Refraction Extraction aka SCIENCE Coffee


STRONG COFFEE strongly believes that for the best tasting cup of coffee, you should skip the sugar/milk and go straight for the SCIENCE. Today our dollop of SCIENCE will be assisting us in our quest to make the perfect cup of coffee by using the refraction of light to discover the perfect extraction.

Golden Ratio_570


“What makes coffee taste great is the ability to trap both available solids from the ground coffee and escaping volatile gases into a liquid state, so that when you drink the coffee, your nose and tongue work in concert to provide you a memorable experience.” In order for our coffee concert to rock your face off, we need to make sure our extraction is in tune.


By definition, extraction (in chemistry) is a process consisting in the separation of a substance from a matrix. In our case, the substance is drinkable coffee and the matrix is ground coffee. Water moves into the coffee particles, it dissolves or suspends different substances and extracts them from the solids. Hot water also cooks as it extracts, forcing chemical reactions that transform some of the substances into other things. Once the desired amount of solubles have been dissolved in the water, there needs to be a balance of that coffee flavor to the liquid that completes the cup. In most instances, it will ideally be less than 2% coffee solubles, and more than 98% clean hot water.


When coffee is under extracted you get a sour and/or grassy cup. When it’s over extracted it will taste bitter. In fact, Starbucks found that it can use 20% less coffee by grinding finer and overextracting which you may have noticed has caused their coffee to taste more bitter. Damn you Howard. With so many variables (water temperature, grind size, brew time, agitation, coffee/water ratio, water profile, coffee density, roast level) how are you supposed to know when you have achieved proper extraction? Please welcome SCIENCE to the stage. SCIENCE will be playing the refractometer.

Refratometer 570


A refractometer is a device used for the measurement of how light, or any other radiation, propagates through that medium.  “A coffee refractometer includes a prism that receives a brewed coffee sample, thus forming a prism-sample interface. A processor or microcontroller controls a light source to provide incident light to the prism-sample interface. The prism-sample interface refracts light toward a photodetector. A temperature sensor provides temperature information to the processor. The refractometer includes a memory store that stores a TDS (total dissolved solids) formula that expresses the TDS of brewed coffee as a function of the index of refraction of brewed coffee and the temperature of brewed coffee. The processor determines the TDS of the brewed coffee sample by accessing the TDS formula in the memory store and employing the determined index of refraction  of the brewed coffee sample to find the TDS from the TDS formula. The refractometer displays the resultant TDS % on a display of the refractometer and/or transmits such information to an information handling system.”  Until recently this super geek toy would of cost you upwards of $10,000.

Thankfully VST Labs has released what they call ExtractMojo. ExtractMoJo is, very simply, a refractometer paired with the universal brewing control chart. In essence, the chart provides a graphical representation of strength, extraction and brew formula in an easy to read format.


So basically you brew your coffee, take a sample, shine some light through it and you get a number.   When you plug in the number along with the amount of water and coffee grinds, it tells you the brew strength and extraction yield. By plotting those on the chart, you know whether or not you’ve brewed a decent cup of coffee. The ideal range is between 1.2 and 1.55 percent. A app called MoJoToGo even repackages the ExtractMojo software into an iPhone app.


At the end of the day, the refractometer can only tell us what percentage of the material was dissolved, not what type.  Even if the extraction shows to be perfect, it does not mean that we extracted the right soubles.  Or at least ones that we prefer taste wise.  In our opinion, you should always shoot for the top middle section of the chart and DRINK STRONG COFFEE.





Need More Energy From Your Coffee?

Always-is-a-time-for-coffee “Don’t count every hour, make every hour count”.  Here at Strong Coffee we are all about making our time count, especially when it comes to coffee.  So when is the best time to go pound town on that vat of brown fire liquid?  It depends…….. dare As much as we want to deny it, most of us love coffee because it contains drugs, thats right kids Drugs Are Really Exciting.  Caffeine affects our bodies in a variety of ways, one of which is our biological rhythms. Chronopharmacology is the study of the interaction of biological rhythms and drug action. One of the most important biological rhythms is your circadian clock. This  24-hour clock alters your physiology and behavior in variety of ways but it can also alter many properties of a drug including drug safety, drug efficacy, and perhaps even drug tolerance. 2401424 The circadian clock in most living things makes it possible for organisms to coordinate their biology and behavior with daily and seasonal changes in the day-night cycle. Circadian clocks are the central mechanisms which drive circadian rhythms. These basic rhythms are preprogrammed into us genetically and although we can mess with our cycles through lifestyle habits, the major factor in their regulation is sunlight. Circadian-Rythms 19gdj3659mlqnpng What the F does this have to do with coffee?  One of the things that this clock controls in humans is the release of the hormone cortisol, which can help make us feel alert and awake. According to some studies, the effects of caffeine consumption at times of peak cortisol levels actually diminishes the effectiveness of the additional stimulation and can cause you to build a tolerance more quickly.  So, the tweaker in all of us begs the question, when should I lace up and hop on that ice pony?  Well again it depends.  Take a look at the charts above and adjust to when the sun comes up where you live.   By adjusting your intake time to coincide with lower coritisol levels you will likely be maximizing the power of your caffeine.  Does this mean you will be any less of party pooper in the wee hours of the morning?  Probably not, that is due to you being a drug addict.  DRINK STRONG COFFEE.   References

