Study suggests superior coffee's secret ingredient

Coffee lovers have long believed that soaking the beans in water before grinding them makes a difference. A recent study by University of Oregon academics appears to confirm why. 

The study looked into how the technique, which began as an attempt to remedy the sometimes messy coffee-making procedure, affects flavor."When you grind coffee, it goes everywhere," 

said study coauthor and University of Oregon associate professor of computational materials chemistry Christopher Hendon. "Dust pours from the grinder in a plume that covers everything. 

However, when a little water is added, it does not appear to spread everywhere. It's more sanitary. That was the main 

Static electricity, formed by friction when the beans are squashed together, is to blame for the mess.  

This static charge then repels the particles of ground coffee, shooting them off in all directions like magnets of the same polarity. 

The "Ross droplet" approach uses water to act as an insulator, diluting the effect. "It was first proposed by some enthusiast on a home barista forum," he said. "The idea  

has been around for several years, and originally it was borrowed from the materials production industry, like wood pulping." 

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