Michael Haft and Harrison Suarez explore How to Make Perfect Coffee for The Atlantic.
The Percentage Extraction is the amount of coffee particles extracted from the original dry grounds. The Percentage of Total Dissolved Solids is the percentage of coffee solids actually in your cup of coffee (commonly known as “brew strength”). When you correlate these, the result is a Coffee Brewing Control Chart, with a target area in the center that highlights the optimal brew strength and extraction percentage.
When you’re brewing coffee, the goal is to get into that center square of perfection. Everyone seems to advocate their own sort of mystical process for achieving the right extraction, but we’re here to tell you it’s not that crazy.