Let’s Set the Record Straight – Coffee Myths Exposed
Misleading Myth #1: Use Boiling Water to Make Coffee
No, don’t! The correct temperature for the perfect cup of coffee is 90-95 degrees C. You want hot water for optimal flavor extraction from the coffee grounds, but boiling water is too hot.
Using boiling water can “over-extract” the coffee grinds, resulting in a coffee that tastes bitter. On the other hand, water that is too cold won’t extract enough flavour, resulting in a flat, bland tasting cup of coffee.
Misleading Myth #2: Store your Coffee in the Fridge to Keep it Fresh
No, again! Keep coffee in a cool, dry, air tight container. Coffee beans absorb moisture and moisture on the surface of the bean will leach out much of the aroma and flavour. Never store coffee in the fridge or freezer as these are moist environments.
Also, coffee acts like a sponge for flavours and odours around it so storing in the fridge can cause the beans to absorb other smelly foodstuff also affecting flavour.
Misleading Myth #3: Pre-Ground Coffee Tastes Just as Good as Grinding Your Own Beans
Grinding coffee beans speeds up flavour loss as the increased surface area greatly speeds up oxidization. Coffee starts losing quality almost immediately upon grinding so ground coffee should be used without delay.
This is a benefit of the “bean to cup” automatic coffee machines as beans are ground immediately before brewing.
Misleading Myth #4: There is a Single Grind Level which Suits most Brewing Methods.
Despite supermarket packaging of ground coffee showing it to be suitable for all sorts of brewing methods, different brewing methods actually require different grind levels. The optimal grind level is dependent on the amount of time the coffee spends in contact with water at the correct temperature. The less time in contact with water, the finer the grind needed. For example, espresso machines usually require a finer grind while a plunger requires a coarser grind.
Getting the grind setting correct on your automatic espresso machine is central to a great tasting coffee.
Misleading Myth #5: You Can use Less Coffee if You Grind the Coffee Beans Finer.
As mentioned above, the grind level to be used is determined by the amount of time in contact with water. Using a fine grind when a coarse grind is required, and using less of it!, will only result in a weaker taste.
Happy-Its-Not True Myth # 1: Coffee Stunts Your Growth
No, coffee won’t stunt your growth. This myth seems to have sprung from an early study which hand drip coffee suggested that caffeine reduced bone mass and contributed to osteoporosis. Trouble is the subjects of the research were elderly people (and therefore not still growing!) who had calcium deficit diets. Subsequent studies have shown that there is no impact to bone density on people whose dietary intake of calcium is at recommended levels.
Happy-It’s-Not True Myth #2: Coffee Causes Stomach Ulcers
Stomach Ulcers are mostly caused by a bacteria called Helicobacter Pylori, with other causes being certain medications and cancer. Coffee is not linked to stomach ulcers. Recent studies have even found that stress, smoking and diet are also not causes of ulcers.
Double-Edged Myth # 1: Coffee is Bad For You, or Coffee is Good For You
There has been much published about the health pros and cons of coffee and is really the subject of another blog. However, the overriding conclusion is that normal levels of coffee drinking are not harmful to your health and may actually have some health benefits due mainly to the antioxidants found in coffee beans.
Wish-it-was-True Myth #1: Coffee Will Sober You Up
Unfortunately, coffee does not change the alcohol content in your body and therefore cannot sober you up quicker. Coffee may make you more alert while drunk, making you think you are sober, but don’t be fooled.