When making wine, yeasts are used that ferment the grapes. Whether the wines are made in South Africa, Australia or California, the strains of yeasts used do not vary. Production of coffee and cacao require fermentation with yeast too but, to date, nobody has known if the yeast strains for these processes are all as closely related as they are for wine. Now a team is revealing that they are not and arguing that this paves the way for exciting new flavours of coffee and chocolate to be made.
The new work effectively suggests that if chocolate and coffee makers meddle with yeast species, by, for example, mixing yeast strains that are normally common in the coffee of the Hawaiian isles into an otherwise Brazilian blend, there is the potential to create a brew that carries a mix of intriguing characteristics. You can read more in The Economist article that I wrote on this subject here.