Posted in: Tattle, Technology

Eco-friendly, lab-grown coffee is on the way, but it comes with a catch

Beanless brews can cut deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions dramatically – but what will happen to workers in traditional coffee-growing regions?

Heiko Rischer isn’t quite sure how to describe the taste of lab-grown coffee. This summer he sampled one of the first batches in the world produced from cell cultures rather than coffee beans.

“To describe it is difficult but, for me, it was in between a coffee and a black tea,” said Rischer, head of plant biotechnology at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, which developed the coffee. “It depends really on the roasting grade, and this was a bit of a lighter roast, so it had a little bit more of a tea-like sensation.”