These Fascinating Coffee “Capsules” Were Named One Of The Best Inventions Of 2022, And After Trying Them For Myself, I'm High-Key Obsessed

As a tech-obsessed food writer, I not-so-secretly live for the annual Best Inventions list from Time, particularly when it comes to their food and beverage selections. In case you're unfamiliar: Every year, Time releases its list of 100 new products that are game-changing across various sectors. In the food and beverage world, past winners have included everything from AirCo's air-distilled, carbon-negative vodka to the meat-free Impossible Burger and even the "perfect" new pasta shape Cascatelli. On their 2022 list, I was thrilled to see a coffee product that I've been oddly curious about for many months now: Cometeer coffee capsules.

promotional image of frozen coffee poured into hot water in clear coffee cup
Cometeer

If you, unlike me, haven't been pleasantly haunted by their Instagram ads for months, here's the gist. Cometeer makes "flash-frozen" coffee capsules that are the exact same size and shape as the K-Cups you'd use with a Keurig coffee machine. Unlike K-Cups, however, these capsules contain frozen, highly-concentrated brewed coffee instead of coffee grounds, and you keep 'em in the freezer. According to the company, all you need to do is add water to enjoy the "most complex" cup of coffee you've ever tasted.

package of eight coffee capsules in a small blue box
Ross Yoder

As a coffee enthusiast, my interest was piqued. Brewing the perfect cup of coffee at home is no easy feat, and that's coming from someone who's tried basically every method out there. So, given the promise of that ideal cup of joe with basically zero effort, I decided to give Cometeer a try to see if it lived up to the hype.

Note: BuzzFeed received a free sample of Cometeer coffee, but we were under no obligation to provide a review.

HOW TO ORDER: You can find Cometeer coffee in several stores across the US, but it's easiest to order via the company's website. It's honestly a pleasure to use. To match you with your ideal roasts, you'll enter your coffee-drinking preferences...

choose between bold and black, all kinds of ways, cream and sugar, decaf only, or single-origin black on the company's website

(You can choose between Bold and Black, All Kinds of Ways, Cream and Sugar, Decaf Only, or Single-Origin Black.)

Cometeer

...and they'll assemble a selection of four unique boxes of Cometeer capsules for you for a total of 32 8-ounce cups of coffee, with decaf and half-caff options available, too. For $64 total, each cup of coffee will set you back $2; less than your favorite coffee shop but more than most K-Cups.

ended up with a mixed roast box, with different strengths and colors of coffee

To brew at home with similar-quality coffee beans, I usually pay around $16 for a 12-ounce bag. With some quick math, that's about $0.88 per 8-ounce cup — a little less than half what you'd pay for the same amount of Cometeer coffee.

It looks like you can only order as a recurring shipment at the cadence of your choosing, but if you'd like to opt out, you can cancel additional shipments at any time. Shipping on your first box is free, but you'll pay $9.99 per box after your initial order.

Cometeer

WHAT YOU'LL GET: I'm pretty all over the place with my coffee preferences. As a result, my order contained a little bit of everything — from light to dark roasts, some single origins, some blends — and all were from different roasters.

four colorful boxes of cometeer coffee on counter

The various boxes are shipped in recyclable packaging to your door and packed with dry ice to keep them nice and frozen.

Ross Yoder

Each box tells you where the beans were grown, the location of the roaster, and the tasting notes present. If you've never really thought about the coffee you drink every morning beyond "must have caffeine," it's honestly a really fun exercise to identify the notes in each cup as you taste them. It might even help you learn more about what you do and don't like when you think about your future coffee purchases, Cometeer or otherwise.

box says tasting notes, which are mixed berries, sweet tea, raw honey, location of beans, and the roaster location
Ross Yoder

HOW IT BREWS: Their website uses the term "melts" in lieu of "brews," which is cute, and there are actually several different ways to "melt" your Cometeer capsule into a cup of coffee. For my first go at it, I went with the most straightforward method of melting a frozen coffee puck in 8 ounces of hot water.

frozen coffee concentrate in an aluminum pod with aluminum lid peeled back three quarters of the way
Ross Yoder

After quickly running the sealed capsule under warm water to loosen the contents, I dunked the frozen puck of concentrated coffee into a mug. I poured hot water overtop, and the puck melted in less than 10 seconds. It was...the easiest cup of coffee I've ever prepared. And that includes Keurig.

empty coffee capsule next to hot coffee mug
Ross Yoder

It's worth mentioning that, unlike Keurig's K-Cups, the Cometeer capsules are completely recyclable as-is. Yes, K-Cups are technically 100% recyclable as of 2020, but that's only if you separate out the various components inside the pod and adequately dispose of the used coffee grounds. If you've ever tried to do that, you'll know it's annoying at best.

coffee pod is recyclable

Since Cometeer capsules are made of 100% aluminum, it's as simple as rinsing out any remaining concentrate and tossing 'em into your recycling bin.

Ross Yoder

Folks, I've been drinking these futuristic lil' coffee capsules for several days now, and I've gotta say: I am absolutely obsessed. Here are my honest thoughts, including several reasons why this might just become a part of my personal morning routine, and the one reason why Cometeer might not work for every coffee-drinker.

