phase 2


For a little over 2 months participants in this study have been making and rating coffee beverages, measuring TDS and submitting data online. In that time a couple of hundred samples have been collected. Samples are still being submitted, albeit at a much slower rate than in the beginning.

Participation has until now been limited to individuals with access to a coffee refractometer. In a way this is what makes that study so beautiful, my job is merely to compile the data at the end. The collection is self-sufficient, the only exertion is on the part of the particpants.

That said, owners, or frequent users of refractometers are hardly an unbiased group. They are undoubtedly an interesting group, but they may have preconceived ideas based on their familiarity with measuring/tasting based on extraction and strength. With that in mind, I want to introduce the second phase of this research series. Here’s how it will work:

  • Initially 50 participants can take part (on a first come first served basis).
  • Participants will receive via post a sample kit, containing 6 coffee sample tubes, 2 syringes, 6 syringe filters, 1 brew water sample tube, written instructions, and a paper form.
  • Participants will be asked to record ground coffee weight, final beverage weight, and taste score for 6 separate brews within a 7 day period (this will require a scale with a minimum 1gram resolution).
  • A 15ml sample from each brew will have to be prepared (instructions below).
  • Participants will be required enter the recorded values in an online form.
  • Participants will be required to return the 6 coffee samples, and 1 brew water sample to one of 5 measuring locations.
  • Participants will receive the results of their samples after they have been measured.

Based on the success of the initial 50/pilot, this study may be expanded in the future. The incentive for participants here is that they get a chance to get some reference points for extraction using their own equipment. I would therefore encourage participants to use their 6 samples wisely and to vary their grind setting, coffee/water ratio, and/or contact time. In that way the results they receive back will be of more value (it is also of more value to the study to have a wider spread of data).

If you wish to participate please fill in the form below (PLACES NOW FULL).

Note you must own a scale with at least 1g resolution. You must also commit to promptly return sample tubes by post.

I want to thank VST and Marco for their generous support and contributions to this study. I also want to thank James Hoffmann, Ben Kaminsky and Emily Oak who have kindly offered to accept and measure sample tubes returned to them by post. In addition to those three, sample tubes may also be returned to Vince Fedele and to myself.



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