The evolution of coffee has been as swift as it’s been staggering. Before the dawn of Starbucks, coffee was a primarily utilitarian elixir—mud water to be guzzled at a diner counter before work for that extra morning kick. But with the rise of the indie coffee shop, the caffeinated beverage has gone the way of wine; there are experts, tasting notes, specialty stores, and obsessives who will go to great lengths to find that perfect cup.
According to a new study published in Scientific Reports, the perfect-tasting cup of coffee may be far less elusive than you think. Researchers from the University of Bath partnered with local specialty coffee shop Colonna and Smalls and ground up coffee beans at different temperatures to see how they affected flavor. What they found was that the colder the beans, the more consistent the grind, which ultimately enhanced the flavor of the coffee.
“It’s important that all the particles in there are extracted at the same rate,” said Chris Hendon, a chemist at MIT who worked on the study. “It’s kind of cute that you can do that just by cooling the beans down before you grind them.”
Of course, different people have different tastes in coffee, meaning some might prefer what comes out of the grinders used at coffee shops. But because they’re used consistently, these grinders vary in temperature, which produces an inconsistent cut. Whether you like your coffee sweet or sour, though, Hendon explains that like with most things in life, consistency is key.
To achieve the flavor boost that comes from frozen coffee beans, just place them in an airtight container, freeze them for a couple of hours, grind and roast at home, and voilà: perfection in a cup.
Grind your beans with this Hario Skerton Ceramic Coffee Grinder and let us know if you plan on freezing your coffee beans for maximum flavor.