Scientists believe they may have discovered a simple way of getting more flavour from coffee beans - chilling them before grinding.
Source:
AAP
14 Jun 2016 - 9:34 PM 

Brewing a more flavoursome cup of coffee could be as simple as chilling the beans before grinding, scientists say.

A team from the University of Bath found that the colder the beans, the finer and more uniform the particles were from the grind.

The narrower distribution of particles allowed access to more flavour from the same amount of coffee during the brewing process.

Experts from the university worked with coffee shop Colonna & Smalls in Bath, Somerset, to examine the effect of grinding beans at different temperatures.

In the study, highlighted in Nature and published in Scientific Reports, the team tested the beans from room temperature to minus 196C.

The finer and more uniform particles from colder beans resulted in better extraction of the flavour compounds - meaning more coffee and flavour.

Dr Christopher Hendon, a chemistry PhD candidate at the University of Bath at the time of the study, said: "What you're looking for is a grind that has the smallest difference between the smallest and largest particle.

"If you have small grinds you can push flavour extraction upwards.

"We found that chilling the beans tightens up this process and can give higher extractions with less variance in the flavour - so you would have to brew it for less time, or could get more coffee from the same beans."

Dr Hendon, now working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, added: "It will alter the taste, because subtle changes in particle size distributions make a huge difference in rate of extraction."

The research took place in the lead up to the World Barista Championships, which take place in Dublin this month.

Coffee is among the most valuable traded commodities globally, worth $US17.9 trillion ($A24.23 trillion) to the US economy in 2015 alone.

A spokesman for the University of Bath said: "This discovery could have big implications for the coffee industry and might even allow domestic coffee connoisseurs to brew tastier beverages."

Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood, co-owner of Colonna & Smalls, said the subtleties of processing coffee have a "huge impact on the flavour and quality".