There’s a lot of debate about how to make the perfect cup of coffee. Is it via a french press? A pour over? Dark roast? Light roast? Who knows. One coffee-making trick that’s either sworn by or quickly debunked is that it’s best to freeze your beans to keep them tasting fresher for longer. While many are quick to claim this as nothing more than an old wives’ tale, science just butted in on the debate — and it turns out those old wives have been right all along.
UK Specialty coffee shop Colonna and Smalls teamed up with the University of Bath for a study that has settled once and for all whether the myth has any grounds (get it?). If you’re a coffee newb, here’s a little bit of background information: A uniform grind is key to making a good cup of coffee. Water extracts more flavor from smaller grounds faster than bigger ones. At your standard coffee shop, the grinder heats up the more you use it. The problem with all the varying temps happening here is that the grind can become inconsistent. So, could freezing the beans be the secret to a uniform grind every time?
Turns out, the answer is yes. The researchers began experimenting by grinding beans at room temperature and went down from there all the way to liquid nitrogen temp (-321 degrees Fahrenheit). They found that the colder the beans were, the more uniform particles were produced. And when all your beans are exactly the same size, you get a more flavorful cup of coffee. Well, that settles it. Thanks, science.
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(Photo via Getty, h/t New York Times)