How Does The Perfect Coffee Extraction Process Work

 Having trouble in getting a perfect cup of coffee? Here is the guide to explain how does the coffee brewing works and also give you some tips to enhance your coffee extraction

 The universal solvent – water:

If you would like to make a coffee drink, you have to take ground coffee together with water, because water is really an amazing solvent. The polar arrangement of water makes it much more attractive to a wide range of molecules. This makes other molecules to dissolve into the water as easily as possible. While heating the water, all its molecules started to move around quickly to make it a more effective solvent. If you mix coffee and water, the water dissolves different flavour compounds present in the coffee.  


What is coffee? Well, coffee beans are the roasted seeds of coffee fruits, so-called coffee cherries. Every seed dreams of growing into a tree and so, coffee seeds packed with a full of stored energy that mainly includes fats, complex sugars, and acids. 

If you would like to transform the coffee seeds into something, which you can brew, you pour them into a hot environment, typically a coffee roaster. The temperature of the roaster performs the specific essential operation to every element locked inside the coffee seed.

At first, the heat evaporates moisture getting trapped in the coffee and make it dry, hard, as well as brittle too. The heat of the roaster reduces complex sugars into simpler sugars that are very easy to taste. On further roasting, some of these sugars start to caramelise to give nutty and caramel aroma. 

If roasted increases, many acids in the coffee started to break down. Too much roasting makes coffee to taste burnt and bland whereas early stopping of roasting can leave abundance amount of acids present inside the coffee. Therefore, most of the coffee roasters intend to balance the acidity level so that your brewed coffee would neither incredibly bland or intensely sour. As a result of quality roasting, you will get coffee beans with a careful balance of fruit acids, oils, caramelised sugars, and simple sugars.

  • Extraction

Now, you have good coffee and good water. The only thing you need to do is just brewing. In almost all the methods of preparing coffee drinks including espresso, cold brew, pour over, or French press, the actual principle is similar. Grind the roasted coffee into small pieces and then, add some water. If water molecules hit the coffee, then it started to extract from flavour compounds. 

Irrespective of the method used, water extracts different favour compounds in the order of fats, acids, sugars, and then, plant fibers. Acids and fats are the foremost compounds extracted from coffee. Next, sugars extracted as simple sugars are molecularly complex compared to acids. So, water needs some more energy or time to dissolve them completely. At last, the water starts to break down plant fibers holding the ground coffee. Just like other plant matters such as celery and kale, these fibers also taste bitter and dry.

When you taste brewed coffee or express, you either depict it as under or over extracted. Over extracted coffees will taste thin and bitter, as water extracts all available sugars from the coffee seeds. The under-extracted coffee, on the other hand, taste shard or sour, because water does not break down a sufficient amount of sugars to poise with the acids.
  • Strength:

A shot of coffee is not only defined by its quality extraction, yet also the strength of beverage. Strength does not mean the caffeine content but relates to the quantity of dissolved compounds. The filter coffee has 1-2% dissolved compounds whereas the rest 98-99% is water. The most concentrated drink is Espresso made of 7 to 12% of dissolved compounds and 88 to 93% of water. 

The coffee strength relies on the amount of water used to brew the ground coffee. If you use very little water, the coffee feels muddy and overpowering while the coffee would feel watery and thin if you use an excessive amount of water to brew up. Remember that strength has a perfect relationship with extraction. That is why you are advised to determine the right ratio, which does not only produce the strength of coffee yet also improve your coffee extraction process.
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