All the questions about coffee in one article!

I maestri della tostatura media

You may be wondering how it is possible to summarize all the questions about the world of coffee and the related answers in a single article (that doesn’t require a thousand hours of reading).

I guarantee you that it is much simpler than it seems!

In the last eight years in contact with the public, in fact, I have been asked several questions, from the most generic to those that wanted to get to the detail and the most hidden curiosity about the raw and toasted bean.

The most popular were:

  • Is arabica really better than robusta?
  • What grind is needed for espresso?
  • What is the best roast?
  • What extraction method do you think is the highest quality?
  • Is it true that espresso cream must pass the “sugar test” to be considered good?
  • Is acidity an advantage or a flaw?
  • Is decaf bad for you?
  • Is it true that you shouldn’t exceed three cups of coffee a day?
  • Is it true that single origins are more valuable than blends?
  • What dose of coffee should I use to make a chemex?
  • Does coffee have to be bitter?
  • Can coffee be sweet?

And these are just some of the most popular questions that came to mind.

And do you know what’s great? That there is one and only answer!



Yes, because coffee is not an exact science, or rather: coffee is a natural product, which constantly changes and transforms, as well as depending on countless factors, such as the climate and its changes, the surrounding environment and the harvest and processing. In addition obviously to the species and variety to which the plant and its grains belong.

Then comes the roasting, mixing, extraction and serving phase. Not to mention transportation and storage.

Finally, we must also consider our very personal tastes.
With all these variables, giving absolute scientific truths is not possible.

Let’s give some examples

To questions like:

  • Is arabica really better than robusta?
  • Is acidity an advantage or a flaw?
  • Is it true that single origins are more valuable than blends?
The answer is indeed “it depends”!

How do you like coffee better: more bitter or more delicate and fragrant? How are you going to extract it? With the mocha, in espresso or with the filter methods?

And again: do you have a commercial and often poor-quality coffee in your hands, or a selected, high-quality and defect-free coffee?

It is in fact true that in general arabicas are better than robusta coffees.

But if instead you have purchased a poor quality arabica, therefore full of raw, roasting and aromatic defects, perhaps even dark roasted, it will certainly be of lower quality than a premium robusta.

We can also talk about grinding.

The most important question is: what is the right grind for espresso?

Each coffee must be ground differently from the others. PThen is it a blend or a single origin? What is the roasting level?

Furthermore, the exact same coffee may require different grinds in different climatic conditions or for different machines.

It also depends on the amount of ground coffee you are putting into the filter.

Not to mention that each grinder is different and therefore offers different grain size scales.

Then the espresso machine you are using is important and therefore you need to understand its featuresperformance and consistency over time.

There are too many variables to give a definitive answer in a quick message.

So how does a person get clear answers?

Be careful not to misunderstand me!

There are clear and concise answers to immediately get to the heart of the matter, but very often they are very useful guidelines to be able to start approaching, which will subsequently be experimented and modified to find the best solution for us.

Let’s take another example.

The recipes for coffee extractions, whether in moka, espresso, filter paper, etc.

The historical Italian recipe for espresso says:

  • 7.5g of finely ground coffee
  • in 25 seconds of extraction
  • to obtain 20 ml of drink in the cup.

It’s fine to start from this recipe, because it’s not wrong.

The point is that it is too generic, because the variables are not considered.

My advice is to start from the original recipe and then change one variable at a time:

  • First increase the dose slightly, taste and feel what has changed and whether you like it more or less;
  • Then increase or decrease the extraction seconds and taste again;
  • Then increase or lower the water temperature;
  • Change the extraction pressure;
    and so on until you find the perfect recipe for you and your coffee!


With this article I did not want to destabilize or create confusion.

My intent was more to reflect on the fact that coffee is not just that powder that we always find the same and ready for use.
Coffee is diverse and the industry is huge.
Above all, coffee is a natural “thing” and therefore dominated by variables and uncertainties.

Simplifying is fine to start with… you couldn’t do it any other way!

But let’s not forget that they are indeed simplifications!

So if you want to discover this beautiful and exciting world, continue reading our ABCoffee blog and get ready for all its “depends” and “ifs” and above all to experiment!

Good luck as you begin your journey of discovery!

Marketing, E-commerce e Social Media Manager
Coffee Lover


Martina Mazzoleni

Marketing, E-commerce e Social Media Manager Coffee Lover

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