Coffee can be enjoyed in many ways based solely on taste preference. One of my most respected roaster and coffee connoisseurs once told me that there is no bad coffee; it all depends on the choice of the coffee drinker. Each green bean contains around 500 aromatic and flavor components; when roasted, these components are more than tripled. To achieve the best cup of coffee, we need to consider a couple of things: grind Type, Roast Profile, and the Brewing Method (extraction method).
During the roasting process, we pay much attention to coffee bean cracks. The first crack is usually noticed once the internal bean temperature reaches 400℉.
- Light Roast – This roast is realized before the bean gets to its first crack. This roast profile would make you a more floral, fruity, and acidic cup of coffee. There is also a noticeable earthy taste to coffee made from a light roast because of the short duration of time to roast this profile.
- Medium Roast – This roast profile is usually realized between the first crack at 400 ℉ and the second crack at 428 ℉. A cup made from this profile would exhibit a smoother, more balanced flavor with a mild bitterness.
- Dark roast – this profile is achieved after the second crack after the bean has gained an internal temperature of about 464 ℉. One can go further dark but with great detail and attention to avoid burning the beans. Coffee made from this roast profile exhibits cocoa and chocolate notes but is also bitter and smoky.
When buying coffee beans from different regions of the coffee belt, one has to consider the ground type, especially if the beans are purchased whole and not ground. We recommend buying whole beans since they retain more flavor and aroma than ground beans, resulting in a better brew and longer shelf life. Depending on which brewing method you choose, one has to consider the grinding method.
Coffee brewing means extracting flavors and notes from your coffee grounds. ⅓ of the grounds are soluble, and the rest of the ⅔ is not. This plays a key part in determining the water ratios to coffee grounds to use to achieve your preferred taste. As you may know, there is no one way of making coffee, and the baristas can echo the same. It is all about preference, and one has to adjust to achieve the best out of the coffee grounds. The two methods of extraction are percolation and infusion.
- Percolation – With this method, you pass water through inground coffee.
- Infusion – Coffee grounds sit together with the water during the extraction process.
From the ⅓ of the soluble coffee, there are still 20% of the elements of coffee that you do not need in your brewed cup of coffee. The best way to achieve this is by using the percolation method. When using the percolation method, lesser coffee grounds are needed vs. the infusion method, and this is why.
Let’s take a preferred ratio of 60 grams (2 oz.) to a liter of water (934 oz.). When using the percolation method, about 2 grams per gram of coffee gets absorbed by the coffee. In this example, 60 grams of coffee grounds will absorb 120 grams of water which means with this extraction method, only 12 grams of coffee dissolved in 880 grams of water, bringing the coffee strength to 1.36 percent
1000g water | 60 grams of coffee grounds, 880g of water | 12 grams of soluble coffee Strength (1.36%) = 12 grams of soluble coffee/ 880 grams of water
With the infusion method, the strength will be a little different because most of the soluble coffee is retained in the water since both elements are sitting together during brewing.
1000g of water | 12 grams of soluble coffee, Strength (1.2%) = 12grams of soluble coffee/ 1000 grams of water. This explains why we have to adjust ratios based on the brewing method.