Top 11 Ways To Say You Have To Poop

In the midst of  writing a post about why coffee makes you poop I kept coming across these lyrical gems.  There is even a website where you can enter your birthday and it will give you your poop stats (paper used, total flushes etc.).  With the list below, you will never again have to diminish the mystical and almost magical process of turning food into energy.  Some are direct while others are more illusive.  Enjoy.


#1 For the computer nerd: I’m off to download a brownload.



#2 For the cultured: I’ve got tickets to the bean ballet and the curtain is about to go up.Bowel Movement.3

#3 For the moms: I’m crowning.



#4 For the gardener: Pardon me while I go honk out a dirt snake.DS in grass WEB


#5 For the BRO: Bro,  i’m playing peek-a-boo with a brown turtle right now and it’s about time I find him.honk_if_you_love_turtles

#6 For the dog trainer: Shoot a dook.68fdff2e43bacbb5bb54e4ebb77e893b-dog-ruins-romantic-picture


#7 For the adventurer: I must release the chocolate hostages.



#8 For the baker: Now I gotta a go choke a brownie.



#9 For the announcer: IT’S CHOCOLATE TIME!




#10 For the designer: I’m Touching Cloth.



#11 For the environmentalist:  Release a chocolate shark into the wild.



So there you have it.  The top 11 ways to vocalize your need to, your urge to, your right to rock a poop.  Having trouble……DRINK STRONG COFFEE.



If You Love Your Coffee Hot, Wait Until You Try Cold Brew. Mind Blown.


Cold brew or cold press refers to the process of steeping coarse-ground beans in room temperature or cold water for an extended period, usually 12 hours or more. The result is a coffee concentrate. Cold brew coffee is not to be confused with iced coffee, which generally refers to coffee that is brewed hot and then chilled by pouring over or adding ice.


Why Temperature Is Important

When we brew coffee, we’re doing a very basic thing: bringing plain water into contact with dried plant materials to impregnate the water with flavor, color and various active substances. Yes impregnate. As water moves into the coffee particles, it dissolves or suspends hundreds of different substances and extracts them from the solids. The temperature of water used to brew coffee depends on the type of beans, the roast of the beans, the age of the roasted coffee and the brewing environment.

If the water is hot, it extracts more rapidly and completely. Hot water also cooks as it extracts, forcing chemical reactions that transform some of the extracted substances into other things, and driving some aroma substances out of the liquid. The common held belief is that coffee’s ideal brewing water temperatures range from 195F to 205F. Above this temperature and you tend to extract too many bitter-tasting components that can ruin the cup and create unpleasant aromas. Below this temperature and you can extract too many perceived sours, limiting the minuscule sugars the ground coffee has to give.

Cold water, in contrast, extracts more slowly and selectively, produces a simpler extract, and doesn’t change the original flavor substances as much. The extended brew time can increase body, sweetness & intensity of the flavors.


Difference In Taste

Cold brew coffee usually tastes sweeter, fruitier and less acidic. This is because the coffee beans in cold brew coffee never come into contact with heated water, which results in producing a different chemical profile. One of the main chemicals limited is chlorogenic acid. The less chlorogenic acid the less bitter the taste. Fatty acids are also not extracted at a high concentration, which contributes to a less salty and bitter tasting cup.  Citric (citrus fruits) and malic (green apples) acids are fully extracted developing the fruity flavor. Sucrose is also extracted in full proportions, which gives cold brew a rich sweetness.  Body-rich coffees (heavy on spices, chocolate notes, etc) tend to do the best in cold coffees. Fruity-acidic coffees also do well because the fruits carry through to the cup while leaving behind the acidity. Some people refer to these brews as “juicy tasting” cups. JUICY.


