Every month, The Groundbreakers puts an inspiring initiative, product or company in the spotlight. By sharing knowledge and inspiration, we want to stimulate sustainable developments and hope to contribute to the greening of business. This time we would like to highlight the Coffee Free Coffee from Northern Wonder. This coffee looks like coffee and is prepared like coffee, but contains no coffee beans at all. A world first from Dutch soil!  

Bitter aftertaste

A cup of coffee, black gold, a cup of comfort. Coffee – that's what starts the day of many Groundbreakers. And we are not the only ones, because research shows that 72 percent of working Dutch people start their working day with some liquid happiness: caffeine.

In fact, the Netherlands ranks number 3 worldwide among the countries that drink the most cups of coffee per capita. However, there seems to be a quite bitter aftertaste to coffee bean cultivation, as it causes deforestation and has a large CO2 footprint. The Dutch start-up Northern Wonder wanted to change this and started producing coffee using only non-tropical ingredients.

Coffee-free coffee blend

Two years of research and the result was there: grain, chickpea, lupine, rye, blackcurrant and chicory form the ingredients for Coffee Free Coffee. This coffee is naturally caffeine-free, but the makers of Northern Wonder have also come up with a solution for that. One of the variants has synthetic caffeine added from the lab, just as happens with caffeinated soft drinks.  

In addition to the fact that the ingredients from Northern Wonder Coffee's coffee do not contribute to the deforestation of tropical rainforests, the footprint is also a lot less environmentally harmful. The coffee-free coffee scores considerably environmentally friendly, for example in terms of water use. The product also travels a lot fewer kilometers to ultimately end up in our cup of coffee. All in all, you could enjoy a delicious coffee without that bitter aftertaste of deforestation.

Review of The Groundbreakers

The Groundbreakers team put it to the test and ordered a bag of coffee. Before the tasting could begin, we put our noses to work. It seems that where your mouth can distinguish five flavors - sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami - your nose can distinguish a trillion. The smell that particularly stood out to us? Whole wheat biscuits with chocolate! Not bad, but not quite what you expect from the smell of coffee.

Then the real work could begin, full of anticipation we poured hot water on the filter and waited. The color is the same, indistinguishable from a cup of 'real' coffee made from coffee beans. Then the taste, well the taste. We heard no negative reactions from colleagues, but the enthusiasm was not evident. Not yet, we should say, because every change takes time and getting used to. We are very curious about the developments of Northern-Wonder's coffee-free coffee, because they say they are coming. In any case, we are fans of the great idea!

Do you dare to replace your trusted coffee bean for this coffee-free coffee? Then order Read a bag, or two.