J. Pedro Ribeiro

Book Notes #6: How to Make Coffee: The Science Behind the Bean

February 21, 2021

How to Make Coffee Book Cover

Short and sweet. A quick read that goes straight to the point.

A 4-star rating on my GoodReads.

Here are my highlights:

  1. (…) they are made up of a soft fleshy exterior with a shell that hosts the seed that we know as the coffee bean. (pg.21)
  2. Your nervous system receptors are constantly monitoring your level of adenosine, and when they get too high, your brain will slow down your neural activity and dilate the blood vessels, making you feel sleepy or crave rest. Caffeine has a similar molecular structure to adenosine (…) meaning it can bind to your nervous system’s adenosine receptors without activating them.(pg.33)
  3. Once consumed, caffeine is absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract and can remain in your system for between 6 and 8 hours. (pg.34)
  4. Because it is both fat and water soluble, caffeine passes easily through the blood-brain barrier. (pg.34)
  5. (on Decaffeinated methods) (…) beans are soaked for several hours in hot water, removing not only caffeine but also the oils and flavours. The beans are then separated from the water and the solvent is added to the water, again binding to the caffeine. The solvent is heated to evaporate together with caffeine. The water remaining is reused to process fresh batches of beans, but the beans and water now have the same balance of coffee oils and flavours. The process now removes only the caffeine from the beans(…).(pg.48)
  6. If your coffee tastes a little sour; this is often due to underextraction. (pg.69)
  7. (…) bitter coffee - this could be due to your beans, equipment, or brewing method, but it may also be caused by overextraction. (pg.69)
  8. Adjectives & intensifiers for coffee: Crisp, bright, vibrant, tart. Muted, dull, mild. Wild, unbalanced, shard, pointed. Structured, balanced, rounded. Dense, deep, complex. Soft, faint, delicate. Juicy. Dry, astringent. Lingering, dirty. Quick, clean. (pg.95)

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J. Pedro Ribeiro

I’m a Brazilian front-end developer living in London. This website features some of my latest projects and my thoughts on anything web related.
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