How To

All you need is pitcher or a jar with a lid and something to strain out the grounds. Combine one cup of coarsely ground beans with four cups of cold water, stir, and let the magic begin(this ratio is up for debate). Cover the pitcher or screw on the lid and let the potion sit for about 12 hours (also up for debate). Next strain it through a fine mesh sieve, or layered cheesecloth. Make sure you put some effort into correctly straining the mixture or you will end up with a mouth full of gritty soup. Unless you want to remove the oils do not use a paper filter.   Or just do the whole thing in your french press. Either way what you will end up with is a coffee concentrate that you can dilute at whatever ratio you like. If you like your coffee hot, add boiling water. If you find that perfect strength cold-brewed mix, but don’t want ice diluting it, freeze the mixture and use coffee ice-cubes. As they melt, the iced-coffee won’t get any weaker.


Strong coffee will be a cold brew company. We plan to offer a variety of flavors in different sizes and different concentrations. To create these flavors we are looking into things like theobromine, which will add a chocolate flavor but has similar effects on the CNS as caffeine while also being an aphrodisiac and a vasodilator. The idea is to only add ingredients that help us achieve the goal of getting shit done in an effective and natural way.






Justin and the Big Boys: Repost



Since June, CrossFit South Bay has been taken over by professional football players Chris Long (St. Louis Rams), Kyle Long (Chicago Bears), James Anderson (free agent), Brian Banks (free agent), and prospective first-round draft pick out of UCLA, Anthony Barr.  “Definitely having the NFL players made me push harder,” Van Dyke said. “Having athletes that are the highest level there is only going to make you better and push you to your limits.”  It all started 10 months ago when off season trainer Gabe Rangel partnered with CrossFit South Bay to provide a competitive place to train for the professional athletes who live in the South Bay of Los Angeles, Calif.  Mixing CrossFit workouts with traditional football strength training, the NFL players didn’t get a sense of competitive CrossFit until the 2014 Open. As they watched Van Dyke throw down, their interest was piqued.  “They definitely respected what I was doing and were curious on how well the Open was going and if I was going to make it to the next level,” Van Dyke said.  Soon, some of the players joined Van Dyke.


In the third week of the Open, Anderson and trainer Trippe Hale faced eight minutes of deadlifts and box jumps with Van Dyke.  Van Dyke finished his 16th deadlift at 315 lb. at the time cap (146 reps), Anderson coaxed his 50-lb. heavier frame up the 24-inch box for another good rep after the set of 25 275-lb. deadliest.  Anderson had already spent hours on standard football strength training before he did 14.3, and only joined after some prodding.  “C’mon are you scared? Let’s go,” Van Dyke had called out.  Although totally spent after the Open workout, Anderson and his trainer thought the match up paid off for both athletes.  “We got better from it,” Hale said. “(Van Dyke) got better from it because (he) went after us. We were trying to compete.  ” I have to constantly be training with people who are a little bit better than me and who are pushing me,” Van Dyke echoed.  Training alongside professional athletes, and beating them in Open workouts, was surreal for Van Dyke.  “As a kid, you look up to NFL athletes and NBA athletes. Right now, I’m kind of competing with them and training with them,” Van Dyke said. “It’s a lot of fun.”


Of course, the NFL players haven’t let Van Dyke go home with the win each day. When they programmed suicide-style prowler pushes at max weights, they got Van Dyke to join them.  “They crushed me pretty good with that,” Van Dyke admitted.   “That was probably one of the hardest things I have done for conditioning.”By the end of the prowler work, there were several large men laid flat on their backs, gasping for air.Although the two kinds of athletes excel at different workouts, both share a common respect for intensity and mental toughness.“One thing I can take away from the (CrossFit athletes) is the mental fortitude it takes to push past that physical limit, which we do a lot in football,” Chris Long said.

Heading into the 2014 SoCal Regional on May 23-25, Van Dyke said he knows he has the support of his new training partners.“They’re all awesome guys and respect me as much as I respect them,” he said, “so they all wish me the best in the competitions to come.”



Are Microwaves Killing You And Your Food?

Microwaves are the devil

Not only do microwaves destroy all the nutrients in your food they also give you cancer.  Before you jump on the Bobby Boucher advice train, lets ask science…..


How Do They Work?

Why does our food go in cold and come out hot? The answer is a multi-faceted one, involving both physics and engineering.  Microwave ovens take advantage of the behavior of water molecules when subjected to electromagnetic waves. Waves in this frequency range have an interesting property: they’re absorbed by water, fats and sugars. Water molecules have one side that is positively charged and one that is negative (dipole).  An electromagnetic wave is made up of alternating electric fields when a charge is exposed to it, it will experience forces regularly changing in direction which will force the molecules into rotation. The agitated water molecules would then possess heat energy that can rub off  to nearby molecules. If the water molecules are well distributed in the body subjected to the microwave, then the entire body can heat up quickly and uniformly.  So basically the waves spin the water molecules which creates heat and the heat spreads, making your hot pocket warm and delicious.


