“To boldly go where no [90 year old] man has gone before”

Do you know what show that quote is from? Star Trek. And who said that? Capt. James T. Kirk. Real life actor William Shatner, now 90 years old(!), was gifted an approximately ten-minute trip into outer space aboard a Blue Origin rocket just recently. He said he was “overwhelmed” and seemed to be genuinely, profoundly affected, saying, “I hope I never recover from this.” If you haven’t already heard him speak about it or the media coverage, you can search for that and find a lot about it.

Though a 90 year old man had not gone to outer space before, coffee had already made the trip over fifty years ago. “One Giant Slurp for Mankind: 50 Years of Coffee in Space.” That milestone was reached in July 2019.

I doubt Shatner had a flight attendant offer him coffee in his ten minute trip. I always found it amusing when, in earlier years, the flight attendants would rush to offer drinks and snacks and clean up for the shortest of (airplane) flights. As if you can’t possibly survive 40 minutes in the air without needing to eat and drink.

In more recent science news, Finnish Scientists Successfully Transform Plant Cells into Coffee-Like Drink. That could be useful when we Earthlings eventually live on some space station and need our coffee. The Finnish scientists “transformed arabica coffee cells into something resembling a coffee drink.” Ha ha!! What do you imagine it tasted like? How much did it resemble coffee? They think that in as soon as four years, they could commercially mass produce this. Luckily, “specialty coffees with distinctive cup character affected by terroir, post-harvest processing and roasting are likely to remain at the hands of farmers.”

That’s not the only thing going on in Finland. Some Vietnamese immigrants started a Helsinki-based eco-startup, Rens, in 2019 that created a waterproof coffee sneaker out of 21 cups of coffee waste and six bottles of recycled plastic. Now Rens wants to crowdfund a climate neutral sneaker named NOMAD.

How’s that for various coffee-related trivia?

2 thoughts on ““To boldly go where no [90 year old] man has gone before”

  1. Beer makers tinker w the chemistry of the water to match the region of the beer, so perhaps the Finns are studying how the chemistry of a terroir affects the coffee? Or perhaps the same is done for the water used to brew the coffee a far from where it’s grown?

  2. Coffee sneakers? I’m thinking coffee slippers, so one can caffeinate first thing in the morning, from the feet up!

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