June 16, 2024

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I hate coffee pods. Keurig and its ilk have never given me anything but a shockingly mediocre cup of coffee. To make matters worse, entombing those beans in single-use plastic is hard on the environment. So when Cometeer showed up in my inbox, I was more than a little skeptical. 

Here was a company that sold convenience in a tiny aluminum cup—brewed coffee, shipped to you frozen and packed in dry ice. I was so ready to go on a screed about the evils of single-use coffee pods and the drab, flavorless coffee they produce. Then I tried it, and tried it again, and again. Now it’s something I drink every day. It has replaced my afternoon iced coffee. If you’d warned me a few weeks ago that I’d be typing that sentence, I wouldn’t have believed you.

Death Before Instant

Photograph: Cometeer

Instant coffee fills me with an oceanic sadness. It tastes like waking up in a cheap hotel, frantically getting your clothes packed so you don’t miss your flight. It tastes like waking up and realizing you slept through your alarm and you’re going to be late to work and maybe lose your job. I’d rather not drink coffee than drink instant coffee. 

On the other hand, fresh-brewed coffee makes my morning every day. I don’t turn my nose up at Folgers or Maxwell House or any other grocery store brand. If that’s what there is, I’ll drink it. I’m just busy, and like all single-serving coffee-pod companies, Cometeer is selling convenience. 

After tasting it, I’ll say there’s a world of difference between one of these little coffee pods and anything you’d get out of a Keurig or a freeze-dried powder. Once your Cometeer pods arrive, they go straight in your freezer until you’re ready for a cup.

If you’re drinking it hot, it comes together in the time it will take your kettle to boil. Just pop the pod into a cup and add hot water. If you want it iced, thaw the pod for about five minutes in warm water, or you’ll end up with a little frozen coffee puck floating around in your milk. Like with Nescafé and Keurig, it’s a time saver if you’re impatient or someone who wants a cup on the go. The difference is that Cometeer coffee actually tastes good.

Side by side with a fresh shot of espresso, Cometeer coffee pods are noticeably different. There’s a bit of a sweet note, like you get out of a grocery store bottle of cold brew that just reminds you this isn’t exactly fresh. But add a splash of hot water to make it into an Americano, and honestly it’s pretty hard to tell the difference—depending on the pod.

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