this thing's incredible

Drop These Frozen Coffee Pods in Water and You’re Done

Photo: Emma Wartzman

For nearly a decade, my morning coffee-making process has involved Dunkin’ beans and a straightforward machine, either an electric one or a stove-top percolator. Then, about nine months ago — maybe because I follow a lot of chefs like David Chang and Gabe Kennedy — I started getting served Instagram ads from a company called Cometeer. The product looked strikingly similar to single-serve coffee pods. Huh, I thought, but I wasn’t ready to switch up my routine.

When a publicist sent them to me a few months later, I finally decided to give them a try. Here’s how it works: The capsules are filled with extracted coffee made from beans the company sources from some of the best roasters in the country (like Counter Culture in North Carolina, George Howell in Massachusetts, and Go Get ’Em Tiger in California). They’re brewed at ten times the strength of a normal cup and flash-frozen in liquid nitrogen to lock in flavor. When the pods arrived, I peeled back the seal of one to reveal a small solid puck. I pinched it into a mug, topped it with eight ounces of hot water, gave it a stir, and proceeded to sip a beverage as full bodied, well rounded, and smooth as any I’ve had at a serious shop.

An affogato made from half-caff Cometeer and caramel ice cream. Photo: Emma Wartzman

Because the recyclable pods ship frozen — and are meant to be stored that way until you use them — they’re ideal for camping and for making iced coffee, which I did all last summer (just let the pods melt before mixing with water). I still buy full bags of beans to use most mornings, but I’ve become dedicated to having Cometeer around at all times for when I run out of my regular stash, or for afternoons when a caffeine fix strikes and I can’t be bothered to brew another full pot. At this point, they’re not unknown — writer Hua Hsu recently mentioned them as something he can’t live without — and they won’t exactly replace my well-established ritual, but they are a welcome addition.

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Drop These Frozen Coffee Pods in Water and You’re Done