Are you the type of person who needs that first cup of coffee in the morning, or do you prefer it after meals? One thing is certain, coffee is one of the most beloved drinks around the world. Afineur, a biotech company from Brooklyn, NY, is changing the way people think about coffee. They recently launched a new product, double fermented coffee, known as Cultured Coffee. The process of coffee starts with the fruit known as cherries. These cherries are picked by hand or with the use of machinery and handled by one of two methods; dry or wet. Fermentation of beans uses the wet method. The wet process removes the pulp from the cherry and then separates the skin and pulp. Fermentation tanks filled with water remove the unwanted outer layer known as mucilage. The fermentation process breaks down the outer layer before the rinsing and drying take place. Roasting, the familiar aroma coffee fanatics across the world know and love, is the final step.
What makes Cultured Coffee so unique? This coffee is the product of putting unroasted beans through a secondary fermentation process using the latest biotechnology before the roasting process. According to the creators, extra fermentation creates a coffee that is “healthier, easier to digest and has shining fruit and caramel and chocolate notes.” The flavor profiles of coffee are endless, and this extra step is a way to use science and technology to enhance the flavor of food with microorganisms. Don't think of this process as genetic engineering; think of it as simply selecting natural microorganisms that have the capability to change a particular food and work in conjunction with other microbes.
How is this beneficial for our health in the future? According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, "Coffee is the number one source of antioxidants in our diets." Other studies state caffeine in coffee improves brain function and lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and stroke. For people with gastrointestinal issues, the double fermentation of coffee provides a gentler option.
Bottom Line: Coffee is widely consumed and many studies support the health benefits. Now, advances in science have begun to redefine coffee with the double fermentation process. Not local to New York? Cultured Coffee is available online.
Written by: Tiffany Tanksley, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern
1. Eat Cultured
2. Authority Nutrition
3. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
4. National Coffee Association