The Coffee Ball Has Dropped

Swiss retail giant Migros has launched a new single-serve consumer brewing system that uses spheres of pre-ground condensed coffee called Coffee Balls, rather than capsules. Called CoffeeB, the system is being pitched to domestic and international audiences as a more eco-friendly alternative to popular capsule-consuming systems such as Keurig and Nespresso. The new system involves a machine called The Globe, which brews Coffee Balls one at a time. Each Coffee Ball has a seaweed-derived thin outer layer that the company describes as tasteless and colorless, while providing capsule-like structural integrity and maintaining freshness. The bad news is that the Coffee Balls are only compatible with the CoffeeB machine because the company had to develop a completely new brewing technology. CoffeeB is launching this week in Switzerland and France, with expansion into Germany planned for 2023. A pack of nine Coffee Balls will retail in Switzerland from CHF 4.60 ($4.69), and The Globe will retail for CHF 169 (approximately $172). The date of the company’s planned launch in the United States has yet to be determined.