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On drip-coffee and espresso

There is no reward for being literate in the subject of coffee - It just paints you as a target to be asked how
to order a "decent black pike" at Starbucks.
This is like asking if you can get a quality McDonalds sandwich by scraping off the condi!ents.
"s with all food-ser#ices that achie#e consistent product-quality through lowering quality-standards$ the
product%s& carried at Starbucks is only intended for people who either dont know better$ or dont care. It is
not the ai! of this essay to change that.
I. Introduction
'offee is a brewed be#erage prepared fro! the roasted seeds of se#eral species of an e#ergreen shrub of the
genus 'offea. The two !ost co!!on sources of coffee beans are the highly regarded Coffea arabica$ and
the "robusta" for! of the !ore-resilient Coffea canephora plant. The !ost-practical difference between the
two is that robusta has roughly twice the caffeine as arabica - (owe#er$ robusta also e)hibits a !ore-bitter
taste. The con#ention arising fro! this is that blends of the two generally contain less than *+, robusta$
lest the fla#or be too bitter.
The fruit of the plants are picked$ then processed to re!o#e the seeds %known as coffee-beans&$ The seeds
are then dried. The green$ dried beans are then roasted to desired le#els - -enerally$ a light roast yields a
light-brown bean$ a !ediu!-roast is dark-brown$ and a "dark"-roast is na!ed due to the black color of the
beans. .#en darker roasts are used under #arying na!es %".spresso roast"$ "/ra0illian roast"$ "1rench
roast"$ etc.&.
The roasted beans are then ground to a powder and steeped with water for brewing$ in a #ariety of
The plant #ariety$ soil$ processing and drying !ethods$ and roast-le#el all affect the resulting fla#or of the
beans. The brewing !ethod introduces e#en !ore #ariables of che!istry to affect the final fla#or of the
II. Chemistry
2stensibly$ the reason coffee is drank is due to its caffeine content. 'affeine is whats known as an alkaloid
- " naturally-occuring che!ical-co!pound co!posed of carbon$ hydrogen$ nitrogen$ and %generally&
o)ygen. The best-known alkaloids are known for their effects on our ner#ous syste!s3 'affeine$ nicotine$
quinine$ cocaine$ and !orphine.
'affeine is water-soluble - /ut barely so. 'affeine is 4.*, soluble in water at roo! te!perature$ *+,
soluble in water at 567'. and 86, soluble at *667'. 1or this reason$ coffee is generally brewed at hot
te!peratures$ in order to !a)i!i0e the caffeine-e)traction. The caffeine !olecules ato!ic !akeup is
c5h*6n8o4 - The !olecules four nitrogen and two o)ygen ato!s are highly electronegati#e. 9ater can
hydrogen-bond to caffeine at these si) locations$ due to the hydrogen ato!s being attracted to the nitrogen
and o)ygen. This is what !akes caffeine water-soluble.
The roasted coffee bean contains #olatile co!pounds that are lost with the carbon-dio)ide the beans
continually e)pel as a result of the roasting-process. /ecause co4 is constantly being released$ roasted
coffee beans are generally packaged in air-tight containers with one-way #al#es$ to pre#ent the bag fro!
e)ploding due to internal gas-pressure. /ut because the #olatile co!pounds responsible for fla#or are
constantly being e)pelled with the co4$ this !eans that roasted coffee beans that ha#e e)pelled !ost or all
of their carbon-dio)ide are rendered "stale": with the only re!aining fla#or consisting of the char i!parted
by roasting.
1or this reason$ !ass-producers and -retailers of brewed coffee co!!only use dark-roasting to !ask the
fla#or of stale coffee - This tactic both e)tends the shelf-life of the beans and allows for the use of low-
quality beans that will largely ha#e fla#or i!parted by the roasting. Therefore$ the "lifespan" of these
roasted beans is finite - -enerally$ two weeks fro! the roasting-date. /eyond that$ the char of the roasting
process is the bulk of what youre tasting in your coffee: with any residual fla#ors being the result of the p(
of the bean itself$ as well as any bitter alkaloids contained within the bean.
There is also the !atter of the water-solubility of the fla#ors a coffee bean contains. The brewing process
%a!ount and te!perature of water used$ o#er the a!ount of ti!e steeped: the !aterial used for filtering: the
agitation of the steeped grounds: the gas- and water-pressure in#ol#ed: the a!ount of contact between
grounds and water o#er what kind of surface-area: the si0e of grounds used: the quality of water used: etc.&
will deter!ine whether the co!pounds e)tracted will be water-soluble or insoluble. This is elaborated upon
in further detail$ below.
