The art and science behind a balanced cup of coffee

The art and science behind a balanced cup of coffee

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Coffee can seem simple and complex at the same time. On this occasion I want to explain something that may seem complex but can be understood.

Coffee in order to become liquid requires at least a 30% of extraction. Within that aforementioned percent, to make it taste good, your extraction has to be within the range of 18% to 22% extraction.

Now, if your coffee is under 18% of extraction, it means that it is under-extracted and that happens when the grind is very coarse, so we must adjust the grinder and fined the grind. Underextraction causes poor clarity of flavors, lack of sweetness, sour cup and a short aftertaste.

On the other hand, if your coffee is above 22% extraction it means that you are over-extracting the coffee. This is due to grinding too finely. If it is overextracted we will find bitterness, dry flavors, empty body and astringency.

Like everything in life, balance is the key. That's why we always want to extract our coffee between 18% and 22%. In this range you will find the best clarity of flavors in your coffee. You will be able to perceive complex acidity, sweetness, long aftertaste and a balanced cup.

For more details, take a look at the diagram above created by our colleague, Felix Basir Dacaret, owner and instructor of Alce Coffee in Guatemala.

Tell me, what do you think? Without a doubt, coffee is the perfect combination of science and art.

Want to have the perfect cup of coffee? Take a look into our Espresso 101 course clicking here

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