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This fermented coffee might be the brew your gut’s been waiting for


Cultured Coffee Pin It
Photo: Afineur

Approximately 83 percent of American adults are coffee drinkers, and 74 percent of Americans are dealing with some sort of gut problem—not exactly comforting math. But Brooklyn-based start-up Afineur is about to change many, many lives by crafting a coffee it says is much gentler, GI-wise—designed to eliminate the digestive problems coffee commonly causes.

How, exactly? Natural fermentation. If you load up on sauerkraut, kefir, and mangos because you’re trying to boost the amount of good bacteria in your body, you might want to add the biotech company’s Cultured Coffee to your list.

But before you go shouting from the rooftops that you discovered a probiotic coffee, you should know that this fermentation is a bit different. “It isn’t [technically] probiotic because the beans are shelf-stabilized,” says Camille Delebecque, PhD, the CEO and co-founder of Afineur. (And alas, it’s missing the good bacteria in the aforementioned foods.)

The bitter notes (AKA what causes heartburn and GI issues for many people) are completely taken out at a molecular level.

Here’s what exactly is happening during the natural fermentation process—and why you should still get very, very excited: The bitter notes (AKA what causes heartburn and GI issues for many people) are completely taken out at a molecular level.

What’s left is the original coffee bean—just without the problem molecules. “Besides being better for people with acid reflux, we’ve also seen that is is better for people with IBS, since they can be sensitive to traditional coffee,” Dr. Delebecque says.

Cultured Coffee
Photo: Afineur

The lack of bitter notes also makes Cultured Coffee a bit sweeter than your average cup of joe. Dr. Delebecque and his co-founder Sophie Deterre, PhD, (who is a flavor and food scientist) spent a year getting the science exactly right, to create a coffee that’s as delicious as it is good for you. (Expect notes of caramel and chocolate.)

For Dr. Delebecque, it’s a way to combine his passions of bioengineering and food. “I’m a molecular engineer by training [with degrees from both Harvard and Paris Descartes University] and I’ve always been a big foodie,” he says.

And the coffee is just one way the biotech company is hoping to change the future of food. “We want to eliminate irritants from traditional foods while also increasing the amount of vitamins and different types of protein in them,” Dr. Delebecque says. “And we want to do that while making tastier food.”

You know what else causes digestive problems? Stress. Here’s how to calm your mind—and your gut—in five minutes flat. And adding these 10 foods to your diet will help, too.