1inally$ there is the !atter of how this #olatile nature is affected in grinding the beans.
-rinding the beans into #arying degrees of course or fine powders is necessary in !a)i!i0ing the surface-
area of the raw !aterials fro! which were e)tracting the desired co!ponents of our coffee. ;nfortunately$
grinding also releases !ost of the contained carbon-dio)ide %and with it$ the precious #olatile-co!pounds&.
The !ost ob#ious #isible difference between recently-roasted coffee grounds and stale coffee grounds is to
do with the a!ount of co4 released upon contact with %typically heated& water3 1resh grounds will "bloo!"
and bubble with the release of co4$ whereas stale grounds will be inert. /ecause this co4-release is an
indicator of freshness$ it is considered a desirable trait.
;nfortunately$ the lifespan of the #olatile co!pounds contained in a coffee bean is reduced to only se#eral
!inutes after grinding. This !eans that the opti!u! conditions for brewing the !ost-fla#orful coffee is
dependent-upon using beans within roughly two weeks of roasting$ and brewing within two !inutes of
grinding. This also !eans that$ barring #ery specific precautions in packaging to account for the abo#e-
!entioned factors$ pre-ground coffees are generally stale before theyre e#en purchased.
III. Common myths
<ow that so!e basic che!istry has been laid-down$ Ill address a few old-wi#es tales about these drinks3
Myth 1: Dark-roasted beans contain more caffeine
Short answer3 <o. /rewed dark-roasted coffees M"= contain !ore caffeine$ if !ore beans were used. The
bean itself cannot be i!parted with !ore caffeine.
>ong answer3 This is not only i!possible$ but the opposite is true3 The a!ount of caffeine a dried coffee
bean contains cannot be increased - It can only be lost. "s such$ a coffee bean losing !ass during roasting
is also losing caffeine. "dditionally$ the water-soluble nature of caffeine !eans that the stea! released in
roasting necessarily contains caffeine. The a!ount of caffeine lost$ howe#er$ is closer to negligible in the
final brewing %as the a!ount of caffeine e)tracted is greatly-dependent upon the e)traction-!ethod&. /ut
the fact re!ains that a coffee bean$ as a !atter of rudi!entary physics$ loses !ore caffeine the longer it is
roasted. That said$ a #ariety of bean that naturally contains !ore caffeine than another would of-course
retain a proportional a!ount during roasting %pro#ided$ of-course$ that the roasting conditions are
controlled so as to be identical&.
The !ain factor fueling this !yth is fla#or3 'affeine is a bitter-tasting alkaloid. (ence$ hu!ans erroneously
associate bitterness with caffeine-content. /ut what they are actually tasting %elaborated upon in a below
!yth& is the char of the roasted bean.
So whats the deal? 'affeine has a high !elting point %8@6.871A4B57'&:which !eans that the a!ount of
caffeine present in light roasts re!ains !ore-or-less constant throughout the roasting process. So3 "n
indi#idual coffee bean loses C.>"TID.>=-little of its contained caffeine during roasting.
The differences roast-profiles i!part in caffeine-content are to do with the water-weight lost through
e#aporation during roasting. >ighter-roasted beans ha#e higher !oisture-content than darker roasts$ due to
the fact that less water-!ass has been e#aporated fro! the bean. This !eans that a light-roasted #ersion of
a bean will necessarily weigh !ore than a dark-roasted #ersion of the sa!e bean.
(ere is that !eans for your brewing3 Suppose youre accusto!ed to using *6g of a light-roasted bean in
brewing a cup of coffee$ but you are$ for whate#er reason$ now using a dark-roasted #ariety of the sa!e
coffee bean. 9hen weighing out your beans$ it will take !ore dark-roasted beans to achie#e the sa!e
weight. /ut$ because the caffeine-content of an indi#idual unit of a bean is constant$ you will produce a cup
of coffee !ade with !ore beans$ and !ore beans !eans !ore caffeine.
