The Tip Jar- Are you in hot water?

Friday July 16, 2010

I was perusing through Scott Rao’s book “The Professional Barista’s Handbook” today and found the section on water temperature and its affect on brewing particularly interesting.  Water temperature can impact flavor by changing flow rate and brew strength.  I think that water temperature might be something that’s overlooked while brewing (espresso) on a day to day basis.  According to Rao, “It is fair to say almost all professionals prefer temperatures in the range of 185°-204°F.”  What difference does it really make?  Here’s Rao’s breakdown of what happens at different temperature ranges:

                - Excessively low temperatures produce sour, underextracted espresso.

                - Excessively high temperatures produce bitter, acrid, and woody flavors.

                - Higher temperatures result in more solids extraction and body.

                - Higher temperatures result in slower flow rates.

 

So, if you're in search of the tastiest shot possible, perhaps you should check out your brewing temperature.  While you’re at it, you might want to pick up a copy of Rao’s book for tips on how to test your temp and make adjustments.

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