[Extraction Parameters] In pursuit of your perfect cup


Hi everyone!

Welcome to the new “experiments” category. Here I plan to conduct all sorts of experiments about coffee aiming to get better at brewing coffee. I have some background in engineering, so it may get slightly nerdy, but hopefully some of the results helps you and me to brew better.

As the first series of this category, I would like to write about coffee extraction parameters.

You may be thinking, what on earth are extraction parameters? sounds kind of complicated…. Essentially parameters are settings which you can tweak when brewing coffee. For example, if you use more coffee beans you get a stronger cup of coffee. Not too difficult, right?

When you start diving in to coffee, you see videos and articles which touch on individual parameter. But I felt that it would be nice to have the basics all in one place.

Coffee has so many ways of extraction, when you compare it to other beverages. By adjusting the parameters it is possible to control the flavor of your coffee. I feel that this flexibility is one key reason coffee is so good as a hobby. As you get more skilled at extraction, you will be able to get better coffee out of the same coffee beans.

I hope that this series will give you a sold understanding of the various parameters. It should help you build your skills.

Summary of extraction parameters

The parameters which will be discussed are the following;

  • Brewers : the kind of tools you use
  • Ratio : the amount of coffee to water
  • Grind Size : the size of coffee particles
  • Temperature : the temperature of your water
  • Agitation : mixing the coffee and water
  • Time : the duration of extraction
  • Pressure : the force applied during extraction

This is not an exhaustive list, but the key ones are these. By controlling these parameters, you will be able to find the brewing method that works for you.

In this series, we will be looking at what kind of parameters exist, and what are some aspects of each we should consider when adjusting them.

(The specific setting that will produce the best results will vary depending on various factors, including your preference.)

Beans are the most important factor!

Before we start discussing the parameters, I would like to make one thing clear. Your coffee will only ever be as good as the beans you use. It does not matter how skilled you are, flavors that are not in your coffee beans will not magically appear. The key is to get good quality beans, freshly roasted, grind them yourself.

If you consider the beans having a potential of 100, the extraction method determines how much you get out of it, between 0 to 100. If you use stale beans with only 30 to start off with, you will never get anything beyond a 30.

If you do not make a huge mistake, it should be relatively easy to get 90% out of your beans. I feel it is best if you consider the fine tuning of parameters as getting the remaining 10% out.

Links to each parameter’s post

The post will get way too long if I write about each parameter in detail on one post. So I will post the details about each parameter separately. Please follow the links below for the one that interests you.