(owe#er$ I !ust disclai! that the pre#ious paragraphs refer to strictly-controlled conditions. To reiterate3
'affeine and water co!prise a percentage of the total !ass of the bean. "s roasting re!o#es water$ the
percentage of caffeine co!prising the total !ass of the bean is increased. There is not any !ore caffeine in
the bean than there was - =ou just use !ore beans to co!pensate for the loss of water-weight$ which results
in More /eans E More 'affeine.
The difference in coffee bean-te!perature between a !ediu!-roast and a dark-roast coffee is in the area of
*6 degrees 1ahrenheit. The difference in roast ti!e is about two !inutes. The a!ount of caffeine that will
subli!ate fro! a coffee roasted o#er the course of two !inutes is negligible - It all co!es down to how
!uch caffeine was already present in the bean before roasting.
In conclusion$ youre getting roughly the sa!e a!ount of caffeine-content in your sa!ple bean$ regardless
of roast-ti!e. The roast of a bean is$ o#erall$ a negligible factor in deter!ining the caffeine content of a
particular bean.
Myth 2: Dark-roasted beans are more flavorful
=es and no - The darker the roast$ the !ore #olatile co!pounds and caffeine are being lost: and the !ore
the charring is affecting and co!prising the fla#or. In short$ there is a point where the only taste left by
roasting is the burnt beans. The fla#or !ay be !ore intense - /ut it is a single fla#or.
Myth : !spresso contains more caffeine than drip-coffee
<ot inherently - This is untrue for both the abo#e-!entioned reasons %that the beans used in espresso tend
to be a dark-roast is a negligible factor in its o#erall caffeine-content&$ as well as another3 The water-
solubility of caffeine !eans that the !ethod bringing the higher a!ounts of water at higher te!peratures
in-contact with the grounds will yield the higher e)traction. Drip-coffee brewing in#ol#es pouring near-
boiling water o#er loose grounds$ which are then filtered by gra#ity through a !e!brane$ o#er the course
of se#eral !inutes. In espresso-brewing$ a s!all a!ount of pressuri0ed water is being forced through
tightly-ta!ped$ co!pacted grounds$ for a #ery short a!ount of ti!e.
"s a result of the differences in brewing-!ethod$ espresso contains !ore caffeine F.C D2>;M. - Drip
coffee contains 5.*4+ - *+ !g of caffeine$ per o0 of coffee. .spresso contains B6-+6!g of caffeine$ per o0
of espresso. If youre drinking 5 o0 of espresso$ youre getting at least twice the caffeine as fro! 5 o0 of
coffee. /ut in traditional portions$ so!eone drinking a large cup of coffee is ingesting !ore caffeine than
so!eone downing a single shot of espresso.
Myth ": !spresso is #ust concentrated drip-coffee and$ conse%uently& I can simply use less 'ater in
my drip-bre'in( to make espresso
.spresso is <2T si!ply strong coffee - ItGs a co!pletely different be#erage. 'offee uses water to wash
through grinds$ for the sake of releasing their water-soluble fla#ors and caffeine. .spresso is !ade with a
s!all a!ount of water forced through the grinds at e)tre!e pressure$ for the sake of releasing their non-
soluble$ oil-based fla#ors %as oil is insoluble in water&.
"ccording to an article published in the Hournal of the "!erican Dietetic "ssociation$ coffee has the
following caffeine content$ depending on how it is prepared3
While the percent of caffeine content in coffee seeds themselves diminishes with increased roast
level, the opposite is true for coffee brewed from different grinds and brewing methods using the
same proportion of coffee to water volume. The coffee sack (similar to the French press and other
steeping methods) extracts more caffeine from dark roasted seeds; the percolator and espresso
methods extract more caffeine from light roasted seeds.
elaborate on the range of caffeine content between brew!t"pes when addressing #shots#, below.
Myth 5: Dark-roasted coffee has less acid
$ark roast coffee does not contain less acid than a medium roast coffee ! n measuring between
different roasts of the same bean sample. The p% of the brewed coffee is identical.
%owever, there ma" be a chemical which develops during roasting that inhibits stomach acid ! &
recent stud" suggests that dark roast coffee ma" contain more '!meth"lp"ridium, which appears
to have a beneficial effect in blocking the abilit" of stomach cells to produce h"drochloric acid(
#)ecentl", the coffee constituents *!+!caffeo"l,uinic acid (-.&) and '!meth"lp"ridinium ('/0)
were identified as inducers of the 'rf12antioxidant!response element (&)3) detoxif"ing pathwa"
under cell!culture condition. To stud" the impact of -.& and '/0 on the 'rf1!activating
properties of a complex coffee beverage, two different model coffees were generated b" variation
of the roasting conditions( a low!roast coffee rich in -.& and a heav"!roast low in -.& but
containing high levels of '/0. &ctivation of the 'rf12antioxidant!response element pathwa" was
monitored in vitro and in vivo.# ! 3xcerpt from stud" published b" 4niversit" of 5ienna,
$epartment of Food -hemistr" and Toxicolog", 5ienna, &ustria.
