May 26, 2017

VIDEO: Scott Rao on Understanding Extraction, TDS & Refractometers


Extraction, TDS, refractometers – what does it all mean and why should you care?

If you’re asking these questions, then you’re in luck: today, we’re featuring a video of Scott Rao presenting at the Barista Guild of Europe.  The topic: how extraction affects your coffee’s flavour, and how using TDS can help you improve your coffee brewing.

And believe us, Scott Rao is an expert. He’s been working in coffee for 25 years, and is the author of The Professional Barista’s Handbook, Espresso Extraction: Measurement and Mastery, Everything but Espresso, and The Coffee Roaster’s Companion. Here’s what he had to say about measuring extraction.

Measuring Extraction to Achieve Better Coffee

First of all, Scott Rao emphasised that measuring extraction cannot replace taste – but that when a barista or home brewer combines the two, it can lead to a better understanding of coffee, better tasting coffee, and better consistency in their coffee.

He also explains how it can be used to troubleshoot bad coffee – and discover whether it’s the brewing, or the equipment, that’s causing problems.

One quick note: you’ll often hear people say that coffee should be brewed to a specific extraction level. But as Scott Rao says, ideal extraction levels will vary according to both the coffee and your equipment. Even with the same grinder, as the burrs dull, you can expect the ideal extraction to change.

Bonus points: he also provides several batch brew and filter tips! We’re talking grind size, contact time, coffee bed shape and depth, pre-infusion and brew time… Watch the video below to discover all these tips.

SEE ALSO: Coffee 101: Extraction & The “Strong Coffee” Myth

SEE ALSO: Why Are Some Coffees Sweeter Than Others?

Feature photo credit: trophygeek via Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Please note: Perfect Daily Grind does not own the rights to these videos and cannot be held accountable for their content.

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