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Lets talk about COFFEE - Page 119

post #1771 of 2635
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuadowen View Post

Water can make a difference, but not in the way Knowledge is King describing. De-ionized or overly filtered water (the empty school bus in the analogy) won't actually extract much at all. I don't claim to fully understand the chemistry, but anyone who has ever attempted to take a shower with really soft water should be able to attest to the fact that it's terrible at dissolving solids. If you take a shower with really soft water, you get that feeling like you can't quite get all of the soap to wash off. Trying to make coffee with really soft water is similarly problematic - extraction will be very slow and uneven.
I'm pretty sure that's a phenomenon that is accurate for soap, but thinking that this applies for coffee makes no sense. A quick Google search, which you could have done yourself, clears things up. http://chemistry.about.com/od/howthingsworkfaqs/a/softwaterrinse.htm
Of course, a similar explanation might hold true for coffee. But just because the soap effect is true doesn't mean much regarding coffee.
post #1772 of 2635
To sum it up: We need a TDS meter, coffee, a good grinder, a french press or CCD, distilled, soft and hard water. Anyone willing to jump in to do the experiment? biggrin.gif
post #1773 of 2635
Lefty, I only get Clover brewed coffee there. Not anything else.
post #1774 of 2635
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuadowen View Post


Water can make a difference, but not in the way Knowledge is King describing. De-ionized or overly filtered water (the empty school bus in the analogy) won't actually extract much at all. I don't claim to fully understand the chemistry, but anyone who has ever attempted to take a shower with really soft water should be able to attest to the fact that it's terrible at dissolving solids. If you take a shower with really soft water, you get that feeling like you can't quite get all of the soap to wash off. Trying to make coffee with really soft water is similarly problematic - extraction will be very slow and uneven.

In contrast, the reason that most cafes filter their water coming in is much less about the coffee and much more about the health of their equipment. If you are running hard water through an espresso machine, you get a tremendous amount of mineral buildup inside the machine that can ultimately ruin the machine. So, you filter the water coming in, then you put just enough minerals back into it in order to get extraction to work properly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knowledge is King View Post

I'll agree with you that scientific explanations from non-scientists deserve skepticism and the bus analogy is full of potential flaws. But it doesn't mean the opposite is true either (ie that the PPM of the water doesn't affect extraction rates of coffee at all). Anyway, a basic and easy test is to taste coffee brewed with distilled and coffee brewed with Fiji (I like doing the test with a Clever since it's not the most sensitive brewing method). Is the difference just because distilled water tastes like crap to begin with or is it because the distilled water leaches more from the coffee grinds leading to overextraction? I'm not sure. But there is a taste difference.

It certainly could influence extraction, but I can't think of a chemical reason why it would (fwiw I'm a chemist). The concentration ("PPM") of mineral ions is quite low, and should be unrelated to the amount of coffee organics that can be extracted by the water. Soap/water is a particular chemical process, and nothing analogous is happening in coffee (that I know of). It could change the acidity of the coffee, but I think you'd need quite hard water for that. To the point where the water itself would taste bad anyway.

Water mineral content could be influencing taste, mostly because different minerals preferentially activate different taste buds on your tongue. There's going to be a lot of coffee nerds with no experience in chemistry coming up with explanations for a human perception (taste) that isn't necessarily related to the chemistry of extraction, and lacking the proper tools to really test it.

Distilled water A) tastes terrible B) tends to get acidic from absorbing CO2 because it's not buffered by the trace ions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by b1os View Post

So, do an experiment. Brew parallel with distilled water and some hard water (again, use the formula I've provided a few times already). FWIW, I would not use fiji water. It's about 5.4°dH. You might want to go for some hard water so the effect, if present, will be more noticeable. Generally, anything between 4-12°dH should be perfectly fine (for the sake of the experiment, use something as hard as Vittel). Anything above, and you will quickly want to filter the water because your kettle will fill with limescale too quickly (of course, extremely hard water ("Heilwasser" in Germany) will alter the taste). I might actually do it this weekend.

