Exploring Extract Chilling: Preserving Coffee Excellence

Exploring Extract Chilling: Preserving Coffee Excellence

Picture a gleaming golden orb poised to work its enchantment on your espresso. This unassuming sphere holds a singular prowess - it swiftly and evenly chills your espresso, all the while preserving its delectable flavours and captivating aroma. Through its cold-extraction process, chilling the initial 40% of your espresso, it unlocks a symphony of volatile aromatic compounds, yielding a brew that transcends the ordinary into the realm of the extraordinary.

Let me introduce you to the wonder of Extract Chilling.

What is Extract Chilling?

Extract chilling involves rapidly cooling down freshly brewed coffee immediately after extraction. This could be over a ball, chilled rock or even a spoon! The process aims to halt the brewing process abruptly, preserving the coffee's flavour compounds and aromatics at their peak.

How it Affects Aroma, Flavour, and Structure

Extract chilling locks in the volatile aroma compounds and delicate flavour notes of coffee, ensuring they remain intact for longer periods. By rapidly cooling the brewed coffee, the oxidation process is slowed down, preserving the coffee's freshness and vibrancy. Additionally, extract chilling can enhance the clarity and structure of the coffee, resulting in a cleaner and more refined taste profile.

Gimmick or Worthwhile?

The debate over whether extract chilling is a gimmick or a worthwhile technique continues among coffee experts. While some sceptics question its necessity, proponents argue that extract chilling offers tangible benefits in preserving coffee quality, particularly in large-scale production settings. Ultimately, its value may vary depending on individual preferences and brewing methods. 

Can You Extract Chill Pour Over Coffee?

Absolutely, and there are even specialised brew stands like the Paragon designed specifically for this purpose. The Paragon cleverly accommodates a chilled ball beneath the dripper, swiftly cooling the first half of your brew. What's ingenious about the Paragon is its design—it can be effortlessly swung out of the way once the chilling process is complete.

If you don't have a Paragon stand but want to experiment with extract chilling at home, consider using one of the Paragon balls and placing it inside a second coffee dripper. However, exercise caution when moving hot coffee during brewing. Alternatively, you can utilise the extract chilling balls for Pour Over without a stand by placing the chilling ball on top of your server. With your non-dominant hand holding the V60 or pour-over brewer, pour water using your dominant hand. While this technique may be a bit tricky, it offers a cost-effective alternative to investing in a stand.

Extract Chilling with a Spoon

An intriguing variation of extract chilling involves using a spoon to rapidly cool down the brewed coffee. This method entails stirring the hot coffee vigorously with a metal spoon to dissipate heat and facilitate rapid cooling. While unconventional, some coffee connoisseurs swear by this technique for preserving the coffee's flavour and aroma.

Why We Think You Should Give it a Go

Despite the ongoing debate surrounding extract chilling, there are compelling reasons to explore this technique. Extract chilling offers a promising solution for extending the shelf life of freshly brewed coffee while maintaining its quality and complexity. Whether you're a coffee professional seeking to optimise production processes or a home brewer eager to enhance your coffee experience, extract chilling presents a great way to enhance your espressos taste.

Extract Chilling with Paragon Espresso by Nucleus

Nucleus Coffee Tool's Paragon Extract Chilling Rocks, developed in partnership with Ona Coffee and Zurich University, offer an innovative solution for chilling espresso. Featuring a golden chilling rock supported by a plastic handle, this tool fits directly under an espresso portafilter. Scientifically proven to capture and express up to 40% more key aroma volatile molecules than standard brewing, the Paragon's patented design utilizes innovative extract chilling technology. Constructed from food-grade stainless steel with a titanium coating, the chilling rock's spherical shape and large surface area ensure even and rapid chilling. Its high-density liquid gel centre maintains colder temperatures for longer and freezes faster than alternatives. With adjustable height and anti-slip grips, the Paragon accommodates different cups and coffee machines. Specifically designed for espresso, the 30mm diameter chilling rock size suits espresso brewing, with additional rocks available for individual preferences.

TLDR: The Chilling Conclusion

In conclusion, extract chilling holds the potential to revolutionise the way we preserve and enjoy coffee. While its efficacy may vary depending on brewing methods and preferences, its ability to preserve coffee's aroma, flavour, and structure makes it a technique worth exploring. We recommend making the time to try extract chilling with a spoon and if you love the results, there's no doubt an extract chilling rock would make a great addition to your brewing routine.

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