Roasting coffee in space

There is a chance that you have heard someone using the terminology “rocket fuel” or you might have used it yourself. This terminology could be fun when one uses it with relevance to a company called Space Roasters. The technological advancements brought in centuries have perfected the process of brewing and roasting coffee. Also, a global network of trade has slowed people to enjoy delicious coffee made from beans grown many thousand miles away. This did not seem enough for Space Roasters as they are set to use space technology to roast the coffee beans. Yes, you read it right!

In an interview with Room magazine, the founders, Hatem Alhafaji and Anders Cavallini said, “Coffee has been roasted the same way for centuries now, and as space science has improved many technologies, we believe it is time to revolutionize coffee roasting using space technology.”

Coffee beans space roasters
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Image Credit: Futurism

The plan is to use the heat, to roast coffee beans, which is created during the reentry from space through Earth’s atmosphere. The startup for this project even developed a capsule which is specially designed to carry coffee beans before plunging back to Earth using a parachute.

If they find a company which is willing to launch the equipment into space, the back-of-the-envelope calculations of Ars Technica have estimated the price of a cup to be around $500. It’s already a topic of discussion with Rocket Lab and Blue Origin, according to The Guardian.

This project might prove to be an over-engineered solution to a problem that does not even exist in the first place as it could end up taking up the valuable cargo space on future space missions that could be filled by literally any other more meaningful scientific initiative. Also, the resulting product is absurdly expensive.

The Space Roasters’ site inspires little confidence as it claims that the team on this project includes more than 27 enthusiast space experts in their field. It also claims to combine “space and science” and hence “bringing people together”. Not only is that oddly hazy, but it does not justify its existence.

Does it bring better coffee to more people? Does it improve the process of roasting? Instead, it is more likely to be just a fun thought experiment for bored engineers.

As expected, Space Roasters has announced a pre-sale campaign for their yet-to-materialize roasted coffee. This project by Space Roasters has definitely confirmed that even the most farcical startup concept can chalk up the attention of mainstream media.



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