Making a cup of coffee isn’t rocket science. But a new study shows that a background in math and analytical chemistry doesn’t hurt. Because researchers who applied their skills in material science and modeling to brewing espresso have made a grounds-breaking discovery: contrary to popular belief, using fewer beans and a coarser grind will give you a more consistent shot. Their work appears in the journal Matter. [Michael I. Camero et al, Systematically Improving Espresso: Insights from Mathematical Modeling and Experiment]
If you’re a coffee aficionado, you’ve no doubt noticed that some days you may get a great espresso. Other days, not so much. Even with the same coffee, the same machine, the same settings.
To understand that variability, the researchers developed a mathematical model to explore how coffee is extracted or dissolved as water passes through the bed of grounds.
“Basically what we did was to start by writing down some equations which apply to just a…
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