This National Coffee Day, One Startup Wants You to ‘Steep’ Your Java

Steeped Coffee can be made in five minutes.

Steeped Coffee can be made in five minutes. Steeped Inc.

It was only a matter of time before someone figured out how to brew coffee in a tea bag.

Just in time for National Coffee Day arrives the recently-launched “farm to cup” startup Steeped, Inc. The brand utilizes a literal ground steeping method (hence the name), promising the same taste as a traditional brew. The nitro-sealed Steeped bags, which feature packaging made from renewable and compostable materials, offer on-the-go coffee without the need of a machine.

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Despite the stigma surrounding instant coffee, the company says all you need to do is drench the bag in hot water for five minutes “to allow the coffee to develop its distinctive body and flavor.”

Steeped founder Josh Wilbur wanted to create a sustainable, single-serve brew without the aluminum pods most consumers struggle to recycle. The invention took him seven years to bring to market, winning the “Best New Product” award at the Specialty Coffee Expo this past April. According to the company, the proprietary system “delivers fresh roasted, pre-portioned, precision ground, micro batched coffee in customized Full Immersion Filters.”

Steeped Coffee bags look a lot like their tea counterpart.

Steeped Coffee bags look a lot like their tea counterpart. Steeped Inc.

“Premium coffee roasters have shied away from offering their specialty beans in single-serve packaging because it’s been nearly impossible to keep ground coffee fresh, which quickly ruins the taste,” said Wilbur. “With our nitro-sealed bags, oxygen is replaced with nitrogen, so the coffee stays fresh as if it was ground moments ago.”

Unlike the third wave coffee movement, which requires the consumer to execute nuisance brewing methods, such as pour over, Steeped focuses on convenience. “You shouldn’t need to perform chemistry before you’ve made your coffee,” Wilbur explained. 

Despite the seemingly frowned-upon preparation, the Santa Cruz-based company appears to have won over even the biggest coffee snobs. A recent review in Barista Magazine noted that Steeped Coffee “might just be one of our fave new ways to brew coffee on the road.”

And of course it wouldn’t be a millennial-friendly brand without a subscription service, which Steeped offers in a variety of flavors and kits.

Steeped is yet another example of the emerging coffee wave, which places emphasis on innovation and environmental sustainability. The company joins an ongoing boom at the intersection of the coffee and tech industries, which includes the development of beanless coffee, to capitalize on caffeine lovers’ devotion to the bean.

This National Coffee Day, One Startup Wants You to ‘Steep’ Your Java