LOVE: Coffee enthusiasts (and regular ol' coffee lovers) will truly be blown away by the flavor. This product produces some of the best coffee I've ever tasted — and I've tried my fair share.

author holding up coffee mug with texts to his partner saying wow the cometeer is redacted AMAZING

Unless you're a barista or coffee professional, making the "perfect" cup of coffee can be difficult, and it also requires a decent amount of specialty equipment to do things the "right" way. Making a truly balanced, flavorful, and robust cup of coffee is legitimately foolproof with Cometeer, and I mean that. IDK what their proprietary brewing method is, but whatever it is, it's definitely genius.

For comparison: These capsules produce a cup of coffee that's right up there with some pour-overs I've ordered at specialty coffee shops, and depending on where you are in the world, those can easily cost double the amount of a single Cometeer capsule, if not more.

Ross Yoder

LOVE: The different varieties of drinks you can make are honestly incredible — including one of the best (and easiest) iced coffees I've ever tasted.

Ross Yoder

You can make just about any coffee drink using Cometeer capsules. For drinks that are traditionally espresso-based, like hot and iced lattes, the coffee concentrate won't pack the exact same taste as espresso, but it's pretty darn close in strength and flavor. (You can even turn them into an espresso martini, which I will personally be trying in the very, very near future.)

Iced coffee lovers: I've got great news. I think the iced coffee you can make with Cometeer is, with no exaggeration, utter perfection. Just thaw your capsule in the fridge overnight and pour the concentrate into a glass with 8 ounces of cold water and some ice. It packs in all the smoothness of a cold brew with the rounded flavors of a pour-over, and it takes seconds to make. I mean, I may never order a cold brew again.

LOVE: Thanks to the frozen coffee concentrate, the resulting cup of coffee is the perfect temperature to drink instantly.

frozen coffee puck cools coffee to the optimal drinking temperature

There's nothing worse than burning your tongue (or entire mouth) on boiling-hot coffee when you're just trying to get your caffeine buzz on. Using their standard "melting" method, the frozen coffee puck immediately cools the hot water down to a perfect drinking temperature so you can enjoy it right away. The best part? That ideal temperature actually means you can taste the various notes better.

Ross Yoder

LOVE: The product itself is pretty environmentally-friendly to begin with, but that doesn't stop at the recyclable capsules.

circle around the cometeer pod that says recyclable

Beyond the capsules being recyclable, Cometeer also sends all their spent coffee grounds to a local composting facility in the Boston, Massachusetts area. If you're someone who's environmentally conscious and enjoys a great cup of coffee, Cometeer capsules are definitely the easiest way to make your morning brew a little more climate-conscious — especially if you live in a home or city where composting isn't an option.

Ross Yoder

LOVE: If you're a Keurig person, these capsules will fit right into your pre-existing machine, but the resulting coffee will taste 10 times better than the K-Cups you're already used to.

can be used in lieu of K-Cups

Since Cometeer capsules are the exact same size and shape as K-Cups, you can pop 'em into your Keurig, select the 8-ounce size option, and brew.

Douglas Sacha / Getty Images

LOVE: Their coffee selection is seriously impressive, and you'll get to support smaller coffee roasters in lieu of, you know, companies like Dunkin' and Starbucks.

several different roasters via the company's website that they list

And since there's a very slim (read: basically nonexistent) margin for human error when you "brew" Cometeer's coffee capsules, I found that all the varieties and roasters I sampled tasted distinct and wholly unique. Having those varieties to choose from honestly made my mornings more exciting, and I was actually surprised by the ones that I kept going back for.

As it turns out, I actually do like darker roasts...I just don't love them when I absolutely burn the hell out of them in my drip coffee machine. Who knew!

Ross Yoder

DIDN'T LOVE: For $2 per capsule, each one only produces eight ounces of brew, which may be less than you're used to drinking. But regardless of size, you'll still get a similar (or even stronger) caffeine buzz.

circled 180 mg of caffeine per capsule

Cometeer's capsules supposedly contain 180 mg of caffeine per serving, which is just about two times the amount of caffeine when compared to a traditional brew — around 95 mg, on average. So, even if the serving size isn't what you're used to, the caffeine contents might render that second cup useless anyway. Anecdotally speaking, I'll just say that the two cups of Cometeer I enjoyed this morning were possibly too much caffeine for me — as evidenced by my shaky hands as I write out this post. And this is coming from someone who basically needs a coffee IV drip to get out of bed in the morning.

Ross Yoder

Overall, I can say with full confidence that Cometeer is one of the best coffee products I've ever tried, but it also might not be for everyone. If you're the "coffee is coffee" type (no shade!) or if you're on a tight budget, $2 a cup might not seem worthwhile. But if you're at all curious about coffee, I think Cometeer is absolutely worth trying. If you tend to rely on regular ol' drip or Keurig coffee, these results will likely blow your mind.

According to the company's site, the capsules will keep in the freezer for up to 24 months. So, even if you'd like to stick to your usual coffee routine for financial reasons, you could totally just order a box of Cometeer and save them for the days when you really just want to grab a coffee on your way to work. It'll be cheaper than what you'd order out, take less time than a coffee pit stop, and taste way better, too.

If you'd like to try Cometeer coffee for yourself, you can purchase it online or in select stores nationwide. A package of 32 capsules (for 32 8-ounce servings) will set you back $64, and shipping on your first order is free.

And for the upcoming holidays, they even have gift boxes available to order for $79 apiece. To ensure delivery before December 23, order before December 19.