When preparing the cezve, it is traditional to make an emulsion of grinds and cold water at room temperature before setting the mixture on a heat source. Some baristas, however, including Sara Alali, prefer to begin with water at around 60–65°C (140–149°F), which Sara believes gives a more controllable temperature profile. We found that preheating the water is about three times more efficient than using room temperature water.
Pictures: 60°C water being added to a Cezve.
In our experiment, we studied the difference it made to the TDS of a cezve if we added grinds to water at room temperature, compared with adding grinds to water heated to 60°C (140°F). In all our cezve experiments, we followed Sara Alali’s practice of using 20 stirs at the beginning of the process. We used a gas-powered heater and a small copper cezve lined with silver. We brewed on a ratio 1:8 — 10 g of coffee and 80 g of water.
In this case, we dosed 10 g of coffee ground slightly finer than espresso. We based the choice of grind setting for these tests on Diana’s and Gwilym’s taste preferences for cezve prepared with a grind slightly finer than espresso (a setting of approximately 0.3 on a Mahlkoenig EK43 grinder.)
The most obvious difference between the ‘room temperature’ and ‘preheated’ approaches was the total contact time: Room temperature brews took more than twice as long to come to temperature — on average, 8:31 minutes in total. By comparison, the preheated brews were completed in just over 4 minutes, on average.
An interesting finding came when we compared the TDS percentages of room temperature and preherated brews.