Brewing outside of Gold Cup

October 18th, 2010

This isn’t really supposed to be a contentious or confrontational post. It is just something I’ve been thinking about for a while.

Lots of people now have sufficient equipment to understand their extraction, in terms of how much of the coffee grounds are ending up in the beverage. The research says that 18-22% is the desired range of extraction, certified by all Speciality Coffee bodies (SCAE, SCAA etc) in their Gold Cup programs.

First let’s get the important caveat out of the way – just because the overall extraction falls within this range it doesn’t mean the drink will be tasty as you can’t account for the evenness of the extraction. This isn’t what I want to talk about though.

My question is this: Does anyone reading this, who regularly analyses their extractions, have a particular coffee or brew method that they think works better when the extraction falls outside of this range?

Would they be willing to share if that is the case?

To explain a little more to remove confusion:

By better – I mean that in a hypothetical side by side test, using 100 members of the coffee drinking (and enjoying public), do you have a coffee/method that the majority of testers would prefer over an even extraction of the coffee within the Gold Cup range?

I’ve imposed the condition because while some individuals may prefer coffee brewed unusually (say a sub 20s espresso extraction), most people would prefer a traditional extraction (25-30s for the sake of argument). Individual preference is important, but so is spreading and selling speciality coffee to as many people as possible.

Does this make sense? If you do – then please post a comment. I’m not out to shoot people down, or try to embarrass them in some way. I may have reached various conclusions from my own research but I’d like the opportunity to discuss this further with people.

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