Alex Kaplan ’21 wears a black apron and holds a stainless steel container as he pours coffee into teacups.
Courtesy of Alex Kaplan ’21

Alex Kaplan ’21 has a passion for coffee. He works for Cometeer, a startup selling frozen coffee that you melt in hot water. Alex studied physics at Princeton and was a founder of Princeton’s Coffee Club. In July, a thread he posted on X (formerly Twitter) about a room-temperature superconductor discovery that he called “the biggest physics discovery of my lifetime” went viral, and has been viewed over 30 million times. 

So what happened in July?
I went viral for posting about physics, which was kind of funny. I had about 200 followers before and now I have over 42,000 followers after the thread. I was in The New York Times and Bloomberg. It’s been a pretty wild ride; it’s been fun to tell people about physics. 
A lot of my interest came from a freshman seminar called Quantum States of Matter. We had to learn these high-end physics research studies without having to complete any previous physics coursework. The professor [Ali Yazdani] did an amazing job at explaining it and I really enjoyed it. One of the things we had learned about was superconductors and super solubility. I had first learned about them in that seminar and I got really excited about this paper and it was pretty cool. 
Can you talk about founding the Coffee Club?
My common app essay was titled “How do u make the perfect cup of coffee?” It was about me falling in love with coffee in high school and my interest in art, science, and math mastery. It was about devoting yourself to a craft and to a subject. 
I really fell into the coffee world in high school when my physics teacher started a club to teach kids about coffee. I didn’t really drink coffee at the time, but I got into it and started roasting coffee for people. Growing up in New York City, I got to go around the city and meet baristas and coffee roasters. I read everything I could about coffee and when I was deciding where to go to college, one thing I noticed was all of these colleges had coffee shops that were such great places to hang out, and Princeton didn’t have one. 
Once I got to Princeton, I realized I can just make a coffee spot here. It was the fall of my freshman year when I walked into Campus Club and realized that this could be a great coffee shop one day. I started a coffee taste testing club on campus. One of the things I loved the most about this was how supportive the administration was during the process. I took an entrepreneurship class sophomore year that focused on the coffee industry with Professor John Danner. I met cool people in coffee and learned about the coffee supply chain, which helped me develop ideas surrounding Coffee Club and its development. We started working on branding, building a business plan, and operations. After funding, we built the bar in the Campus Club, ordered machines, and built a partnership with a local coffee shop. After that we were off! 
What’s next for you? 
I’ve always been interested in making a big impact — that’s something I learned at Princeton. Entrepreneurship can be a great way of doing that; if you find something that people care about, you can build an impactful company. I think at Cometeer, we can do that in a big way with coffee and make a coffee that is unique for people. At a start-up there’s a lot to learn and a lot to work on. For now, I see myself making an impact at Cometeer and thinking about sustainable energy and decarbonization as well. 
—Interview conducted and condensed by Sophie Steidle ’25