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Coffee snobs will tell you “civet coffee” is the best brew in the game. Until now, this exclusive sip has cost up to $80 and are only brewed after being passed through the digestive tract of a small rodent. Synthetic biologist Camille Delebecque, co-founder of Afineur is out to change that through  a process that uses fermentation to yield a smoother, richer blend that will appease the most discerning of palettes. Get to know the people and place that inspire this innovator to disrupt your daily grind.

Current Location: Brooklyn

In one sentence, what is Afineur known for? Teaming up with natural microorganism to make better, healthier and more sustainable food.

What excites you about being a small business in your city?The diversity. Innovation comes from bridging different fields and gathering people with different views together.

Give us the inside story behind Afineur – how does it work? We use fermentation as a precision tool to enhance coffee. We select specific natural microbes able to “chew away” molecules that are not interesting  for coffee (irritants / bitter flavors) or enrich in others that are interesting (fruity/floral notes). We do the fermentations on the green coffee beans just before roasting.

Where’s the last place in your city you were inspired, by what? Moma PS1 library; awesome eclectic selection of fascinating books.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to fellow entrepreneurs?Don’t follow the crowds, look for synergies, be lean and able to evolve quickly.

What small business do you love, who or what makes it great? I love true innovators. People not following the beaten track. In NYC, there’s Modern Meadow, a plant based food and leather company which like us strives to make better and more sustainable food using biotechnology.

Where’s the first place you’d send a visitor in your city?Red Hook, I love the small village feeling of this neighborhood by the water and so close to Manhattan. Lots of great food, artists and startups there too!

What’s one thing the internet doesn’t know about Afineur?Afineur is way more than just coffee! We will launch a full line of Cultured Products using our fermentation platform. We really believe that controlled fermentations can make for better, healthier and more sustainable food to help feed a growing world.

Watch their Kickstarter campaign here: