Extraction refers to the process of removing the coffee flavor from the grounded beans and into the hot water in order to brew property cup of coffee.

If we look at the basics of what making great coffee or tea is all about, it is about running hot water through coffee grounds or tea leaves.

In which the flavor of the product will be transferred to the water.

Such a simple process to understand… yet such a complex science to perfect. Partly because different individuals have different preferences when it comes to how their drinks tastes.

This is why an extraction process that results in a cup of coffee, whether it’s an espresso or otherwise, that arouses satisfaction by the general public is such an art.

The challenge with extraction is that different compounds that come from different beans extract that a variety of rates.

On top of that, it’s not just different coffee beans that can cause variations in optimal extraction.

Other factors can also include:

  • Type of grind
  • Date of harvest
  • Temperature of water
  • etc

For posh cafes and restaurants, team members sometimes use a device called the refractometer to measure the level of extraction based on the strength of the coffee.

However, there are limitations to such devices as it does not take other material factors into account.

For normal brewing, a 20% extraction is often considered as a benchmark. This means that 20% of the coffee has been extracted and blended with the water.

Nevertheless, the higher the extraction does not necessary mean the better the coffee is.