Company Wants to Send Coffee into Space and Roast It with the Heat Generated by Atmosphere Re-Entry

A Dubai-based startup has its eyes set on literally taking coffee roasters to new heights by launching a space capsule full of coffee beans into space and use the heat generated by atmosphere re-entry to roast them.

Anders Cavallini and Hatem Alkhafaji, the two founders of Space Roasters, believe that the absence of gravity could be the secret to roasting coffee perfectly. On Earth, beans tumble around, break apart and are roasted unevenly as some of them come into contact with the hot surfaces of a conventional roaster, but in zero-gravity conditions, beans would float freely in a heated oven, with heat being distributed evenly, resulting in a near-perfect roast. That’s just a theory, but they’re prepared to put it to the test by sending a capsule filled with 300kg of coffee beans to a height of 200km.

Photo: Alexas_Fotos/Pixabay

The two entrepreneurs met while studying space science at the International Space University (ISU) in Strasbourg, France, and bonded over the idea of reigniting the general public’s interest in outer space. Somehow, coffee, a staple of everyday life, just seemed like the best way to do it. So they came up with an ingenious roasting plan that involves sending coffee beans into space to achieve the best possible roast.

Cavallini and Alkhafaji presented the details of their space-roasting concept in a recent issue of the space journal Room. Simply put, they want to create a special capsule, called a Space Roasting Capsule, attach it to a rocket, send it up to a height of 200km and then harness the heat generated by its re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere to roast the beans in a zero-gravity environment. They’ve already patented the technology and are reportedly in talks with private rocket companies like Rocket Lab and Blue Origins to launch their capsule sometime next year.

Photo: onuromeryavuz/Pixabay

Space-roasted coffee does sound intriguing, I’ll give them that, but if you plan on being one of the first people to try this unique brew, you’ll want to start saving money for it. In an interview with The National, Hatem Alkhafaji said that a cup of coffee will cost several hundreds of dollars.

“It’s going to cost around $200 (Dh735) to $400 (Dh1,470) per cup,” the Space Roasters co-founder said. “We know that’s super high for the average person, but there are a lot of people who would pay that much – it is basically the price it costs to make, with the ­margin. Realistically, the early cost of it would be around $200. But then we still want to reduce that, our aim is to bring the cost down all the way to between $40 (Dh147) and $50 (Dh184).”


Cavallini and Alkhafaji want to open a Space ­Station Cafe by next year, where people will be able to enjoy space-roasted coffee.

via Luxury Launches