A hot cup of science, please, no room for milk.
June 14, 2006 12:48 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for actual science of coffee to improve my home espresso making.

The two specific things I am curious about are freshness of the bean and the creation and composition crema in the brewing of espresso. In other words, what chemical changes occur when coffee beans get stale, and what can be done to mitigate that. And what is crema made of and how do different variables effect its production.

While professional-level anecdotal evidence is welcome, I don't want to hear "coffee gets stale after 7 days and freezing doesn't help," I want to know why that is the case, backed up by at least nominal research.
posted by mzurer to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Oh - I have a Gaggia Carezza and a burr grinder.
posted by mzurer at 12:49 PM on June 14, 2006 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I think this (somewhat pricey) book may have good answers. Maybe you can try Amazon's "Search Inside."
posted by exogenous at 1:00 PM on June 14, 2006

Best answer: Defining freshness.
posted by turbodog at 1:37 PM on June 14, 2006

Best answer: The definition of crema.
posted by turbodog at 1:42 PM on June 14, 2006

Best answer: Variables in brewing espresso.
posted by turbodog at 1:44 PM on June 14, 2006

Best answer: Pictures to help analyze your crema issues.
posted by tula at 2:58 PM on June 14, 2006

Best answer: "The Complexity of Coffee" [190Kb PDF] by Ernesto Illy (orig. published in Scientific American, though you can't get the full article from their site without a subscription) has a lot of interesting info.
posted by camcgee at 3:00 PM on June 14, 2006

Best answer: This brief web article taught me more about coffee chemistry than the next 1,000 articles I read about that topic.
posted by ikkyu2 at 5:52 PM on June 14, 2006

I just want to say "thank you" for asking this question. I'm an occasional coffee drinker, but want to know more - especially before my next purchase. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some links to check out...
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 12:24 PM on June 15, 2006

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