Why the temperature of your water matters for coffee brewing
It is very common to hear that 195-205 Fahrenheit is the recommended water temperature for brewing coffee.
But why does this matter so much, you may wonder?
More than likely, however, if you look into it more you will simply be told that this is the “ideal” temperature for “extraction”.
This does not really explain anything, however, if you don’t know what “extraction” means. The following guide should help to give you a more complete picture of what extraction is and why water temperature is important for it.
Likely you have already heard the fancy coffee term “extraction”. But what does this mean? Basically extraction refers to bonding the soluble parts of coffee grounds with water in order create coffee.
All the delicious and aromatic parts of the grounds get soaked up by the warm water and pass through the filter along with it, while the grainy, oily, bitter bits you don’t want in your mug get trapped in the filter of your coffee machine.
In other words it means separating all the good aspects the coffee grounds and combining them with water so they can be enjoyed in liquid form: in other words, coffee!
But why is the temperature of the water so important?
You might not think of brewing coffee as being very scientific, but believe it or not it is a chemical process!
The water molecules do indeed bond with your coffee grinds in order to produce coffee (after all, you don’t want just water with some coffee bits floating around, but a single, uniform substance!).
This process of bonding the water and the soluble elements of the coffee grounds together can be done with water of any temperature; however, the exact temperature will change the amount of time it takes for the bonding process to take place.
Brewing with cold water can work very well, but it takes much longer for the water and coffee to bond this way. Likewise, near boiling water can bond with the coffee almost instantaneously, however this does not necessarily guarantee the most delicious result.
And so, through a long process of trial and error, it has been determined that the ideal temperature range for a consistently delicious cup of coffee (that you don’t have to wait hours for) is between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now, if you have a kettle that can be set to a specific temperature, you may be asking yourself whether to aim for the higher, lower, or middle end of this range.
This question really depends on the specific beans you are using in addition to your own specific taste. You may find that more bitter coffees work better with lower temperatures (but if it tastes sour than you have gone low and need to knock it back up by at least a few degrees). Likewise coffee makers that use pressure in their brewing process will likely need a slightly lower temperature.
In the end, however, you may not be able to tell the difference between a few degrees at all. There is no harm in experimenting, however, as you might find that you do indeed enjoy certain coffees brewed at either the higher or lower end of the ideal 195-205 range.
If you are feeling especially adventurous, you could even fare beyond the recommended range!
Pierro commercial coffee machines are an Australian owned company manufacturing commercial coffee machines specifically designed for the Australian coffee industry.
If you are looking to buy or rent a coffee machine for your work environment which is simple to use and produces 100% pure espresso then our Pierro corporate coffee machine range is perfect for you.
For more information on The Pierro coffee machine range, for purchase or rental, please contact us direct or feel free to visit our Sydney head office and showroom at 8 – 12 Robert Street, Rozelle NSW 2039.