Published December 6 in the journal Matter, this study aims to understand how adding a little water to coffee beans before grinding them would simplify the coffee brewing process. “When you grind coffee, it’s everywhere,” Christopher Hendon, co-author of the study and associate professor of computational materials chemistry at the University of Oregon, told CNN. “The dust that comes out of the crusher is like a plume that covers everything. But if you add a little water, it doesn’t seem to spread everywhere. »
What initially started as a way to reduce the chore of cleaning slowly evolved into a tip for better brewing and therefore better coffee. Adding a little water before grinding the coffee beans helps eliminate clumps in your grind so that all the water comes into contact with the ground beans.
More practically, when water flows around coffee lumps without penetrating evenly throughout the entire grind, it potentially results in under-extracting some parts of the coffee and over-extracting others. The result is a cup of coffee that does not have a balanced flavor because certain components of the coffee have not been properly extracted.
By removing these clumps, you not only reduce the waste of unused coffee, but you also improve the consistency of the brew, which results in a better taste experience.
The ideal amount of water can vary depending on various factors, such as roast type and grind size. Furthermore, water improves cleanliness regardless of the brewing method, but the taste advantage only occurs with espresso and, to a lesser extent, with filter coffee. On average, the study showed that adding water increased extraction yield by 10%.
Prepare your coffee beans properly
While spraying a little water on the coffee beans before grinding them seems like a good tip for getting better coffee, there are other rules when preparing coffee beans. First, make sure the water used to brew the coffee is at an ideal temperature of between 90 and 95°C. Water that is too hot or too cold can negatively influence the taste of the coffee.
Furthermore, grinding coffee beans just before using them helps preserve the freshness of the aromas. Avoid storing ground coffee for too long so as not to lose flavor. Finally, use precise measurements, especially if you are making espresso. The recommended weights (7 to 12 g) guarantee balanced extraction.