&s of the time of this writing, though, haven6t seen enough data to reach a conclusion.
Myth 6: The ideal roasted coffee bean should be dark and oily
+il" coffee is an indication of either old coffee or over!roasted coffee. & dark, oil" pile of beans
looks good in maga7ine advertisements ! %owever, the flavors of a coffee are largel" in its oils;
and roasting the oil out of the bean removes those flavors. n addition, as the oil on the outside of
the bean ages, it becomes rancid; and spoils an" good flavors the coffee ma" still contain.
Myth 7: Coffee, and especially espresso, are bitter, burnt, nasty drinks
The" don6t have to be ! There isn6t much in the brewing process to mask the results of poor!
,ualit" beans, roasting, brewing, or e,uipment. The flavored coffee!creamer industr" exists to
compensate for the prevalence of user!incompetence and low!,ualit" ingredients and tools.
Myth 8: There's no areed-upon difference concernin !hat constitutes an espresso,
ristretto, double-espresso, luno, cappuccino, latte, or frappe - They're "ust #ade-up
#arketin ter#s
&ctuall", there are distinctions for all of those. To start with, all of the above drinks contain
espresso. #3spresso# (simpl" talian for #pressed#) refers to a coffee beverage that is specificall"
brewed b" passing a small amount of highl"!pressuri7ed water through compacted grounds.
#)istretto# (talian for #short#) modernl" refers to a 89m: portion of espresso, made b" passing
less water through the grounds. This is also commonl" referred to as a #shot.# $oubling the
portions (whether through combining two separatel"!brewed ristretto shots or doubling
proportions in brewing) to produce a ;9m: portion is referred to as a #double!shot.# 'ote that,
historicall", an #espresso# and #ristretto# were differentiated b" more than merel" the amount of
water used (the length!based name(s) described the time and distance the espresso!machine6s
lever was held during brewing). & <9m: portion of espresso produces a #triple!shot#, with a
=19m: being #,uadruple!shot#, etc.
The convention of #shots# is concerned with acheiving a desired amount of caffeine( While a
single!shot espresso that contained more caffeine!rich robusta grounds than arabica grounds
would contain more caffeine, the taste would be more!bitter than if one merel" brewed a double!
shot of arabica.
The difference between #)istretto#, #'ormale#, and #:ungo# can be confusing, because the" refer
to cups brewed using the same amount of grounds, but increasing the amounts of water used
and allowed to pass through the grounds (resulting in increasingl"!bitter flavors, the higher the
extraction b" time and water!amount). There is no agreed!upon distinction, other than a )istretto
is the least!diluted, with the :ungo being the most!diluted, and a 'ormale having the difference
split. personall" measure 89m: for ristretto, >*m: for normale, and ;9m: for :ungo. ?our
preferred distinctions ma" differ.
&s the amount of water is increased or decreased relative to a normal shot, the composition of
the shot changes, because not all flavor components of coffee dissolve at the same rate. For this
reason, a long or short shot will not contain the same ratio of components that a #normale# shot
contains. Therefore, a ristretto is not simpl" twice as #strong# as a regular shot, nor is a lungo
simpl" half the strength. /oreover, since espresso is brewed under pressure, a lungo does not
have the same taste or composition as coffee produced b" other methods, even when made with
the same ratio of water and ground coffee.
The other drinks are mixes of espresso and milk (steamed or unsteamed, with or without frothed
foam). 'ote that overl"!steamed milk will suffer from a denaturi7ation (destruction) of its protein
casein (milk is the emulsion of dair" fat molecules in water b" casein). This results in milk that
gives one an undesired dr"!mouth feeling.
& cappuccino comprises an even =(=(= ratio of espresso, milk, and foam.
#:atte# is merel" talian for #milk.# n the espresso subculture, however, a latte is t"picall" two
shots of espresso, plus enough steamed (though not necessaril" frothed) milk to fill the serving
container. +therwise, a 1(= espresso!to!milk ratio ma" be used.
