A Guide to Coffee Strength

A Guide to Coffee Strength

In this video we’re going to take a look At the strength of coffee What we mean by the strength of coffee And i’m going to put Coffee strength guides to the test So earlier this week i popped down to Our local supermarket and had a bit of a Browse of the coffee section There was a lot of producers a lot of Manufacturers there different coffees Ground whole bean And i was particularly interested to see How many of them were still using coffee Strength guides and were referencing Coffee strength on the bags And it fell into three broad categories There was the group of companies that Still use the terms strength or strength Going on their bags and we’re using them As one to five To differentiate between the strength of Their coffee There was another range of products on The shelves that had no reference to Strength at all it was all about The coffee and the origin of coffee in The bag There was another group which was a bit Strange in the middle that had Numbers on the bag three and four and Five But no reference to strength there was Actually no reference on the bags as to What those

Numbers actually meant Now i’ve always been skeptical of Strength guides and It’s something i’ve really wanted to put To the test So i thought i’d buy some coffee and i Bought three bags and they’re from the Same Company and i’ve re-bagged them and this Is not how they appeared on the shelves Nothing that would work very well but I’ve re-bagged them so i don’t really Want to talk about whose coffee they are I just wanted to compare what a strength Three Strength four and the strength five Actually means Now if i remember back to my early days Of coffee to me As a consumer i would have assumed that This produces A stronger cup of coffee than this Strength five being stronger than Strength three But is that the case and what i’m going To do today is i’m going to put that to The test And i can do that using something called A coffee refractometer Because this can test the strength of a Cup of coffee I can take a single drop of coffee place It on the glass And this will give me a strength reading

And it’s a piece of kit i was given About 10 years ago from a fellow coffee Professional Just as this business started to operate And He advised me at the time this would be One of the most important pieces of the Kit That i would ever use and he was Absolutely right I use it so much to help inform My coffee brewing my coffee tasting my Coffee roasting Strength is simply the ratio of water To coffee solids in the cup when you Brew Any coffee be a cafeteria filter even Espresso You were dissolving coffee solids into The water And it’s the ratio of those two that Determine strength The more coffee solids you dissolve into Your water The stronger the coffee will be and the Less coffee salad you dissolve into the Water The weaker your coffee will be and if we Take the kind of brewed coffee range the Kind of filter cafeteria range You might be really surprised to know That there’s about 1.3 coffee in a typical Copper filter the rest is water so 98.7

Water and it surprises a lot of people To find out that The ratio is so great in terms of water The range of brewed coffee is probably About 1.2 to about 1.5 percent strength And the other thing that’s surprising is That if you taste 1.2 Strength taste a 1.5 strength there is a Significant difference In strength between them My idea was to brew each of these Coffees And i reasonably expected that this Would produce The strongest cup this would produce the Next strongest and the weakest cup i Would produce would be these And i chose to use a filter brewer Simply because That gave me the most consistent way of Making coffee And i repeated the test three times to See What would happen So it’s no surprise if i tell you that The results did not match in any shape Or form the strength guide On the bags in fact the strongest Coffee that i made each time was Consistently Strength number three and often The weakest coffee was strengthened Before And depending on which of the brewers i

Used which grinder i used This was sometimes stronger this was Strong sometimes weaker In fact the second batch i did this Worked out to be the weakest brew that i Actually made But what was really important is across All three brewers This was consistently the strongest Which in a sense completely flies In the face of the information on the Banks So what are companies talking about when They’re talking about Strength to kind of understand that we Probably start We need to taste these coffees So i’ve brewed up three batches of the Coffee this is strength three over here Strength four here strength five here And i’m going to taste them to see if i Can understand What the manufacturers are trying to get At when they’re talking about these Strength Guides now i didn’t pay a lot of money For this coffee so I’m not exactly certain about what i’m Going to be tasting in the cup They’re about three pound 50 for each Bag and to be honest with you If it’s three pound fifty a bag then the Green beans that That this coffee came from are never

Gonna be expensive and they’re never Gonna be that great And if your green beans aren’t great at The start it’s highly unlikely the Coffee at the end is going to be Fantastic But let’s have a go and see what we end Up with It’s actually quite a mellow coffee um It is There’s not a lot huge amount of acidity There it’s just a little bit of acidity And there’s not a lot of what i would Call roast flavor either And roast flavour is often difficult to Describe but it’s it’s the flavor of Roast It’s uh sometimes v if you look at it to The extreme Roast flavor can be the smokiness that You sometimes get From roasting it can also be quite a lot Of bitterness in there as well And there’s not a lot of that in the cup So in strength four there’s a lot more Roast it’s the back end of my tongue There’s bitterness there’s a there’s a Bitter residue at the end And that flavor of roast is very much Coming through In this coffee and for strength five That roasted tone is dominating that cup Of coffee So what you actually have here is not a

Strength guide At all it’s how roasted the coffee is How far it’s been taking the roast and How Much the flavor of roast dominates the Cup We often get asked to recommend our Strongest coffee And it’s sometimes a difficult Conversation to have with people because The coffee industry historically has Made has aligned strength With roast degree so the more bitter the Coffee the more of that Roasted flavor you get the stronger People perceive it to be And that’s not exactly the case and it’s Particularly different for a specialty Roaster Who doesn’t want that roasted flavor in The cup at all Roasted flavor to us is a flaw in our Roasting If you start to taste that bitter roasty Note at the back end of our coffee Then we’ve not nailed the roast we don’t Want you to taste that we want you to Taste The bean itself the kind of origin Character and flavor Of that particular coffee gonna build on This in some other episodes of this Video and we’re gonna talk a little bit More about strength if you’ve got any

Thoughts or questions about coffee Strength grinding strength guides Or you’ve come across some packaging With some information on that you’re Wondering about Please feel free to get in touch i’d Love to hear from you In the meantime thanks for watching and Your subscribes are really appreciated

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