identical place anymore, or it will likely be a decrease high quality product. Farmers in Costa Rica are having to promote their land or go greater up the mountain. Consultants predict that fifty% of farmland can be unsuitable within the subsequent couple of a long time.”
Based in 2020, Compound Meals makes use of artificial biology to create espresso with out espresso beans by extracting molecules. Saenz mentioned the corporate spent a variety of time inspecting what makes espresso, nicely espresso, after which making an attempt to correlate flavors and aromas in sure methods.
And sure, the corporate can nonetheless name it “espresso” even when it doesn’t comprise espresso beans as a result of there isn’t any official regulatory definition, she mentioned.
They use meals science to recreate a base method utilizing sustainable components that additionally don’t use a variety of water — she mentioned it takes 140 liters of water alongside the espresso progress chain to make one cup of espresso. The corporate can also be working towards a objective of with the ability to recreate espresso impressed by flavors that you’d get from totally different areas of the world, like Costa Rica, but additionally the chocolate notes from a cup of Brazilian espresso.
Compound Meals introduced $4.5 million in seed funding to provide it whole funding of $5.3 million so far. Backers of the corporate embody Chris Sacca’s local weather fund Lowercarbon Capital, SVLC, Humboldt Fund, Collaborative Fund, Maple VC, Petri Bio and angel buyers like Nick Inexperienced, CEO of Thrive Market.
Saenz intends to make use of the brand new funding to enhance the formulation and scale up the model as the corporate works towards a comfortable launch by the tip of the yr.
There are a number of rivals within the area doing totally different expertise, together with Seattle-based Atomo, which mentioned it makes its espresso from “different fruits and vegetation that had seeds much like espresso beans.”
Compound Meals is hiring espresso lovers to assist construct out its expertise and to increase its advertising, product and enterprise groups.
Saenz is evident that the corporate will not be competing with espresso.
“We love espresso and know the farmers, and we’re offering an alternate resolution,” she added. “We wish to recreate it, and even drink it on Mars at some point, and we wish to deliver the espresso farmers and the trade with us on the journey.”