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Coffee and Science

So with all the sciency stuff going on like discovering gravitational waves in the space time continuum, I figured I circulate some science myself. No, I am not a scientist. I have stated in previous posts, that I am value based (if it adds value, great; if it doesn’t, dump it). So this is how I classify science in coffee:


Hard science: This is when we are talking about TDS, refractometers, Maillard reactions and such. It’s all the nitty gritty numbers of coffee.

Soft science: yes, I know this is a dated term and no one uses it anymore, but it still applies. This is where I would bucket all of the experiential factors. How the environment affects the person tasting the coffee. How everyone tastes things differently. These are all difficult to put a numeric value to, but it is equally real to numbers.

I read the title of this article and, like I’m sure a lot of people did, thought it was silly, so I clicked on it.


After reading through it, it made a lot more sense. Our environment greatly affects how we experience specific things. Think of it this way: if your shop is crazy, loud, abstract art on the wall, you will immediately determine if you like this environment or not. Depending on what you decide, it will color every experience within. Same thing if you walk in and its super mellow, dim lighting and everyone is wearing turtle-necks. You might say the coffee is good, but a bit too stuck-up (yes, I do hear this). Coffee can’t be stuck-up. The environment can be stuck-up and that colors the experience.

I have not yet done the test to see if it affects my actual taste, but I imagine it would. We humans are very prone to suggestion. That is why I harp on baristas. A good barista can make an cup of coffee actually taste better (and create more value) if they take the time to talk to people.


Try it out and let me know what you find.

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