Ever wondered what makes your coffee taste good? It's the microbes, finds a study.
The study showed that lactic acid bacteria which help in the longer fermentation of coffee beans results in better taste, contrary to conventional wisdom.
"A cup of coffee is the final product of a complex chain of operations: farming, post-harvest processing, roasting and brewing," said lead investigator Luc De Vuyst, Professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, in Belgium.
There are several variants of post-harvest processing, among which wet processing and dry processing are the most common. Wet processing -- commonly used for Arabica and specialty coffees -- is the step that includes fermentation.
The research, published in the Applied and Environmental Microbiology journal, was carried out at an experimental farm in Ecuador. The team found that during extended fermentation, leuconostocs -- a genus of lactic acid bacteria used in the fermentation of cabbage to sauerkraut and in sourdough starters -- declined in favour of lactobacilli.