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Extraction
ex·trac·tion
verb
the action of taking out something, especially using effort or force.

The art of coffee extraction is the process of dissolving natural compounds, or solubles, from the grind. Solubles extracted from coffee include acids, carbohydrates, and caffeine. The degree of extraction depends on quantity of coffee, grind, brew time, and water temperature.

With roasting, consistency is key. Brewing coffee shouldn't be any different. There are many variables to have a perfect cup of coffee. One very important variable: the grind.

One of the most important pieces of coffee gear is your grinder: choose wisely.

There are two different kinds of grinders: blade and burr. Blade grinders have blades that spin—similar to a blender—extremely fast and "chop" the bean to an uneven grind. Because of the speed of the blades, friction is created; friction equals heat which then transfer to the bean.

Burr grinders allow the bean to be "crushed" using pressure which allows a more uniform and even grind. Flat burr grinders are usually rings aligned horizontally. Conical grinders have a burr sitting inside a surrounding ring. The aligned surfaces of the burrs have "teeth" which grind the bean when passed through.

Burr grinders allow you to adjust the grind size accordingly to the brewer type. Yes, each brewer uses a different type of grind size. An immersion style brewer like the Press uses a coarse grind whereas a portafilter on an espresso machine uses a fine grind. Turkish coffee uses even finer coffee.

A micron, also know as micrometer, is a metric unit of measurement for length equal to a 0.001 millimeter, or about a 0.000039 inch. The symbol: µm.

To give you a idea of how small a micron is:
sea salt spray is .5µm
talcum powder is 20µm.

Typically, we usually say a brewer needs a fine/medium/coarse grind. But, let's get down to the nitty-gritty; what is this coffee grind that needs more explanation and how does it apply to the taste of the final product yield?

When brewing, you need to have the proper temperature water, time, extraction, and grind. If your grind is too fine, your coffee will be over extracted and it may come out bitter, lacking, or a better word: hollow. If too coarse, your coffee may be under extracted and the coffee can taste acidic or sour.

An easy way to remember this:
SOUR: increase brew time, decrease water temp, grind coffee finer
BITTER: decrease brew time, increase water temp, grind coffee coarser
[NOTE: the lighter the roast can cause your extraction times to differ, typically longer, than a darker roast.]

200-400µm 500-700µm 800-1000µm 1100-1300µm 1400-1600µm
FINE FINE/MEDIUM MEDIUM MEDIUM/COARSE COARSE

turkish

espresso

aeropress

cupping

espresso

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aeropress

pour over

syphon

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cupping

press

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beehouse

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syphon

cold brew

drip

cupping

press

pour over

beehouse

chemex

syphon

cold brew

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