Scientists in Spain have worked out the precise chemical conditions for the perfect cup of espresso. Espresso The verdict? Maximum satisfaction was obtained with 6.5g of coffee per 40mL of water for Arabica beans, the espresso variety that accounts for about 60% of world production. Ahem.

According to the Spanish scientists, too much coffee in the percolation process causes compaction resulting in excessive solids in the cup. Too little coffee, on the other hand, means that the brew is over-extracted and can end up unpleasantly bitter. The official tasters also noted other unwanted flavours in the coffee samples that weren’t optimally brewed, including those reminiscent of burnt rubber, motor oil, sulphur and ash.

This will, I expect, incite giggles among the camp over at the Barista Guild, who last I saw were gleefully overdosing portafilters to see who could bash the most coffee in the basket… and the taste results were spectacular.

The article continues:

Espresso is a complicated polyphasic beverage comprised of an aqueous solution of acids, sugars, caffeine and proteinaceous material topped with an emulsion of oil droplets and a characteristic foam layer…

They neglected to mention, tasty, too.

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