Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Chasing the Perfect Cup

I'll be honest with you, most of this post went straight over my head but I thought some of you geek types might like it, so here it is. Gizmodo has an article on ExtractMojo and MoJoToGo, gadgets that quantify a cup of coffee's flavor.

The perfect cup of coffee has a brew strength (or TDS) of 1.15-1.50 percent and an extraction rate of 18-22 percent. It's a remarkably tiny spot to hit. But uh, how do you get there? If the brewing control chart is a map, ExtractMoJo and MoJoToGo are the GPS.

ExtractMoJo is, very simply, a refractometer paired with the universal brewing control chart, an updated version of the original chart from the 1960s. MoJoToGo repackages the ExtractMojo software into a superhandy iPhone app. The VST coffee refractometer is designed to measure coffee's concentration by measuring its refractive index. (It reads the speed of light through a liquid medium to around 5 decimal places). Not so long ago, a refractometer of the caliber would've cost around $10,000, says Vince, but thanks to the increasing power of digital camera resolutions, he was able to create a handheld model that's just a couple hundreds bucks.

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