FoodUnlocking the flavor secret: A dash of water before grinding enhances your espresso

Unlocking the flavor secret: A dash of water before grinding enhances your espresso

Woman with an espresso cup in hand
Woman with an espresso cup in hand
Images source: © Getty Images | Pinkybird
12:17 PM EST, January 24, 2024

There have been numerous discussions about coffee over the years, all aimed at unlocking the perfect method to achieve its taste and aroma. The choice of preparation, selection of coffee beans, and water to create a delicious espresso isn't easy, and there are as many opinions as there are people. The additives to coffee such as milk, syrups, and sweeteners, meant to enhance the flavor of this beverage, are a topic of their own. So, where does the secret to the perfect espresso lie?

A scientific approach to delicious espresso

Researchers delved into the intricacies of coffee, specifically chemist Christopher Hendon from the University of Oregon and volcanologist Joshua Méndez Harper from Portland State University. Their findings greatly surprised not only espresso enthusiasts. It's been known for a while that the optimal way to prepare coffee is through the grinding of its beans before brewing, tied to not just friction, but also static electricity. Unquestionably, some of us have struggled with a sticky or clogged grinder, the issue of which can be traced back to the current generated during grinding.

When ground, the coffee beans break down into dust, and the high static electricity generated causes them to stick to the grinder mechanism, rather than falling into the filter. According to volcanologist Harper, this process is akin to a volcanic eruption, specifically the pieces of magma which generate an electrical current due to friction with each other. This process affects the taste of the prepared espresso, diminishing its intensity. However, their discovery offers a simple solution to this issue.

How to brew the perfect espresso?

The researchers suggest adding a bit of water to the coffee beans before grinding prevents the generation of excessive electricity and improves the grinding process. As a result, the coffee won't cling to the grinder and the flavor improves. This clever and scientific innovation will contribute to saving espresso beans as we'll use fewer beans per preparation.

This significant discovery has made an impact in the coffee world and doesn't cost espresso lovers anything extra. The scientists maintain that the topic of coffee beans is not yet completely explored, and the process of grinding and brewing them is highly fascinating, with connections to phenomena in the fields of geophysics and chemistry.

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