Where does the 18-22% rule come from?

Mr @OhYmerej, you asked for it, and now you got it.

First of all, every piece of information comes from this site because I neither possess the knowledge wizardry of this info nor the expensive, expensive technology needed to take part in the wizardry.

One day Jeremy wondered….”where does the 18-22% rule come from mike?”

The only thing that I knew at the time was that in regards to girls, the 18-22 rule not only rocks, it is also very, very legal (eat that statutory….). As to how it relates to coffee….I didn’t really know. So I took to my friend google and searched….



To summarize, the 18-22% extraction means the percentage of solubles that are extracted out of the beans. Extract too little and you get underdeveloped flavour (typically a sour or green taste). Extract too much and you get overextracted (or bitter) tasting coffee.

Who do these figure pertain to?

The average American coffee palate ~1960s taken by survey.

Brew strength is also important and can be measured by TDS, total dissolved solids which in the same study is determined to be 1.15-1.35%.

How much does all this matter? I dunno, I wish I could just experiment all day with all of those expensive equipments but unfortunately I’m not enough of a coffee celebrity to have that opportunity. All I know is that the coffee that is being served by me on the Slayer on Saturdays probably do not adhere to those rules. I still think that coffee does taste good outside those parameters and probably has something to do with the way that coffee technology has changed. (More about the Slayer/pressure profiling experience will be discussed in the upcoming week)

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2 thoughts on “Where does the 18-22% rule come from?

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