Who Invented Microwaves?

It 1945 Percy Spencer, an American engineer was working on an active radar set when he noticed that the Mr. Goodbar he had in his pocket started to melt: the radar had melted his chocolate bar with microwaves. The first food to be deliberately cooked with Spencer’s microwave was popcorn, and the second was an egg, which exploded.  In 1947, Raytheon built the “Radarange”, the first commercially available microwave oven.  It was almost 6 feet tall, weighed 750 lb. and cost about $52,809 in today’s dollars.


Do Microwaves Harm Our Body And Cause Cancer?

The microwave is designed with a metal screen embedded in the glass of the door. The holes of the screen are smaller than the wavelength of the microwaves so it acts like a solid metal mirror. Microwaves also use non-ionizing radiofrequency. This low frequency radiation doesn’t have enough energy to directly damage your DNA and form a pre-cancerous cell. Other sources of non-ionizing radiation include the infrared lamps that keep food warm in restaurants, radios, televisions, and the computer screen you are staring at right now. You should be aware, however, that your oven could leak microwave radiation, if it gets damaged, is dirty, or is improperly operated or maintained. You can minimize these chances by making sure that your oven door closes properly and that your door’s safety devices (that prevent microwaves from being produced when the door is open) work correctly. Also, you should make sure that the seals to your door and oven are clean and intact. 


 Do Microwaves Destroy Nutrients In Food?

Several years ago nutritionists raised concerns that microwaves depleted nutrients in food. If anything, studies have shown the opposite. All cooking methods can destroy vitamins; the extent of the damage depends on the temperature and the length of cooking time. The best cooking method for retaining nutrients is one that cooks quickly, exposes food to heat for the smallest amount of time and uses only a minimal amount of liquid.  Most research indicates that microwave ovens result in less extreme temperatures, require less time for cooking and need less water than stove-top or oven methods. Microwaves heat food, but do not make any changes to it that aren’t made in any other cooking method.


2  More Microwave Knowledge Bombs.


The whooshing sound a microwave oven makes has nothing to do with the magnetron, which resonates at a frequency far too high for human hearing. The noise is from the fan that blows air across the magnetron to keep it cool. Microwave ovens also produce a hum. It comes from the transformer, diode and capacitor, which vibrate as they step up the 60-hertz electric power from a wall outlet.


Despite common wisdom, metal does not necessarily cause sparking inside a microwave. Sparks are caused by a buildup of charged particles that suddenly arc when they are pushed by a voltage that changes dramatically over a short distance. A flat, round, metal platter will spread charge around it, preventing buildup.  The “crisper” tray that lies underneath some microwaveable pizzas and the sleeve that envelops certain foods (Hot Pockets) have a metal coating that gets very hot and browns the food yet does not spark. Sharper points, such as fork tines or the many tiny edges in aluminum foil, concentrate charge and also cause localized drops in voltages, which together create a corona discharge(spark).




Microwave ovens are among the most energy efficient cooking appliances in any home. Using microwave ovens is a valuable energy conservation and emissions reduction technique, especially when compared to electric stoves or ovens.  People should be more concerned with the health risk of what they are putting in the microwave(Hot Pockets, Tacitos etc.) as opposed to the microwave itself.  On a side note reheating coffee by any means is usually a bad idea as it will end up burning it.










Fat is Awesome Part Two: Bulletproof Coffee

indiana jones coffee

Now that we have established that healthy fat is awesome, lets blend it in some coffee and get wild.  There’s something inherently appealing about drinking a liquid with ‘special properties’.  The first image that comes to mind is from Indiana Jones Temple of Doom where Indy is whipped and forced to drink a potion called the “Blood of Kali”.  We all love a good “Blood of Kali” that touts a solid if than reward scheme.  Drinking is also the fastest way of getting something inside our bodies short of snorting or injecting so why not add healthy fat to the list.


Adding butter to tea or coffee is nothing new. People in Tibet have been adding yak butter to their tea for centuries. They regard it as an essential source of energy that helps them flourish in their harsh, frigid climate.  The idea is to load up your body/mind with clean, healthy fats, and then give it a boost of caffeine all while fasted.  The caffeine helps the fats enter the brain quickly while the fats slow down the effects of caffeine.   So instead of an intense spike in energy and a big crash, you’ll feel a nice long high for about half the day before slowly returning to baseline.

The main ingredients of Bullet Proof/buttered coffee are coffee, butter and MCT/coconut oil.  Heres a breakdown of each ingredient and its benefits.



