Wait for your coffee, add 10% of your payment to grow your own

Image copyright Come Set Coffee

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A new start-up is taking on coffee drinkers in Britain by not using beans.

Come Set Coffee, which opened its first cafes in London last week, allows people to add 10% of their bill to help fund a scientifically-ground coffee reserve.

Created by a 40-year-old PR company executive, the company makes its coffee in neutral coffee grounds.

The claims for Come Set Coffee so far have been put down to “connoisseurship”.

Contrary to other competitors in this market, like Unicorn Coffee or Organic coffee, which is also completely coffee-free, Come Set Coffee has its beans ground in neutral coffee grounds.

It is not perfectly green either, a fact that should not come as a surprise, as the coffee “farm” must have air space so that it can grow coffee plants and live in them.

Image copyright Come Set Coffee Image caption Founder Dan Connell says he has researched the coffee for years

Dan Connell – who was paid £300,000 last year to set up the start-up – says the investment is worth it because his new product is tasting the same as the typical cup of coffee and lasts longer.

“I have researched what is what for 25 years, I have tasted around 40 different types of coffee,” he says.

He adds that, with coffee drinkers grumbling over rising prices, they should be glad that someone at the start-up is saying there is a different way of consuming the familiar.

When we sampled the start-up’s coffee at one of its London cafes, it turned out to be very tasty.

The varietal (a variety of coffee bean), the taste profile and the extraction qualities all told an identical story.

However, there is another problem that this new start-up will have to solve.

The company explains that as the carbon dioxide in the grounds means that the optimum temperature is 57C, they could not source beans that are black, therefore making it impossible to use them.

It has released a range of bars where brands like Costa or Caffé Nero could be used but they cannot be patented yet and are therefore not legal so they can’t be trademarked.

Launched during summer recess this month, Come Set Coffee is now planning to expand to London, Birmingham and Edinburgh, and spread across the UK and overseas.

One of its biggest challenges is proving to customers that it does not cause hypoglycaemia, although Dan Connell has said that the testers have not had any problems.

The company wants to expand and make 20% of its money from this, not from the actual use of the coffee itself, which is valued at £3 a pound, he says.

Smaller coffees already sold by firms like Tully’s Coffee are farmed using the same method as Come Set Coffee but Tully’s doesn’t use neutral coffee grounds in the grounds, so that they are grounds with a fibrous core, which allows coffee beans to better absorb carbon dioxide.

Dan Connell says that “the biggest problem with farmers is money” as farmers get only £1.20 for every kilo of coffee beans sold and that supplying neutral grounds could provide an alternative to the declining figure.

To date, Come Set Coffee has confirmed deals with five traditional coffee shops in London and has also had interest from hundreds of other potential customers.

But he says there is a downside for the company too, as it has to finance a potential expansion.

“Our coffee reserves are big so there’s the issue of funding expansion,” he says.

“So we will have to raise more money at some point.”

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