Obsessed with creating the perfect cup of brewed coffee, co-founder and CEO Matthew Roberts and co-founder and CTO Douglas Hoon have spent the past nine years developing a technologically advanced brewing system – calibrating for hard-to-control steps such as water chemistry, extraction yield, and atmospheres of pressure – to replicate barista-quality coffee at home.
Cometeer has raised a total of $100m in funding to date with buy-in from a growing list of institutional investors (D1 Capital, Elephant, Tao Capital, Addition Ventures, Avenir, Greycroft Partners, and TQ Ventures) as well as leaders in the coffee industry including the founder of Keurig Green Mountain, the former president of Nespresso, and lead investors in Blue Bottle.
The most recent $35m Series B funding round will be used to complete the build out of Cometeer’s 70,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Gloucester, Massachusetts, which houses the company’s 30,000-square-foot freezer and 15,000- gallon liquid nitrogen tank.
'We’re the first company that has focused on flash-freezing brewed coffee'
At-home coffee drinking has exploded and consumers have a no shortage of methods to choose from such as traditional brewing machines and Keurig K-cups, to startups coming out with convenient shortcuts from coffee in a tea bag to individual pour-over coffee kits with pre-ground coffee.
However, Cometeer argues that its way of making coffee at home is a more consistent approach to countertop grinders and machinery which often result in unevenly ground coffee and the messy spent ground aftermath.
Instead, Cometeer takes care of all the coffee brewing work for its customers with a multi-million dollar brew system that creates the perfect brewed coffee, it claims.
Roberts explained that Cometeer uses a proprietary brew process developed over years of R&D, which results in coffee extract brewed roughly 10x stronger than a regular cup of coffee.
“Our brewing technology is equally as important as the flash-freeze. In our sensor-controlled brew environment, we are able to pull flavors and aromas from the bean like never before,” Roberts told FoodNavigator-USA.
After brewing, the coffee is immediately sealed in oxygen-free, nitrogen-flushed, fully recyclable, custom-made aluminum capsules.
“The chilly -321F bath just locks in these unique flavors and aromas that people cannot easily access without barista-training and expensive equipment,” said Roberts.
“We certainly aren’t the first company or people to freeze coffee. However, we’re the first company that has focused on flash-freezing brewed coffee to preserve the nuance of specialty-grade coffee and ship direct to customers,” said Roberts.
Cometeer coffee is made at home by simply dropping the coffee puck into water for hot or iced coffee.
Available on its direct-to-consumer site, Cometeer’s base shipment contains 32 capsules featuring four specialty coffee roasters at a starting price of $64 with free shipping included.
The rise of specialty coffee
Cometeer carefully vets the beans used to make its coffee and currently works with a collection of eight specialty coffee roasters representing all major global coffee regions while supporting “forgotten varieties and production methods,” noted Roberts.
“One example of these is Yemenia, a ‘mother species’ of coffee that was genetically uncovered last year,” said Roberts, adding that Cometeer plans to offer an assortment of Yemenia Cometeer capsules to customers.
“Our roasting partners are the backbone of Cometeer. Equally as important as superior tasting roasts, considerations amongst our roasters is their support of coffee farmers, and commitment to direct trade purchasing at equitable prices multiple times the fair trade minimum,” noted Roberts.
The company noted how it's continually adding new coffee roasters to its platform to offer its customers a variety of specialty coffee.
“We are focused on building out a diverse group of roasting partners with unique backgrounds, sourcing techniques, and roasting styles. Alongside these partners, we look to support the de-commoditization of the coffee industry — it’s our mission,” said Roberts.