While our parents may have been content with a cup of joe from the local diner, we live in a time in which a hell of a lot is demanded from our coffee. And now, just in time for the World Barista Championship, which will take place in Dublin next week, researchers have made a startling discovery that will validate what some have long believed.
It is now scientifically proven that simply by chilling your beans before grinding, you can make a superior cup of coffee.
MIT researcher Christopher Hendon recently teamed up with Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood, co-owner of Colonna & Smalls, a coffee shop in Bath, England. They wanted to see how bean temperature affected both coffee grinding and coffee flavor.
Everyone knows that a good, even grind is essential to making excellent coffee. Fine and uniform grounds are key. That's because if your coffee is ground into small, similarly sized grains, you get maximum flavor extraction.
Hendon and Colonna-Dashwood's experiment revealed that chilled grains allow for a nice, fine, post-grind consistency. Chilling causes a greater consistency in the size of the individual particles after grinding.
The results of this momentous breakthrough will be published this week in the journal Scientific Reports.
Colonna-Dashwood says, "The research suggests that temperature of bean needs to be more constant to help us achieve consistent grinds, It suggests that cooler temperatures will allow us to maximize surface area and utilize more of the coffee."
He further points out, "I bet we will see the impact of this paper in coffee competitions around the globe, but also in the research and development of new grinding technology for the market place."
Is he right? Will the competitors at the upcoming barista competition get the 411 in time to revise their technique and incorporate cold coffee beans into their repertoires?
Only time will tell. But personally, we'll likely be chilling our beans henceforth.