(...) a new place called Limitless Coffee that sourced "washed" beans.
(...) it was supposed to be "cleaner and healthier,"
Its website says, "We exist to produce the purest coffee and tea on earth," and it throws plenty of shade on those who don't use the same methods.
(...) when you start comparing it to other people and their coffee and making health claims about things that don't add up, that concerns me."
So why would a new Chicago roaster base its marketing on implications that its competitors' naturally processed coffee is dirty?
"But it is," says Matt Matros, co-founder and brand director of Limitless Coffee. "I've been to the farms. I saw it."
Matros explains that in 2015, while he was on a yoga retreat in Bali,
he took a tour of a coffee farm.
"And I'm thinking, 'Wow that is filthy.' I couldn't believe how dirty the coffee (harvesting) process is," he says.
Specifically, Matros was horrified by the "natural" processing, which allows coffee cherries to dry under the sun for weeks.
"They're fermenting and decomposing and dying and attracting bugs, birds and wild animals," he says. "I saw this with my own eyes. And then it might rain, and then the sun comes out, and you get mold."
"With that clean coffee, we have low toxicity, and I think it's that low toxicity that really drives performance and productivity," says Matros. "We want to help people own the day and really win at productivity."
Limitless Coffee also air roasts its beans, which Matros claims reduces "carcinogenic chemicals" that he believes occur with traditional drum roasting.
Dan Cox, president of Coffee Analysts, went further. "I was offended by what I saw" on the Limitless Coffee site, says Cox, a certified coffee grader who's been in business for 35 years. "I don't think he knows what the (heck) he's talking about."
Specifically, Cox calls out Matros' blanket statements about the cleanliness of washed beans versus natural processed beans. When it comes to coffee quality, a number of factors come into play. "You can have washed coffee, and it can be filthy," Cox says. "Or it can be very clean."
When presented with some of this evidence, Matros says the real proof is in how his coffee makes people feel.