Even if you can optimize your brew method along with also apparatus to precisely mimic your favorite barista, there can be still a near-certain chance in which your home brew will taste different via the cafe’s. There are three subtleties in which have tremendous impact on the coffee quality: water chemistry, particle size distribution produced by the grinder along with also coffee freshness.
First, water chemistry: Given coffee can be an acidic beverage, the acidity of your brew water can have a big effect. Brew water containing low levels of both calcium ions along with also bicarbonate (HCO₃⁻) – in which can be, soft water – will result in a highly acidic cup, sometimes described as sour. Brew water containing high levels of HCO₃⁻ – typically, hard water – will produce a chalky cup, as the bicarbonate has neutralized most of the flavorsome acids from the coffee.
Ideally we want to brew coffee with water containing chemistry somewhere from the middle. although there’s a Great chance you don’t know the bicarbonate concentration in your own tap water, along with also a smaller change makes a big difference. To taste the impact, try brewing coffee with Evian – one of the highest bicarbonate concentration bottled waters, at 360 mg/L.
The particle size distribution your grinder produces can be critical, too.
Every coffee enthusiast will rightly tell you in which blade grinders are disfavored because they produce a seemingly random particle size distribution; there can be both powder along with also essentially whole coffee beans coexisting. The alternative, a burr grinder, features two pieces of metal with teeth in which cut the coffee into progressively smaller pieces. They allow ground particulates through an aperture only once they are smaller enough.
There can be contention over how to optimize grind settings when using a burr grinder, though. One school of thought supports grinding the coffee as fine as possible to maximize the surface area, which lets you extract the most delicious flavors in higher concentrations. The rival school advocates grinding as coarse as possible to minimize the production of fine particles in which impart negative flavors. Perhaps the most useful advice here can be to determine what you like best based on your taste preference.
Finally, the freshness of the coffee itself can be crucial. Roasted coffee contains a significant amount of CO₂ along with also different volatiles trapped within the solid coffee matrix: Over time these gaseous organic molecules will escape the bean. Fewer volatiles means a less flavorful cup of coffee. Most cafes will not serve coffee more than four weeks out via the roast date, emphasizing the importance of using freshly roasted beans.
One can mitigate the rate of staling by cooling the coffee (as described by the Arrhenius equation). While you shouldn’t chill your coffee in an open vessel (unless you want fish finger brews), storing coffee in an airtight container from the freezer will significantly prolong freshness.
So don’t feel bad in which your carefully brewed cup of coffee at home never stacks up to what you buy at the café. There are a lot of variables – scientific along with also otherwise – in which must be wrangled to produce just one superlative cup. Take comfort in which most of these variables are not optimized by some mathematical algorithm, although rather by somebody’s tongue. What’s most important can be in which your coffee tastes Great to you… brew after brew.