This Cool Hack Is Key to Making Better Coffee

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Scientists say you haven't made a perfect cup of joe until you've done this one simple thing with your coffee beans.

Are you on a quest to brew the perfect cup of coffee? According to scientists, all that stands between you and a steaming cup of flavorful java bliss is chilled coffee beans.

A new study published in the journal Scientific Reports says freezing your coffee beans before you grind them allows you to pull more flavor from the beans.

One of the most critical elements of brewing a delicious cup of coffee is the grind of the beans. The researchers found that colder coffee beans produce smaller, more uniform coffee grounds — perfect for brewing tastier coffee. The researchers analyzed coffee beans at temperatures ranging from room temperature to minus 196 degrees Celsius.

“What you’re looking for is a grind that has the smallest difference between the smallest and largest particle,” said study co-author Christopher Hendon, a chemist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who did doctorate work at the University of Bath.

“If you have small grinds you can push flavor extraction upwards. We found that chilling the beans tightens up this process and can give higher extractions with less variance in the flavor — so you would have to brew it for less time, or could get more coffee from the same beans.”

The researchers involved in the study believe that their findings will change how coffee aficionados and coffee businesses store their beans.

“All of this will impact on how we prepare coffee in the industry,” said Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood, co-owner of the Colonna & Smalls coffee shop in the British city of Bath that was involved in the study. “I bet we will see the impact of this paper in coffee competitions around the globe, but also in the research and development of new grinding technology for the market place.”

Colonna-Dashwood and Hendon previously studied the ideal water composition for coffee.

How do you store your coffee beans? Will you try freezing them based on this study? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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