I’m an equal opportunity coffee drinker. Hot or iced, dark or blonde, black or sweetened, I’m not picky about how it comes, but I do care deeply about how it tastes.
And making that perfect cup at home can be challenging at times. There are so many (often very pricey) machines and devices claiming to help you achieve your ideal brew, but understanding how to optimize them can take time, even if you just want to make a simple drink. The quality of your coffee beans matters too, and while grinding beans at home is better for flavor, it also means you have to add another step, and device, to your routine. With all this to consider, it might seem less complicated to just shell out a few dollars at your nearby coffee joint for a surefire quick fix. Neither solution is perfect. Is it too much to ask for a way to have great coffee without having to involve — or become — a barista?
Enter Cometeer, a coffee subscription that has partnered with top names in brews — think Counter Culture, Birch, Equator, Joe Coffee and more — to bring incredibly delicious and convenient coffee right to your door. From the grinding of the beans to the cleaning of the machine, Cometeer has cut out the complexities and simplified the entire coffee-making process down to just one simple step: letting a frozen capsule of ultra high-quality coffee melt into a mouthwatering cup.
So, is Cometeer the answer to all your at-home coffee needs? I traded out my French press and tripled my weekly caffeine intake to find out.
What is Cometeer?
Cometeer promises to be the Earth’s first hyper-fresh coffee. Pretty bold, no? The coffee “comets” (aka pods) are delivered right to your door in recyclable packaging. Perhaps the biggest thing that sets Cometeer’s capsules apart from other coffee competitors: They arrive frozen, and are meant to be stored in the freezer.
Brewed with beans from top roasters across the country like Counter Culture, Birch, Red Bay and Onyx, Cometeer flash-freezes coffee at the peak of its flavor before delivering it directly to you. Each comet contains liquid that’s brewed at 10 times the strength of a standard cup of coffee, and unlike instant coffee, nothing has been dehydrated, so the hearty flavor lasts all the way until the last sip.
Cometeer offers eight different box options depending on what kind of roast or roasters you like most. I’m not picky on this front, so I opted for the Mixed Box, which comes with four different boxes of roasts ranging from light to dark, each with eight comets for a total of 32 cups of coffee.
Each box costs $64 and comes with free shipping. Some quick math, and you now know you’re spending $2 a cup with Cometeer, which is more than it costs to brew coffee from a bag at home, but less than an average visit to Starbucks or your local coffee shop.
Your Cometeer order comes packed on dry ice so the capsules don’t melt before you’ve had a chance to put them in your freezer. The only downside to the delivery process is that you do have to wait 48 hours for the dry ice to evaporate before you can completely dispose of all the delivery materials, but this wasn’t too much of a hassle.
The comet boxes are easy to store as well, so as long as you don’t have your freezer tactically stacked up to the door, you should have plenty of room for them. Plus, you can refreeze each comet if you don’t use it immediately, and if you think you might be in the mood for a brew later, the capsules keep their peak flavor at room temperature for 24 hours or for up to three days in the fridge.
Cometeer is also great for those who are short on counter space; all you really need is a cup. My small apartment kitchen doesn’t have much room for an espresso machine or drip coffee maker, so I usually opt for making coffee in my French press, which even then can be annoying to clean. On top of that, unless I plan ahead or use leftover stale coffee from the day before, making a morning iced coffee isn’t normally an option. I loved that with the comets, I could make whatever kind of coffee I was feeling right when I woke up.
How to make Cometeer coffee
Making a cup of coffee using the comets couldn’t be simpler: You select your pod from the freezer, give it a few minutes to melt, mix it into your choice of milk or water and voila! You’ve got coffee.
If you’re making hot coffee, you don’t even have to wait for the capsules to melt, since the hot water will do that for you. Just run the capsule under some warm water and shake to loosen the comet, then dump it into your cup. If you have a single-serve coffee machine, like a Keurig brewer, you can use the Cometeer pods as you would a regular K-cup by selecting the 8-ounce cup setting.
Admittedly, as an iced coffee fan, waiting for the comet to melt is the hardest part, though it doesn’t take any longer than your standard drip machine or French press would. If you’re really in a hurry, you can speed up the melting by letting the still-sealed comet sit in a hot cup of water to thaw faster. I personally just used the time to finish up the rest of my morning duties like emptying the dishwasher or doing my skincare routine.
For better or worse, the convenience of these pods also meant that my afternoon debate over whether it’d be worth the effort to make another pick-me-up cup went out the window. Although I’m working from home these days, if you’re commuting, you could easily grab a capsule on your way out the door, and it’d be ready to use by the time you clocked in. Cleaning up is a breeze too; just toss the comet pod, which is made from aluminum, in the recycling bin and you’re good to go.
How does Cometeer taste?
So yes, Cometeer delivers on being easy to use and convenient, but how does it taste?
Pretty great. Iced or hot, in milk or water, and black or sweetened, each capsule delivered flavorful coffee that rivaled what I would expect at a local artisanal brew house. Easily, Cometeer’s coffees tasted far better than what I regularly brew in my French press.
Even on the days when I didn’t have enough patience to let the comet melt completely and instead just chucked it into a cup of water, my coffee still came out great, as the intensity of the drink kept increasing as I sipped. Not only was it nice to have both hot and iced coffee throughout the day, but with the Mixed Box, I could also try out multiple different roasters, which allowed me to note the nuances of each roast.
Each roaster’s box of comets comes with a printed description about the notes of the coffee inside, as well as the roast level, making it easy to know what to expect flavor-wise from each batch. I found that this information also helped me understand my own coffee preferences better.
Typically, I go for medium roast blends that usually have a nice, well-bodied flavor that works well whether hot or iced. Counter Culture’s medium roast Hologram blend was my favorite of the four from the Mixed Box, with a subtly sweet flavor that I didn’t really need to add anything else too. I also loved the George Howell Dota French dark roast for my afternoon iced lattes, which has a slightly bolder taste that balanced out well when added to the milk. Both blends have main notes of milk chocolate with some other fruit flavors mixed in, and I found myself reaching for those roasts much more often than the other Bird Rock and Equator roasts that were included in the box. Don’t get me wrong, all the coffees were great, and I loved getting to try blends I wouldn’t normally go for, but the common flavor threads I noticed between my two favorite blends helped me get to know my own coffee palate that much better.
The bottom line
No matter how I drank the Cometeer capsules, I always ended up with a tasty cup of coffee. I loved being able to instantly make delicious hot or cold coffees without the use of any extra equipment. Plus, each comet gives you the perfect amount for a single serving, so I never worried about making too much and being wasteful.
With all that in mind, Cometeer is still more expensive than buying a traditional bag of coffee beans. If you’ve already invested in quality machines, grinders, frothers and devices or just enjoy the meditative ritual of making that perfect cup every day, then odds are you don’t need Cometeer — although it might be nice to have on hand for those days when you’re just not feeling up to the effort. If you’re consistently spending $4 or $5 dollars on your daily caffeine fix, though, Cometeer is a great option that can surely save you some money in the long run.
Overall, Cometeer is a fool-proof and no-fuss subscription that’s guaranteed to meet your morning (or afternoon) needs for a quality cup of joe. So if you’re a coffee enthusiast that loves being able to conveniently customize your cup to your changing daily preferences, consider giving Cometeer a go.