Last Updated on January 18, 2021
Ask any coffee expert what the secret for a tasty espresso is, and you’ll get a similar answer in most cases. Anyone will tell you that fine ground coffee produces the best-quality espresso. The finer, the better. Most coffee experts believe that fine ground coffee releases more caffeine. The aroma is also better in this way, they say.
However, research conducted at the University of Portsmouth (UK) challenges these popular beliefs. Through computer simulations and experiments, scientists discovered that fine ground coffee may not be optimal. They found that more caffeine can be extracted from a more coarse ground coffee.
While somehow shocking, the results make sense. Jamie Foster, a mathematician involved in this research, explains that fine particles often wedge into gaps between other particles. It causes an uneven flow of water, thus some areas of each coffee particle are sometimes missed. It represents an inefficient use of ground coffee. Moreover, the taste varies from portion to portion as a result.
It doesn’t happen with a more coarse ground. Since the coffee is used more efficiently, one can save on the quantity needed to prepare a good espresso. In a practical experiment at a coffee shop in Eugene, Oregon (USA), scientists tested their recipe. Instead of 20 grams of fine ground coffee, 15 grams of more coarse ground was used during a year.
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