Introducing: the New York coffee makers fermenting beans for a cultured cup
Kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha tea: 2015 has seen the foodie world go mad for all things fermented.
And, when you factor in our ever-increasing love of good coffee, it was only ever a matter of time before someone fused the two in mash-up of ultra hip proportions.
And so, in what has got to be the most hyper trendy idea of the summer, we introduce Brooklyn-based start-up Afineur. Their first project? Coffee that's undergone the good bacteria treatment more often associated with pickled veggies.
Created by allowing beans (specifically, Arabica from the Huehuetenango region in Guatemala – fancy) to ferment when introduced to friendly forms of yeast, the ground-up result is powder that produces a super clean-tasting cup. The big claim? That it's free of the bitterness which often plagues DIY java makers.
Launched by caffeine aficionado, microbiology PHD-holder and entrepreneur Camille Delebecque, the aim of the game is to unlock floral, fruity and chocolate notes that the beans contain, but which sadly get scorched off by traditional brewing methods. The big notion came courtesy of a trip to Indonesia, where Delebecque was inspired by a pretty kooky way of making speciality coffee there.
The esteemed kopi luwak blend is formed when whole coffee beans are picked out of the dung of the civet – a feline animal native to the country. Because digestion is impossible, beans go through a fermentation process on their way through. Nice.
Realising that the same effect would be possible with cultures and beans in a lab, Delebecque partnered with his high school friend Sophie Deterre to get cracking on a more sanitary interpretation of the drink. After perfecting their technique, they’ve unleashed the delicately flavoured result on the world, via a Kickstarter campaign designed to help them bring bags of the stuff to market.
Having already smashed their $15,000 target on the crowd-sourcing site, it looks like a cup of oh-so-cool cultured Joe might be on your brunch table sometime soon.
People, the future is now.