More than 80 percent of the adult population in the United States drink coffee and along with the growing popularity of the beverage is the quest for the perfect brew.
Coffee connoisseurs see the grind as one of the most important elements of the brewing process. Now findings of a new study revealed that brewing for a more flavorful cup is as simple as chilling the coffee beans before grinding.
In a new study published in the journal Scientific Reports, Christopher Hendon, who was a PhD student at the University of Bath at the time of the study, and colleagues studied the effects of grinding coffee beans at a range of temperatures starting from room temperature to -196 degrees Celsius.
Hendon and colleagues found that chilling roasted coffee beans results in better yield because the grinding process produces smaller particles.
Finer and more uniform particles from the grind brings out more flavor from the same amount of coffee during the brewing process. What this means is that the brewer can get strong and flavorful cup of coffee using fewer grains and in less time.
"If you have small grinds you can push flavour extraction upwards. We found that chilling the beans tightens up this process and can give higher extractions with less variance in the flavour -- so you would have to brew it for less time, or could get more coffee from the same beans," Hendon said.
The researchers also said that the beans' temperature need to be more constant to help achieve consistent grind. Cooler temperatures would allow brewers to maximize the beans' surface area and use of more of the coffee.
Hendon and colleagues said that the findings could have important implications in the coffee industry as people want to produce better quality drink.
"We anticipate these results will influence the production of coffee industrially, as well as contribute to how we store and use coffee daily," the researchers wrote in their study.
"While the decreased particle size will tend to speed up extraction due to the larger surface area, the increased uniformity should minimise the amount of wasted bean, which is discarded without being extracted to completion."
Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood, one of the owners of the coffee shop Colonna & Smalls, who has competed in the World Barista Championships, said that the the study will impact how the industry prepares coffee. He also said that the study can potentially influence research and development of new grinding technology as well.