/ #espresso #perfect extraction 

Brew Ratio

You’ve got great beans, from a great roaster, who sourced the beans from an excellent farmer. That’s an ideal beginning for brewing a cup of coffee or espresso that will delight your palette, but a weak brew method can easily sour your hopes and dreams of brewing a great cup.

To perfect the process, it helps to understand all of the variables. We have the grind (solid particles) and hot water which extracts the essential solubles as the water flows over grind bed. The solubles are what makes coffee, coffee: flavor compounds, solids, and oils. The right brew method maximizes flavor. This has to do with how much water, at the right temperature, runs over the grind, and for how long.

Every coffee has an ideal water to grind ration, or brew ratio, that will deliver the best results, however, each barista also develops their own preference. The ideal temperature for brewing coffee is between 195F (91C) and 205F (96C). Getting as close to 205F without going over yields the best extraction, but be careful not to use boiling (212F/100C) because this will burn the grind particles.

Once the coffee beans are weighed they should be ground to the appropriate particle size. The smaller the grind, the more surface area the water covers for extraction. Though, if the grind is too small, too many of the undesirable compounds are extracted resulting in a bitter, or over-extracted end result. Once the grind is ready, its time to percolate which means the water is flowing through the grind-bed to extract the solubles.

It is important to use an exact brew time to get the most extraction of favorable solubles and not too much of the unfavorable solubles. Too quick of a brew time lessens the extraction of the flavor compounds that were meticulously crafted during the roasting process. Too long, and the bitter-tasting compounds start to dissolve and tarnish the flavor profile. Once you practice, you will be able to adjust your brew ratio every time depending on the coffee and brew method you are using. For example, a shorter extraction time might warrant adding more coffee at a slightly smaller grind size to increase the surface area, extracting the favorable compounds without the bitters.

Author

Chris

Starting out of the back of an El Camino with the help of my family and a couple off duty cops, Chris' Coffee Service has been the experts in coffee since 1975.