Static electricity is ruining your morning cup of espresso. Here's how to fix it

If you make espresso at home and grind your coffee beans, here's a tip for improving the quality of your shots: a new study published in the journal Matter suggests that adding a bit of water to your coffee beans right before grinding can improve the quality of your shot.

The research, conducted by a computational materials chemist and a volcanologist, looked into how static electricity affects coffee grinding and brewing. It turns out that coffee beans with higher moisture content produce less static when ground. This small detail leads to impressive benefits:

  1. Adding just 20 microliters of water per gram of coffee (that's about a drop for a typical 20-gram espresso dose) can significantly reduce static charge during grinding.
  2. This reduction in static leads to a more even distribution of particles and less clumping, allowing for a denser coffee bed and more consistent extraction.
  3. The moisture trick works best for espresso, where it can increase extraction yield by up to 10% and total dissolved solids by up to 25%.
  4. For filter coffee lovers, the effect is less pronounced but still noticeable, with about a 5% increase in extraction yield.

The researchers conclude, "Wide implementation may reveal that a few simple squirts of water have solved the problems of clumping, channeling, and poor extractions while aiding in the pursuit of attaining the tastiest espresso."

That Capresso conical burr grinder Mark recommended is wonderful