& #frappe# is merel" cold espresso and milk.
$%& 'otes on coffee fla(or
t is not h"perbole or snobber" to describe a coffee as tasting of caramel or fruits. The beans
contain natural sugars and citrus compounds. This shouldn6t be surprising considering that the
#bean# is actuall" the seed of a berr".
The taste of #caramel notes# is a result of the seed6s sugars being carameli7ed during roasting.
The #origin#!characteristics of a coffee6s flavor!profile are determined b" where and how the" are
grown. )oasting destro"s these ,ualities. :ighter roasts will retain more, while darker roasts will
be defined more b" the char.
%: 'otes on )ilterin
The popular belief is that a coffee filter6s purpose is merel" to prevent grounds fom dripping into
"our brew. This is the result of millenia of ignorance concerning the chemical!processes involved
in filtering coffee. While a coffee!filter can be made from an" water!permeable membrane, there
are considerations to be made as to what "ou6re filtering, exactl".
n =<>=, a chemist b" the name of 0eter @chlumbohm invented what personall" consider to be
the best drip!brewing method( The -hemex.
From Wikipedia(
#The A-hemex brewing flaskB consists of an hourglass!shaped glass flask which resembles an
3rienme"er flask, with a conical, rather than c"lindrical neck.
t uses proprietar" filters, manufactured and distributed b" the same compan", which are thicker
than standard drip coffee filtersA, andB which remove most of the coffee oilA;B leading to a different
taste AfromB man" brewing s"stems. The thicker paper ma" also assist in removing the
cholesterol!elevating compound #-afestol# found in coffee oils.#
The most!practical result of the filtering of undesired acids and oils from the brew is the
comparativel"!clean taste. The second!most practical is that the brew ma" be refrigerated and
reheated later without the compromise of the vulcani7ed, tar!like #old coffee taste.#
The downside of the ph"sics involved is that a course!ground coffee is re,uired, to compensate
for the thickness of the filters ! Fine grounds would need to be constantl" agitated, to avoid
compacting and, conse,uentl", adding to the filtering time.
%$& $nfor#al research notes
When first learned of the heat!re,uirements involved in maximi7ing the extractions of the
desired volatile compounds, m" first thought was to research other methods of inducing
molecular activit" at room!temperatures and lower. refer to such methods as #cold!brewing.#
/" favored cold!brewing methods involve cavitation. This entails brewing the grounds!water
solution into an environment with controlled atmospheric pressure. C" radicall" and rapidl"
adDusting this pressure, the grounds are essentiall" exploded ! nducing the molecular activit"
necessar" to achieve a desired extraction!level, without regard to temperature.
generall" use one of the two following tools(
=. & =: whipping siphon, pressuri7ed with nitrous!oxide (the neutral2sweet flavor of the gas is
preferable to other gases).
1. & vacuum!chamber.
Cecause cavitation in this sense is dependent!upon merel" inducing a rapid difference in
pressure, can achieve it at positive (pressuri7e) or negative (vacuumed) pressure.
6ve found that prefer the flavor of cold!extractions to hot(
n using the first tool, steep a *(= (1*9m to *9g) water!to!grounds ratio under E9psi of n1o for
two hours, before rapidl" releasing the pressure. The cavitation gives me a concentrated =<F
extraction that then filter through the chemex, and dilute =2=. This coffee can be refrigerated for
several da"s, with comparitivel"!minimal compromise in flavor.
%owever, n1o is an expensive resource compared to the air we breathe ! With the other brewing
method, 6ll boil a >.>8(= ratio (=G*g water to >9g coffee), in m" vacuum chamber. then cavitate b"
rapidl" restoring the chamber to standard atmospheric pressure. The taste is nearl" the same ("et
emphasi7ing the roast in the flavor more than in traditional brewing), but "ields a cloud"
cup...whereas the pressuri7ed extraction is more transparent.
The clearest difference can distinguish between cold! and hot!brewing, is that less acid is
extracted at lower temperatures. 6ve found this to "ield undesirable results with beans that
normall" exhibit a pronounced citrus flavor (as 6ve found 3thiopian beans to); as the flavorful
acids are filtered out, and result in a bland coffee.
