Last week, a new study was published that explored the mathematics behind brewing the perfect filter coffee. The research, summarised here, modelled the brewing process as being composed of a quick, surface extraction from the coffee grounds, coupled with a slower brew, where the water was able to get into the interior of the coffee grind. It was an interesting study and the authors are now looking at grind shape and the effect of how you wet the grounds. However, what struck me was that the authors mentioned scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images of ground coffee. A lovely idea, what does coffee look like when magnified hundreds (or thousands) of times?
So here are a few images that I found shared under Creative Commons Licenses. I hope you find them as fascinating as I do.
1) A green coffee bean:
2) Instant Coffee
3) Roast and ground coffee (fluorescence microscopy image)
3b) More ground, roasted coffee, this time from Zeiss
4) Finally, an image of tea, just to keep this article tea-coffee balanced:
If you come across any great images of coffee (or tea) under the microscope, please do share them. In the meanwhile, enjoy your coffee however you brew it.