1 ppm = 1 mg/L = 0.056°dH

If you really wanted to do it right, you'd probably need a gas chromatograph or HP-LC. Measure the concentration of all coffee solutes and water hardness, then taste. Only way to isolate the effect of extraction chemistry vs other effects on perception (taste).

The topic has been studied a bit. There's apparently a whole scientific society about coffee chemistry. The chemistry of espresso is especially complex, given the high pressure and temperature. Neat stuff. I couldn't find anything on the mineral content of the water though.
post #1775 of 2635
edit: double post
post #1776 of 2635
PB, couldn't you just lean over and look at the Clover's display panel to see the brew parameters?
post #1777 of 2635
Quote:
Originally Posted by A Y View Post

PB, couldn't you just lean over and look at the Clover's display panel to see the brew parameters?
It's probably encrypted.
post #1778 of 2635

Indesertum,

a rosetta? fantastic!you seem to be on the right path, but if that is a latte? wrong glass, and a flat white should have less than 5 mm of thickness on the top. keep at it.

 here's 2, coffees. made by me.

i can hear your drooling, these are flat whites.

this is not my job, i just like a good coffee.
 

P.B, the taste is "Oxydisation" as coffee oxidises in less than 15 seconds when extracted. and goes bitter. hit the milk in less than 5 to taste the difference.

fuck, i hate the "MYSTERY" behind a good coffee, barista's are not magicians.:satisfied:

 

and fuck the "Single origin" B.S.   and "Boutique roasting"   , and any other way you want to create a limp wristed attempt at a burnt coffee with a rosetta on it.and claim it's the "boutique" way, if i had a dollar for every time i heard some small shop single roast was the right way, i could put a La' marzocco in my home kitchen.

hard water, soft water, filtered water, black beans, green beans, etc.

oh my god. just make me a decent coffee you stretch eared , make up wearing hipster in a skinny tie!!!!!!!!:fu: aaaaaargghhhh, don't make me come over there!!!!!!!!!!!:lol:


Edited by size 38R - 12/12/13 at 11:23am
post #1779 of 2635
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH View Post

Lefty, I only get Clover brewed coffee there. Not anything else.

And you are questioning those who prefer single origin? Just sayin'.
post #1780 of 2635
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH View Post

Lefty, I only get Clover brewed coffee there. Not anything else.

 

You may have to walk me through this holding my hand the entire time. Is this something that's going to cost me $10 a cup?

 

lefty

post #1781 of 2635
Depending on the bean, it varies from $2.75 to under $4 for the tall size. I just got the aged Sumatra today for $2.75, and I looked at the Clover, but the only thing it displays is a countdown. No temperature. The barista just tells the machine what bean he's using, and the machine sets itself up. They can make Clover coffees from the regular coffee as well as the reserve coffees. It's the reserve coffees that you want to try.

The aged Sumatra is very interesting: a little spicey, and very woodsy.

edit: I should add that not all Starbucks locations carry the Clover and their reserve coffees. Best to look up the stores on their website before making the trek if you're not sure.
post #1782 of 2635

Maybe I'm old, but I'd have a very hard time spending $4 on a cup of coffee. $2 galls me.

 

lefty

post #1783 of 2635
Quote:
Originally Posted by lefty View Post

Maybe I'm old, but I'd have a very hard time spending $4 on a cup of coffee. $2 galls me.

lefty

That's why I do everything from roast to brew at home. I can get 16+ cups for less than $10. Tastes better, too.
post #1784 of 2635
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuadowen View Post

Bitter and sour are usually different issues. Bitter is indicative of over-extraction, while sour is indicative of under-extraction. 

Edit: And if you are getting both at the same time, it's indicative of an uneven extraction. In other words, you are under-extracting some of the coffee while over-extracting the rest. This isn't uncommon using a French press. They aren't the most consistent brewing method. You guys should try an aero-press. 

There's no way this a common issue to french presses. There's just no way you can underextract and overextract in an immersion brew. With something like an espresso that's totally possible
post #1785 of 2635
Lefty it's not a $10 coffee but could potentially be $3 or $4

Cafe grumpy also has a clover machine if you're adverse to Starbucks

Makes a damn good coffee tho
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