Is Cultured Coffee a "Living" Food?

Cultured Coffee is a fermented food crafted in partnership with living cultures.

However unlike foods that require a live ferment to maintain their flavor and nutritional profiles, Cultured Coffee's benefits are locked in the beans even after the cultures are no longer active.

Learn more about what that means about your coffee and why this method of fermentation is so useful for consumers today. 

What is Living Food?

Living food refers to food that has been cultured, also referred to as "fermented."

microbes

Fermented food entails helping beneficial microorganisms to colonize and cultivate a food, which leads to chemical changes in the food that are beneficial to humans when ingested. 

While there are many different ways to culture food, many of these foods are "live" when you buy them. This means the cultures that enabled the chemical changes in the food or made it healthier and tastier are still alive in the product.

Examples of these kinds of food range from live fermented products such as kimchi and sauerkraut to priobiotic beverages like kombucha and many types of yoghurt-based products. 

Many of these living foods require refrigeration or some form of temperature-controlled storage in order to keep the microbes in them alive and control extra fermentation. That's because typically many of the microbes responsible for fermentation in food aren't very resistant to fluctuations in temperature and pH

As a result a rise or steep drop in temperature or pH outside of their preferred working conditions will partly or entirely limit their productivity.  

How Long Do Ferments Live For?

Live fermentations such as fermented vegetables can remain "live" for a long time if kept in the right conditions. The total length of time a fermented food will stay fresh and live depends on what's being fermented and how it's being stored. 

Ultimately all fermentation will stop once the microbes' available food source is no longer available. The rate at which this happens is tied to the surrounding pH, temperature and the food itself.

Are All Fermented Foods Live?

No. While some foods and beverages rely on live cultures to manage chemical changes to create the end products we're so familiar with, not all fermented end products are still live.

For some beverages for example, fermentation is a controlled process that starts and stops at a defined point.

alcohol

Beer, wine, sake and a range of alcoholic beverages are made using fermentation that's controlled - and stopped - at a certain point in the brewing process. This enables beverages producers of many kinds to balance their liquid's chemical composition, which yields flavor, effervescence and alcohol content.

In instances where these beverages aren't stored under the right conditions (or to produce different products from the same base), natural fermentation can start to take hold again. This is in part the mechanism behind wine that's gone "bad." 

Changing the conditions of a liquid is what creates the difference between hard cider and apple cider vinegar or wine and wine vinegar for example, which relies on acetobacter.

Since fermentation has the potential to change the flavor and health aspects of food and beverages, most fermented foods will carefully manage how "live" the ferments are for quality control purposes. This can either happen during production or based on how the end product is stored either by the retailer or consumer. 

Are There Live Microbes in Cultured Coffee?

Cultured Coffee is produced using a new fermentation method. Unlike live fermented foods however, fermentation stops when the coffee beans are roasted. 

cultured coffee

The microbes used to create a unique range of health and flavor benefits in our beans can't survive the temperatures used to roast coffee beans. 

Instead, fermentation in Cultured Coffee takes place in the dry green coffee beans, which are then fermented using select microbes and our technical expertise for two to three days. During this time, chemical changes take place in the green coffee beans. 

While the microbes responsible for these chemical changes in Cultured Coffee don't survive the roast process, the benefits they've instilled in our coffee beans are permanent. This process creates a shelf-stable whole bean coffee that will stay fresh (and healthy) for as long as you like!

--- 

Sample the world's first healthy and shelf-stable smart fermented coffee: Cultured Coffee

1 comment

Richard Sprague

It would be interesting to see whether your beans have any effect on the microbiome. I’ve tested several fermented foods (see https://medium.com/microbiome) with mixed results. Coffee is especially interesting because, as you note, it’s the main source of antioxidants for many people. I suspect that an as-yet-undiscovered microbe is involved, which would be fun to test: https://twitter.com/sprague/status/973372172675694594

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published