What does coffee chaff taste like?

What does coffee chaff taste like?

What does coffee chaff taste like?

What exactly is chaff?

In the realm of home coffee brewing, enthusiasts delve into a myriad of considerations to create their perfect cup. From grind sieves to special water formulas, techniques abound to influence the nuances of flavor. Amidst this intricate dance, one peculiar character emerges - coffee chaff.

The spotlight on chaff was intensified when Jeanine Zhu won the 2019 World Brewers Cup with a coffee roasted in an astounding four minutes. Zhu's meticulous approach involved meticulously removing the silver skin-covered chaff, emphasizing a quest for clean flavors. But what exactly is chaff?

Chaff refers to the papery skin or husk that flakes off the roasted coffee seed during the roasting process. It may seem insignificant, but it has the potential to impact the flavors in your cup. While some roasters view chaff as a nuisance due to its messiness and fire risk, others see its potential as a fertilizer. The debate around the impact of chaff on the final taste continues to intrigue coffee enthusiasts and professionals alike.

What does coffee chaff taste like?


To unravel this mystery, some experiments were conducted. Savor the flavor of the chaff by collecting it from roasted and ground coffee and brewing it individually into tea.

Coffee bean variety: Ethiopian coffee beans

Roast degree: light roast, medium roast

Collected chaff weight: 0.27 g for light roast, 0.21 g for medium roast

Brewing method: Use a steeping device with a filter to brew the chaff into a cup of tea, use 270 ml of hot water, the ratio of chaff to water is about 15:1, wait for about 3:30.



Medium roasted chaff: Tastes like chaff with a hint of grain sweetness and a little grainy sweetness. There is a hint of blueberry on the finish.

Lightly roasted chaff: It also tastes a bit like chaff, but has a bit of the roasted flavor of hojicha in the aftertaste, which is very subtle and very mild.


The results:

As you can see both samples are very weak in concentration and exhibit very subtle flavors, so what do they taste like? The chaff flavors of these two Ethiopian coffees are very similar.In both teas, there is absolutely no acidity, sharpness, bitterness, or any other possible flavor that might be considered negative or defective.


In conclusion is chaff truly the villain some make it out to be? The answer lies in the nuanced world of coffee preferences. The volume, intensity, and flavor of chaff can vary from roast to roast. While Jeanine Zhu's meticulous approach had its merits, for the average home brewer, the impact of chaff seems subtle and may not warrant the effort.

Have you delved into the realm of chaff removal in your brews? Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments below. And if you're eager for more coffee explorations, don't forget to like and subscribe.

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