When feel like brewing hot coffee the old!fashioned wa", the proportions are =*(= water!to!
grounds. 6ll kettle some filtered water to <>H-, burr!grind =9g of beans, pour some of the heated
water over them to bloom them, wait >* seconds (or until blooming has stopped), then pour the
rest of the =*9g portion over the grounds. +nce brewed, pour the coffee into a glass cup ('ot a
mug ! %andles are for people with &l7heimer6s. f it6s too hot to hold, it6s too hot to drink). .rinding
and brewing "our own fresh coffee with these directions onl" takes about 8!* minutes, total, once
"ou6re comfortable with the routine.
%$$& *)or#al* research notes
0re!ground roasts through standard automated drip filter consistentl" "ields coffee that stinks of
geriatric piss. For the initial experiment(s), 6m using the worst coffee could find in m"
vacationing neighbors6 pantries( @tarbucks /edium!)oast %olida" Clend, Walmart .reat 5alue
$ark )oast Clend, and @am6s -lub :ight!)oasted Creakfast Clend.
n using a regular /r. -offee!st"le drip!brewer, found all to taste the same (vulcani7ed, thin,
ammoniated, pungent). Ceans and grounds are stale; having exhausted volatiles on the shelf and
outside air!tight storage. Filtered water and precise ratios (=*(=) used as control. found the water
heated b" the automated drip!brewer6s unit to be terribl" inconsistent (89 degrees or more, and
often above boiling (1=1HF2=99H-). 6m instead heating water to <8!<*H- using a burner!flask and
instant!read infrared thermometer, before pouring it over the grounds. The filters used are
generic, paper, s,uare!bottom.
Ceans ground immediatel" before brewing have demonstrated superior taste, even in matters of
indeterminate roast!date. $rinking from glass, rather than ceramic, has also "ielded superior
want to note that water is frustratingl"!difficult to sustain in the re,uired temperature!range of <8!
<*H-, regardless of heating method (kettle, microwave, etc.). or holding material (glass, metals,
'ext experiment( -hemex brewing flask and filters. 6m going to &2C2? mediocre, stale, pre!
ground coffees with fresh grounds from stale beans, and fresh grounds from expensive, artisan
5ariet" used(
$avid :"nch %ouse Clend( Three da"s after roasting, these beans were the best!tasting. 5er"
clean, with chocolate and pecan flavors.
ntelligentsia :ight )oast( -lean flavor, but without the notes of the $avid :"nch blend.
0eet6s /aDor $ickason6s Clend( The" roast the fuck out of this so "ou can6t taste how stale it is.
That makes the flavor consistent throughout the month ! The other beans Dust taste shittier and
shittier, as time goes b". This is as shitt" as it6s going to get, right out of the bag. This is known as
the @tarbucks!strateg" for shelf!stabilit", with 0eet6s beans being the best non!@tarbucks dark
roast "ou can find at "our supermarket.
vacuum!sealed and fro7e 89g bags of the $avid :"nch house!blend to see if could achieve an"
preservation, at all. left the ntelligentsia light!roast in its package in the cupboard to &2C the
bloom between the two, and had bags of 0eet6s /aDor $ickason6s blend stored both wa"s to see
if could affect how well the dark!roasting masks the staleness.
The fro7en!storage was a failure, due to the vacuum!sealing and 9HF temperature doing nothing
to prevent the beans from continuing to expel co1 (-ausing the flavorful volatile compounds to be
lost the moment the bag was opened). doubt flash!free7ing with li,uid nitrogen will make a
difference once the beans warm back up to 9HF in the kitchen!free7er.
&s of the end of the month, the onl" beans to retain their original flavor are the 0eet6s. The 0eet6s
had no bloom at all, while the other two lost bloom at the same rate throughout the month,
regardless of storage method.
$ecember results(
@tale pre!grounds( -onsiderable acidit" reduction and flavor improvement; but loss of volatile
aromatics "ields bland!tasting, obviousl"!stale extraction.
@tale fresh!grounds( @ame as pre!grounds.
$avid :"nch %ouse Clend( &s of =121E2=8, the best!tasting (b" far). %igh bloom, with chocolate
and pecan notes, and impressive caffeine!content. Two weeks past roast!date, however, coffee is
stale (though retains bloom) and ma" as well be an" other blend.
