University of Oregon study finds the key to producing consistent espresso

A new study from the University of Oregon in the United States claims to have found the formula required to produce consistent espresso on 22 January 2020.

Researchers concluded that using less coffee at a courser grind than traditionally recommended and brewing the coffee faster, but with less water, are the two key variables required to make consistently tasty coffee.

“The point of this study was to give people a map for making an espresso beverage that they like and will be able to make 100 times in a row,” says Christopher Hendon, Computational Chemist at the University of Oregon.

“Most people in the coffee industry are using fine-grind settings and lots of coffee beans to get a mix of bitterness and sour acidity that is unpredictable and irreproducible.”

The research team was comprised of chemists, mathematicians, and coffee professionals from five countries. They brewed thousands of espresso shots and drew on electrochemistry and mathematical modelling to determine their findings.

They established the result of using less coffee at a courser grind could save café owners as much as US$13 cents per espresso, which could save coffee shops across the United States up to US$3.1 million per day, while also reducing waste.

“The real impact of this paper is that the most reproducible thing you can do is use less coffee. If you use 15 grams instead of 20 grams of coffee and grind your beans coarser, you end up with a shot that runs really fast but tastes great,” Christopher says.

“Our method allows us to push extractions and have the shots taste great, while being more sustainable and saving money.”

For more information, access the study here.

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