Cold coffee beans may mean your morning wake-up ritual will be more delicious than ever, according to a chilled bean study recently conducted by scientists at the University of Bath in England.
The scientists worked alongside an English coffee shop, Colonna & Smalls, grinding coffee beans at different temperatures to determine what effect temperature would have on the final product. They examined coffee beans on a scale from room temperature to -196 degrees Celsius (or -320.8 degrees Fahrenheit).
“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,” Dr. Christopher Hendon, a Bath University student pursuing his Ph.D. in chemistry during the study, explained.
“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.”
Since coffee is one of the most valuable products in the world, a process that allows for more flavor to be extracted from coffee beans, while also making the drink tastier, will be a benefit to companies and consumers alike.
Colonna & Smalls co-owner Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood reiterated the importance of the chilled bean study findings, albeit from a less scientific standpoint.
“Grinding coffee may seem quite straightforward — break coffee up into a lot of tiny bits so you can dissolve it in water. But like the whole world of coffee the subtleties of the process have a huge impact on the flavour and quality of the cup of coffee.The ability to understand grinding more comprehensively has the dual impact of allowing us to make better tasting coffee and to be more efficient in the way we do that. All of this will impact on how we prepare coffee in the industry, 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.”
Anyone who has felt the urge to find the closest Starbucks, only to realize there were multiple locations within walking distance, knows that coffee is an immensely profitable business in the U.S. alone. Coffee addicts are prevalent; on average, Americans consume at least three cups a day and spent more than $74 billion in 2015 on coffee purchases.
In addition, a warning about coffee issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) may soon be retracted, if rumors are to be believed. The WHO will reportedly be announcing later this week that, contrary to their statement nearly 30 years ago, coffee may not actually be a contributing factor to bladder cancer. Coffee was initially identified as a carcinogen that can lead to the illness, but studies conducted since then haven’t found any definitive link between it and cancer.
Not only is the drink potentially not a factor in cancer, it may actually help prevent uterine and liver cancers in some instances. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reportedly gathered 23 scientists who researched more than 1,000 studies about possible connections between cancer and coffee before coming to this conclusion.
Great news for coffee drinkers all around this year, it appears – not only is coffee less of a threat to health than originally assumed, it may also become that much more enjoyable thanks to science.
The chilled bean study, published in the Scientific Reports journal, results were revealed just in time for the World Barista Championships in Dublin, Ireland, set for June 22 to June 25. More than 50 countries are represented in the annual competition, where baristas are challenged to brew different types of coffee drinks within set guidelines before being judged on their performance.
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