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What do you know about coffee bean density?


Coffee bean density is one of the important criteria to evaluate the quality of coffee beans. This is the characteristic that makes us call coffee thick or spongy. However, not everyone knows about coffee bean density and its influence on the taste of a cup of coffee. Let’s find out about XLIII Coffee in this article!


What is coffee bean density?


Density is a quantity that represents the amount of matter per unit of measurement (length, area, or volume). We can calculate density by dividing mass by volume. Coffee bean density is the ratio between the weight of the coffee bean and its volume, calculated in units of g/ml or g/cm3.

Coffee bean density is the basis for us to say whether a certain bean is dense or spongy. The higher the particle density, the denser the particles. Just by looking with the naked eye, we can feel the firmness and hardness of that grain.


What affects coffee bean density?


What do you know about coffee bean density?

The consistency of coffee beans can be judged with the naked eye

Coffee bean destiny is not an inherent trait; it can be influenced and altered by various factors. Farmers may rely on elevation to regulate the plant’s respiratory process, thereby reinforcing the density of coffee beans. In addition to elevation, factors such as shade, crop density, slope, soil nutrient diversity, coffee variety, and ripeness of the fruit can all impact the density of coffee grounds.

– Shade: Various types of shade-providing plants can help keep the coffee plants cooler, increasing the density of beans after ripening.

– Crop Density: When multiple plants are grown closely together, they can naturally provide shade, keeping the plants cooler and less affected by direct sunlight, resulting in a higher density of beans.

– Slope: Planting coffee on the northern slopes of mountains, where the sun doesn’t shine directly, leads to lower temperatures, slower cell respiration, and consequently, larger bean density.

On the same tree, the density of coffee beans can also vary between fruits. The beans at the end of branches are often fluffier than those closer to the trunk, as nutrients are more concentrated in the middle of the tree.


What does coffee bean density indicate?


The structure of coffee beans is similar to honeycomb, which is a hollow cellulose structure (similar to wood). This structure has the effect of holding nutrients for the embryo. However, sometimes the grains are only partially filled – and so are more “spongy” with a weaker flavor. While “dense” beans contain more flavor precursors, they have a more diverse flavor profile.

For green coffee beans, the higher the bean density, the harder and firmer the coffee beans will be. The way these particles absorb energy, withstand force, crack and grow is also different from more porous particles.

For roasting coffee, the roaster will adjust the parameters to suit each density characteristic of the bean. Coffee beans with different densities will have different transformations during the roasting process. Dense seeds have a tighter, more complex cell structure. This structure creates more potential for sugars and acids to develop during roasting. Dense beans will conduct heat more effectively and will usually roast a little faster. Styrofoam beans may take more time to roast and heat transfer takes place within the beans more slowly (spongy beans contain more air inside), high roasting temperatures can lead to scorching and uneven development. 

Above, the News has just sent readers some information about coffee bean density. This is a necessary parameter for roasters to monitor and adjust to obtain coffee beans with the desired flavor.

Learn more about specialty coffee at XLIII Coffee!

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