The Atlantik on Perfect Coffee

Dear Reader,

The Atlantic, one of the few publications I can recommend, has an article about “How to make a Perfect Coffee“. If you have been following diablog for a while, you know that for me the perfect coffee is an Espresso. And we wrote about coffee many times, the last post is here. Plus, our beloved commentator and favorite/only Norwegian, Iren


even makes a living with coffee.

So what is noteworthy about the article?

First, this part:

Measuring the quality of coffee goes back to the 1950s, when MIT chemistry professor E. E. Lockhart conducted a series of surveys to determine American preferences. Basically, he surveyed a lot of coffee drinkers and asked them what they liked.

Lockhart published his findings in the form of the Coffee Brewing Control Chart, a graphical representation of what Americans at the time considered to be the best coffee. In the years since, the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) has confirmed that American tastes haven’t changed all that much. Perfection, at least to Americans, is a coffee that falls in the range of 18 to 22 percent Extraction with a brew strength between 1.15 and 1.35 percent Total Dissolved Solids.


Which shows, scientists can complicate everything.

Secondly, this part, which is actually useful, even when slightly wrong:

Instead, the key is to start with the Golden Ratio of 17.42 units of water to 1 unit of coffee. The ratio will get you into that optimal zone, plus it is unit-less, which means you can use grams, ounces, pounds, stones, even tons if that’s your thing. So if you’re hoping for a 20 percent extraction against 1.28 percent Total Dissolved Solids, you can start with 30 grams of dry coffee grounds, 523 grams of water, and then adjust from there.


The point is that strong coffee has almost nothing to do with bitterness, caffeine content, or the roast profile, and everything to do with the ratio of coffee to water in your cup.


The last statement is accurate. But for me the ratio is too weak. For a tasty coffee or espresso, please, use 20g per cup of coffee (150 ml) or for one single Espresso.

Enjoy your drugs,

Engine Room

One thought on “The Atlantik on Perfect Coffee

  1. Give me a cup of tea with milk anyday.
    This was just to wind up ER. I really enjoy coffee, particularly when in Italy, Turkey or Arab Countries.

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