How to brew the perfect cup of coffee according to a
Not only does Dr. Christopher H. Hendon teach computational
materials chemistry at the University of Oregon, but he also has the perfect
advice when it comes to brewing coffee. When he is not teaching, he is helping
baristas to improve their brews, and some of these lessons can be followed at
home. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, he said that he
"can't tell you how to make the best coffee," but he can tell you "how to
minimize the variation in a cup you produce."
The first step is picking an adequate device to make coffee
from freshly ground beans. According to Dr. Hendon, the best device to use is
one that fully immerses the ground beans in water, otherwise known as a full-immersion
method. An example of this would be a French press device, and it is considered
the best method because the coffee is in contact with the water during the
entire brewing process.
The recommended ratio, the professor says, is using 60 grams
of coffee to one liter of water, as the taste of the beans in the cup is determined
by the water used for the brew. High levels of bicarbonate in water neutralize
the acidic levels of coffee. Since it is very difficult to determine how much
bicarbonate is in your water at home, he recommends brewing low-acid varieties
of coffee like those produced in Brazil, Indonesia, and Hawaii. In terms of the
beans, Dr. Hendon recommends pulverizing them with a burr grinder until the
particles are sufficiently small. According to the National Coffee Association,
the temperature of the water should range between 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit,
and the professor stated that the brew time changes depending on the device
These are the steps that chemistry professor Dr. Hendon
follows when he brews a cup of coffee each morning:
Heat soft tap water in a kettle to around 210
degrees Fahrenheit (just below the boiling point).
Weigh out between 15 and 15.5 grams of whole
beans using a digital scale and grind the beans with an electric burr grinder.
Pour the grounds and hot water into an AeroPress.
Wait for a minute and 15 seconds and then press
the plunger in order to force the coffee into a ceramic mug.
Wait till the coffee cools to around 150 degrees
Fahrenheit before you take the first sip.