On the scientific side of things, coffee is a solution composed of solutes dissolved in a solvent (via Encyclopedia.com). Water is known as the “universal solvent” because it can dissolve so many different things. but still only some compounds in the coffee bean are soluble (soluble in water). After brewing. Soluble compounds in coffee are primarily fruit acids, caffeine, lipids, carbohydrates, vegetable fibers and melanoidins (by-products of the Maillard reaction that occurs during coffee roasting), according to Royal Coffee. Each of these compounds dissolves in water at slightly different rates. By choosing a brewing method, you can actually keep certain compounds out of your cup that are less desirable.

Royal Coffee explains that fruit acids and caffeine dissolve faster than other compounds in coffee. This is good because these are the most desirable elements. The carbohydrates and fiber that dissolve at the end have a bitter taste and too much can ruin the taste of the final product. According to Serious Eats, the drip and pour-over method, which involves exposing coffee grounds to constant boiling water, quickly removes the delicious ingredients and tends to over-extract flavor. This method produces a less satisfying brew. The slow steeping employed in the French press method provides a milder, less over-extracted, sweeter, more flavorful coffee.

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