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26 июля 2017, 23:50

Ask The Wirecutter: The Technology Behind Good Coffee


The staff at The Wirecutter and Sweethome, The New York Times’s product evaluation sites, seem just a little obsessed with coffee. They have evaluated a lot of brewing and grinding equipment, so I spoke with Michael Zhao, senior editor at The Wirecutter, about their findings.

Does the equipment make a difference to the coffee?

That depends on the type of coffee drinker you are. Running a $20 bag of freshly roasted single-origin coffee through a blade grinder and a $30 drip machine is like listening to a symphony through a cellphone speaker. If you’re just looking for a quick caffeine fix to get out the door in the morning, a cheaper coffee maker and a bag of preground Dunkin’ Donuts house blend tastes about the same regardless of how you brew it.

Your team takes coffee grinders very seriously. What did you do to determine the best one?

Grinders are serious business. Even the best coffee maker will produce bitter or sour results if you start with unevenly ground coffee. Unfortunately, most grinders aren’t consistent, so we borrowed a $2,700 Mahlkonig EK43 grinder and compared its grounds with that of some of the most popular coffee grinders designed for home use.

How did you do that?

We started by dialing in the Mahlkonig to optimal drip machine settings according to the roasters at Lofted Coffee in Brooklyn. Then we adjusted our testing units to come as close to that grind as possible. We ground 25 grams with each machine and used a sediment analysis tool to determine how much of the sample fell in the ideal grind size range. The result was pretty shocking. We found a $230 coffee grinder, the Baratza Virtuoso, delivered nearly identical results as the $2,700 grinder.

That would perk me up. Not all the stuff you tested was for coffee nerds though, right? You did some testing for the average joe.

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