Better living through caffeination
January 22, 2020 3:47 PM   Subscribe

Systematically Improving Espresso: Insights from Mathematical Modeling and ExperimentConsidering a 25% reduction in coffee mass (i.e., $0.025 saving), and considering the daily coffee consumption in the United States (124,000,000 espresso-based beverages per day), our protocol yields $3.1 million savings per day, or $1.1 billion per year.
posted by They sucked his brains out! (17 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
 
$1B rounds down to $0 on the scale of the US economy, doesn't it?
posted by BungaDunga at 4:01 PM on January 22 [2 favorites]


billion here, billion there, sooner or later it adds up to real money
posted by dismas at 4:12 PM on January 22 [1 favorite]


Interestingly, there is no mention of whether the espresso made during their field testing in any way resembled, or tasted like, espresso.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:19 PM on January 22 [15 favorites]


$1B rounds down to $0 on the scale of the US economy, doesn't it?

Starbucks controls 39.8% of the US coffee market. lets pretend that 100% of starbucks business is espresso based (for fun's sake) Assuming that this study is 100% true and actionable. I don't think howard schultz is going to turn down 437 million dollars in savings.
posted by Dr. Twist at 4:22 PM on January 22 [4 favorites]


The median income for someone working full time is about 40k. You could pay 25,000 people that wage in perpetuity with a billion dollars a year. To have the equivalent of the lifetime output of tens of thousands of people effectively squandered through waste is pretty bad imo.
posted by Ictus at 4:29 PM on January 22 [7 favorites]


How about instead, we study how the people at Caffè Mexico in Naples do their espresso magic, and somehow replicate it.
posted by sallybrown at 4:40 PM on January 22 [4 favorites]


"This modification may result in very fast shots (< 15 s), a reduction in espresso concentration, and a different flavor profile. [...] It is clear that espresso made at 22% EY in the partially clogged regime tastes more “complex” than a fast 22% EY obtained using the optimization routine presented"

Scientists discover coffee can be made more cheaply by compromising on strength, taste. News at 11.
posted by Pyry at 4:49 PM on January 22 [30 favorites]


Author Contributions

The study was conceived by C.H.H., M.I.C., J.M.F, and W.T.L. M.I.C. and D.M. brewed the espresso. D.H. and E.U. performed the grinding experiments. Z.C.K and S.A.F. performed the gas sorption measurements. J.W., W.T.L, and J.M.F. formulated the mathematical model. J.M.F carried out the model analysis and wrote the code to solve the reduced model. C.H.H., W.T.L., and J.M.F. wrote the manuscript, and all authors contributed to the final version.


But who drank the coffee?!!
posted by piyushnz at 4:53 PM on January 22 [3 favorites]


OMG, that was painful to read. For the love of god, someone send these dudes a Moka pot and show them how it's really done.
posted by sexyrobot at 5:35 PM on January 22 [3 favorites]


>The study was conceived by C.H.H., M.I.C., J.M.F, and W.T.L. M.I.C. and D.M. brewed the espresso. D.H. and E.U. performed the grinding experiments. Z.C.K and S.A.F. performed the gas sorption measurements. J.W., W.T.L, and J.M.F. formulated the mathematical model. J.M.F carried out the model analysis and wrote the code to solve the reduced model. C.H.H., W.T.L., and J.M.F. wrote the manuscript, and all authors contributed to the final version.

>>But who drank the coffee?!!

I.P. Nightly.
posted by storybored at 5:43 PM on January 22 [12 favorites]


One vivarin.™
One C. Hot water
One sleeve of Sanka.™
1 t. Sugar
1 t. Dry creamer.

-from 'The brown sauce diaries'. Chapter 4. Bangers, mash, and grey coffee.
posted by clavdivs at 5:57 PM on January 22 [1 favorite]


A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems.

– Alfréd Rényi

These folks got it backwards.
posted by zamboni at 6:31 PM on January 22 [8 favorites]


Meanwhile Oakland's Ground Control has invented a machine that makes a amazing 'pour over' like coffee while reusing the beans 3 times! Now you're talking real money!
posted by Frayed Knot at 6:32 PM on January 22 [1 favorite]


From the article:
This result does not undermine our use of EY [extraction yield], but rather illustrates that the barista indeed needs to taste the coffee, rather than measure its solvated mass.
Oh damn. I should probably let the people who write the Starbucks barista manual know that they need to change it from "you don't need to taste it, just measure the solvated mass" to "you do need to taste it, in addition to measuring the solvated mass".

Also, 100 bonus points are awarded for using the phrase "tasty point" three times in the text and five times in one set of graphs.
posted by mhum at 6:34 PM on January 22 [3 favorites]


Scientists discover coffee can be made more cheaply by compromising on strength, taste. News at 11.

I've had research lab coffee. Trust me scientists already know this and have for decades. This is more like "Scientists come up with high citation garbage article for giggles".
posted by srboisvert at 7:01 AM on January 23 [1 favorite]


The median income for someone working full time is about 40k. You could pay 25,000 people that wage in perpetuity with a billion dollars a year. To have the equivalent of the lifetime output of tens of thousands of people effectively squandered through waste is pretty bad imo.

Sure, you or I could. A corporation would not. They would literally choose profit over fairly compensating existing workers (and obviously you can tell an employee is not being fairly compensated if their company is making profits).
posted by GoblinHoney at 8:30 AM on January 23


> Thorzdad:
"Interestingly, there is no mention of whether the espresso made during their field testing in any way resembled, or tasted like, espresso."

> piyushnz:
"But who drank the coffee?!!"
Left to the reader as an exercise
posted by andycyca at 12:45 PM on January 23


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