- By Alex Lafrenière
Magic equation for a successful coffee
Let's start our very first one-on-one on a good footing and explore the extraction parameters to follow to pour the best coffee possible. Ultimately, coffee brewing is a science that can rely on fixed variables. Although taste is subjective, the fact remains that certain basic rules can be followed to achieve the desired result in the cup, namely a balanced, complex and unctuous espresso.
The first parameter to consider is the ratio (ground coffee: espresso). Here we are targeting the proportion of coffee extracted compared to the initial dose. The most commonly used ratio and this everywhere in the world is 1: 2. We therefore say that for an initial quantity of coffee in grams, we will have double the espresso, calculated in grams as well.
The second setting is the one with the greatest effect on coffee extraction, but also happens to be the easiest to change. We are talking here about the grind or, in other words, how finely we come to shred the coffee beans using our grinder. The grind has a direct impact on a third parameter of great importance: the extraction time.
When a grind is finer, it will apply greater resistance against water trying to squeeze through the coffee patty and it decreases the flow rate. On the other hand, the water must find a way to dance long enough with the coffee particles to extract the maximum of its aromas. If the water slides too quickly in the coffee cake, the espresso in the cup may be rather disappointing: too liquid, acidic and sour in the mouth.
ADVICE FROM (almost) PRO : If you have a penchant for darker roast coffees, note that lowering the ratio allows you to emphasize the intensity and bold notes of the bean while limiting bitterness.
Float in a pancake
The last variable in the chemical equation for a coffee to your liking is the temperature. This parameter is vital because without hot water, it is not possible to bind and unbind the coffee molecules and thus extract its benefits. Here you can tailor the temperature to the roast level of your coffee bean and to your personal preference. For reference, the ideal temperature for a balanced extraction should be between 88 and 96°C. Raising the temperature beyond this range risks over-extracting the coffee and resulting in a more bitter finish. Conversely, too low a temperature can result in an acidic and dull finish to the cup.
Finally, there remains w not to be forgotten when making a coffee: the water quality. Being full of minerals, calcium and other unwanted particles, water can interact with coffee molecules and alter its taste. Opting for, for example, filtered water per carafe can help maintain the aromatic balance of the coffee. While coffee is made up of up to 98% water, it has every interest in being as pure as possible.
FUN-FACT : At the coffee shop Faux Mouvement, the water is purified through a reverse osmosis machine. A permeable membrane filters unwanted ions and particles from the water to ensure the quality of every cup.
Now, by respecting the magic equation of a 1:2 ratio + an adequate grind and extraction time + a temperature between 88°C and 96°C, we are sure to drink only rich and tasty espressos … as we deserve them, what !
Good coffee :)