'ext, &2C2? The -hemex brew (=<89s science) with nitrogen cavitation!pressuri7ed cold
extraction and cold vacuum!extraction (modern science). A'ote( &ll brews heated to same
temperature of ;9H- before final taste!testingB
-hemex results (hot extraction) Awater!grounds ratio =*(=B( -losest to a traditional brew, with the
chemex!filter "ielding a ver" #clean#!tasting cup, with minimal oils and acidit". -offee able to be
stored and drank without rancidit" (though stale beans "ields unpleasant flavor that emphasi7es
roast more and more with time).
0ressuri7ed results (cold extraction) Awater!grounds ratio *(= during steeping and cavitation, then
diluted =2= after chemex!filteringB( -learer brew, even!cleaner taste. 'ot worth the extra overhead
of '+1 and wait!time, though.
5acuum results (cold extraction) Awater!grounds ratio >.>8(= during room!temperature vacuum!
boiling and air!cavitation. 'o dilution after filtering.B( ?ields cloud" brew that tastes largel"!
identical to pressuri7ed brew. /ost!practical, of the three.
&s of =12=E2=8, began receiving =1o7 of fresh!roasted beans ever" other wednesda" (roasted
the preceding sunda"), courtes" of the compan" Tonx.
=12=E2=8 ! ; o7 of Tonx!brand Corana (3thiopian single!origin, light roast)( %ot chemex!brewing
"ields highl"!acidic citrus flavor. 'ot m" preference. -old!brewing under pressuri7ed nitrogen!
cavitation before chemex!filtering "ields dull, bland coffee (the flavorful volatiles are largel" acidic,
and s,uandered in the low!acid cold!extraction. appreciate the coffee6s freshness and caffeine!
content; but the high cost, small suppl", and acid!based flavor is something don6t care to tr"
=121E2=8 -onclusions( &ccess to fresh, flavorful beans for grinding and brewing is an expensive
proposition, an" wa" do it (Tonx e,uates to *9 cents per cup if bu"ing =1o7 bags, and G9 cents
per cup with ; o7). +rdered 'espresso brewer for comparison.
=128=28= ! )e!test of @tarbucks pre!ground %olida"!Clend single!origin &rabica, medium!roast(
%ot extraction through chemex "ields a medium!roast that is a dark!roast b" an" other name.
3ven with the filtering, a slick of oil topped the brew. The grounds uni,uel" floated on the water
during filtering, for a disturbing visual effect. The onl" discernible flavor is the roasting, and its oil"
bi!products ! t tastes of spent fr"ing oil that6s Dust beginning to go rancid. can6t believe people
give each other this shit as gifts.
=212=> ! ; o7 of Tonx!brand :as Crisas (-olumbian single!origin, light!roast)( %ot chemex!brewing
"ields coffee similar to :"nch blend, but inferior in ever" wa". mprovement over Corana, but dull
flavor. won6t bother with cold!brewing. This ends m" Tonx subscription; due to the imminent
deliver" of 'espresso flavor!line.
=2>2=> ! 'espresso 'otes(
'estle packs their grounds in foil capsules using a proprietar" technolog" that, have to sa",
largel" succeeds in preserving flavor. 4nfortunatel", there is not much of a flavor!comparison to
the high!,ualit", fresh coffees 6ve been sampling. The trade!off is one of clear convenience( can
brew a shot of 'espresso in under a minute of automated work in which press two buttons, as
opposed to pla"ing mad!scientist to cavitate a cup of failure!fuel.
6ve sampled the entire #.rand -rus# of 'estle6s capsules. The fact is that espresso is simpl" a
different drink ! t won6t replace coffee; if that6s "our preferred beverage. The artificiall"!flavored
-aramalito capsule does pleasantl" remind me of the $avid :"nch coffee, though.
$ue to the fact that the entire 'espresso line is comprised of dark!roasts, the origins of these
beans are barel"!emphasi7ed in their flavor. )ather, found m"self la7il" associating the shots
tasting of toasted cereals to -olumbia, the acidic ones to 3thiopia, and the pepper!tasting drinks
to ndia. must sa" that the ndian beans 'estle chose are closer to rocket!fuel than coffee.
>2=G2=> n the last four months, have switched to 'espresso, exclusivel". &t I>9 for *9 capsules,
the price is multitudes!steeper than a Folgers can ! Cut compared to brewing m" own fresh
beans, 6m pa"ing a few cents more for push!button convenience.. 0lus, it6s still cheaper than
vending!machine coffee ! /uch!less barista service.
'ow 6ll go obsess over something else.