It is now well-publicised that problems of coffee supply may soon impact the market: demand continues to go up, but supply is down – more people are drinking coffee, but fewer people are growing it.
In response to this challenging situation, H&C News turned to Alessandro Bonuzzi, Head of Coffee and Training at Artisan Coffee Shops and Coffee School in West London, to seek his views on the way forward. His response was swift and uncompromising…
Grinding, dosing and distributing are the steps leading to extraction, a process that is very much under-rated and/or overlooked.
Let’s have a look at what could happen if we were to do a better job at extracting:
- A better extraction will yield more flavour in the cup from the same coffee grinds
- An even extraction will improve the taste of the coffee dramatically
- An increase in extraction would lead to more cups of coffee from the same amount of beans, or the same amount of cups of coffee by using less coffee
Less is more
By improving only by 2% (from 16% to 18% extraction), we could hit the three targets above – see below:
- 20gr coffee @16% extraction (under-extraction) – 3.2gr TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) in your espresso
- 18gr coffee @ 18% extraction (good extraction) – 3.2gr TDS in your espresso
In other words, we can extract the same amount of coffee using less of it!
And – our business would be more profitable simply by consuming less of the world’s limited supply, whilst our coffee would taste a lot better.
Many would agree that Espresso should taste at its best when we manage to extract 18% of the coffee grinds that we have distributed in our baskets. The reality is that cafes around the world often over extract due to channelling (bitterness) or easily under extract (less than 18%) – both cases suggest that either a poor technique is followed or that poor grinding is the cause.
Let’s take a typical ‘scenario’:
Coffee shop “A” serves 2500 cups of coffee a week using 20g of coffee per cup:
- this would require 50kg of roasted coffee beans a week
- at the end of the year, it would have used 2600kg of coffee (at £15 per kg) for a total of £39,000
Coffee shop “B” serves 2500 cups of coffee, using 18g of coffee per cup:
- this would require 45kg of roasted coffee beans a week
- at the end of the year it would have used 2340kg of coffee (at £15 per kg) for a total of £35,100
There is a 9% difference both in volume and cost: Coffee shop “B” manages to save up to £4,000 a year in roasted coffee.
How can we make this happen?
Among the first steps that come to mind in order to address better extraction, we might certainly include the technique we use in espresso making, and the workflow that we follow. Specific training would certainly address these issues.
The new generation of grinders
In addition to that, however, we could also embrace some new technology that has become available to us: the new generation of grinders.
These grinders are more efficient at:
- Producing a more even particle size of coffee grinds: even extraction
- Distributing and dosing into our baskets: better extraction
- Managing heat generation: less flow fluctuations
- Decreasing the grinder’s grind retention: less wastage
Despite decreasing production, the new generation of grinders and a fresh approach to espresso making could see the world:
- continue to make coffee
- serve a better product
- and still meet market demand
The Artisan Coffee School runs coffee courses from beginner all the way up to professional level.
Artisan Coffee School, 32 New Broadway W5 2XA, 0207 030 3170
For more information click here