In 2021, David embarked on a 10 day hike through Andalucia, Spain with friends. While deep in the mountains of the Sierras de Tejeda, with over 30km's still left to cover until they could reach the beautiful village of Competa, they came to a startling realisation. Having begun their walk before sunrise and the temperature climbing higher than expected, it dawned on them: they needed coffee. Literally kilometers away from civilization and with no café con leche in sight, tensions rose, desperation set in, and something had to be done.It just so happened that David, an avid adventurer and enthusiastic planner, had recently stocked up his provisions at a local supermarket and secretly bought & stashed a small jar of instant coffee in his backpack. Just as the friends were beginning to lose all hope and succumb to the harsh reality of a caffeine-free expedition, David pulled out the small jar of granulated goodness. Equipped with luke warm drinking water and the only travel cups he could find, he proceeded to the make the unimaginable happen. A wave of emotions swept through the group friends and, suddenly, the air smelled fresher and the vegetation looked greener. They could now envision completing their journey, and they embraced the energy boost that they thought would never come. David's small jar of instant coffee stayed with the group throughout the duration of their journey, forming a bond that none of them will be quick to forget. While the instant coffee was certainly not the best coffee any of them had ever tasted, they realised that it still provided them some solace when nothing else could.
This got David thinking, what would it take to create a great instant coffee?
And so the quest for Stardust began 🧑🚀
Peter has a very different story. While he was living in Vienna, Austria in 2020 - when the whole world was on standby and life as he knew it was crumbling away - Pete began to question everything, asking himself real existential stuff like 'how many rolls of toilet paper should I buy?' and 'what factors in my life are making me feel miserable?'. Weeks of lockdown turned into months, and the sleeplessness, anxiety and exhaustion sent him into a full-blown burnout. Needing to take charge of his well-being, Pete quickly became hooked on tools for health optimisation and decided that the only way to manage everything better, was to measure it.
With a bit of research, Pete realised that drinking 3 - 4 cups of coffee was probably not a good idea, especially because he had no idea how much caffeine was in each cup and, more than that, this amount could differ drastically depending on where he got his coffee / what kind he had. An Americano made at home could have around 60mg of caffeine, while a brewed coffee from a popular coffee chain could have almost triple that amount. Upsize that to a medium cup? You're looking at around 400mg of caffeine (the equivalent of about 7 Stardust sachets)! Yikes is right. Add to this equation the fact that caffeine is a psychoactive substance, shouldn't we be more careful about how much we consume?
All Pete could think about was coffee, he dreamed about coffee, he wrote songs about coffee, he spent hours reading about coffee, and he wanted to dedicate his life to coffee. He started asking himself more life-altering questions, like:
☕ As coffee-drinkers, how can we be more responsible?🤯
Can we harness the mind-boggling properties of caffeine to make us feel more energised and focused, without sending our bodies into overdrive?
He tried different coffee blends, tested different brewing methods, bought different tools and appliances, and become _that_ person who asks the barista about the origin and flavour profile of his morning pour over. Fast forward to 2022, Pete's small obsession is now a not-so-small obsession and, with a background in tech startups, he joined forces with David to work on something that they're both really (really) excited about. Combining David's love for adventure and Pete's love for, well, coffee, the two founders set about finding the ultimate solution for manageable doses of insanely good instant coffee.
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