coffee algorithm: the perfect cup

2020-05-13

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~2 min read

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254 words

One way to understand an algorithm is as a recipe. A set of instructions, that if followed, will yield an anticipated result.

The example that CS50 at Harvard used (based on the published videos on YouTube) is of making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

When I was first learning to code, I decided that I would write a coffee algorithm.

Apparently, I was writing in Python at the time, because my first attempt began with:

Class BrewCoffee(self,water,coffee,brew_type, grinder, filter, mug)
	__init__.self()
	self.water = water
	self.coffee = coffee
	self.brew_type = brew_type
	#... the grinder, filter, and mug are dynamic and are dependent on the coffee and brew_type

Making the perfect cup of coffee really is a blend of art and science.

The way you pour water, letting the beans bloom, making sure to have a consistent drip - it’s all important. But it can all be for naught if you ignore appropriate ratios.

When brewing with a Chemex, my preferred method, I’ve found my preferred ratio is 16:250 coffee to water.

A quick reference then is as follows:

# of Cups Beans (oz) Water (oz)
1 16 250
2 32 500
3 48 750
chemex patent
I found the patent drawings for the chemex to be quite stunning. This one comes from the Chemex Store, but you can find all of the original patent filings here.

Hi there and thanks for reading! My name's Stephen. I live in Chicago with my wife, Kate, and dog, Finn. Want more? See about and get in touch!