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Save the World, Eat Your Coffee


plastic-cups-239951_1280I guess that it comes as no surprise that the Americans are the leading consumers of coffee in the world, downing 400 million cups of coffee per day – equivalent to 146 billion cups of coffee per year. The average American white collar worker downs 500 disposable cups annually – that’s a whole lot of cups!

25 billion coffee cups made of styrofoam are thrown away every year in the US. In addition, 23 billion paper cups also went down the garbage can. Unfortunately, for each paper cup made, 0.24 lbs (0.11 kgs) equivalent of CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere. So it’s not just you that gets a boost with the coffee you down, so do global temperatures.

While this may not have been the original motivation for coming up with a solution to the coffee cup conundrum, it’s still a welcome treat.

Two students from Northwestern University, Ali Kothari and Johnny Fayad couldn’t get up early enough to catch coffee before a very exciting class – an accounting course that starts at 8 AM. While struggling to keep awake during one class, they asked themselves, ‘Why can’t we eat our coffee?” Thus started the idea for CoffeeBar.

CoffeeBar founders Fayad and Kothari

The small bar is made with a shot of espresso and a lot of thought. Although energy drinks, caffeine pills and the like are readily available, CoffeeBar also meets the nutrition needs of college students. The coffee is mixed with almond butter, gluten-free oats and cashews, but not with additives, nor preservatives. It’s also good for farmers – it uses fair trade coffee sourced from Project Alianza.

The product was concocted in the basement of their dormitory on campus in the dead of night. Product testing was done by offering the product to friends who were burning the midnight oil in the study room. After 14 batches, they hit on the right recipe, but they spent another 8 months to refine it. A food scientist ran a final check of the recipe and production process. Now, Fayad and Kothari are gearing up for their first big order and are starting to raise funds on Kickstarter.

While the product doesn’t come cheap at $3 a piece, it’s a small sacrifice one can make to save the environment while keeping awake, and ecologically aware.

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