Awesome. End of discussion.  Click here for more info.



Milk from dairy farms is collected and brought to the creamery. The cream is separated from the whole milk using centrifugal force. It is then pasteurized (heated rapidly) and finally beaten vigorously in a churning cylinder until it thickens naturally into butter. Butter contains essential fatty acids, vitamins A, D, E and K, glycolipids that have anti-infective properties, butyric acid and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). But not all butter is created equal. Grain-fed cows do not produce as much CLA in their milk as their grass-fed counterparts. Grass-fed butter also contains an Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio that’s basically 1:1 and has higher levels of beta-carotene giving it a distinctly yellow color.  Why butter and not cream? Compared to cream, butter has more butyric acid, more vitamins, and is lower in sugar. If you have casein or lactose intolerance try clarifying your butter.  The clarification process removes the milk proteins, leaving behind pure, golden butterfat.  Or you could use ghee.


MCT Oil/Coconut Oil

MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides and is a purified form of these types of fatty acids.  MCT oil is purified from coconut and palm kernel oils and generally sold as a supplement instead of a food on store shelves. It can be quite expensive, so many folks have taken to using coconut oil instead of pure MCT.  MCTs have several benefits, including being an easily metabolized form of energy. Compared to longer-chain fats, MCTs are digested more quickly and are less likely to get stored in fatty tissue. One of the most recent studies on MCTs found that they did promote weight loss but didn’t boost exercise performance. Whether they give an overall energy boost is still not certain.


  • Brew 1 cup (8 oz.) of coffee using filtered water, just off the boil, with 2 1/2 heaping tablespoons freshly ground coffee.
  • Add in 1-2 tablespoons of MCT or coconut oil
  • Add 1-2 tablespoons grass-fed, unsalted butter or ghee
  • Mix it all in a blender for 20-30 seconds until it is frothy

Dave Asprey and other proponents of Bulletproof Coffee suggest that this cup of coffee will leave you energized for hours, eliminate crashes, help you burn fat, gain muscle, and be an overall better human.  To maximize the effects you need to do some intermittent fasting.  Here are the 3 reasons why according to Asprey’s website.

Reason #1: Tripling down on mTOR.

mTOR stands for “Mammalian Target of Rapamycin.” mTOR is a major mechanism that increases protein synthesis in your muscles. Both exercise and coffee raise cellular energy use while simultaneously inhibiting your muscle building mechanisms (mTOR) for a brief period, which causes it to “spring back” and build even more muscle as soon as you eat.  There are 3 known ways to raise mTOR. Intermittent fasting, exercise, and coffee (or more weakly, chocolate, green tea, turmeric, or resveratrol). Plain intermittent fasting doesn’t use coffee, so it only hits one, or possibly 2 of the 3 possible mTOR triggers. An all-fat breakfast doesn’t make your body think it’s broken the fast.

Reason #2: Ketosis

Intermittent fasting helps you enter ketosis (fat burning mode that’s good for your brain) but then you end ketosis if you eat carb-containing foods at the end of the fast. Using MCT in your Bulletproof Coffee increases the speed at which you go into ketosis, so it fuels your brain, and it helps you stay in ketosis even in the presence of some carbs in your diet.

Reason #3: Metabolic hacking

Coffee increases your metabolism by up to 20 percent. Plain intermittent fasting doesn’t.

Now for the haters…


The person who thinks he’s a superiorly-healthy “fat-burner” by eating 2/3 a stick of butter in one sitting, and denying himself any source of carbohydrate, will still manage to produce and use glucose. Because the body needs it. In fact, if you don’t consume enough glucose, your body will literally start eating itself to get it. It’s called gluconeogenesis, meaning that while your body is releasing adrenaline to mobilize fat to be used as fuel, your adrenals are also releasing cortisol to break down body tissue. Like from your muscles and organs. And then your liver has to convert those proteins into glucose to raise your blood sugar. It’s very taxing, very stressful, and not at all an ideal way to get your glucose.

The only reason you’d end up experiencing “boundless energy” as a result of having nothing more than a big cup of coffee with a half stick of butter in it for breakfast, is because your body would likely be experiencing an acute stress response and an active hyperadrenaline state. If this is all you have for breakfast, expect the stress-promoting effects of denying your body its ideal source of fuel for the energy your body needs to expend during the first half of the day. Saturated and unsaturated fats are vital for cell repair, normalisation of hormone levels, brain development and can be utilised as an energy source for almost every major organ or process in the body, with the exception of the brain, the retinas and the kidney’s which run almost exclusively on glucose.  But to say that fat is preferred is a falsification of information.

When the body is given both carbohydrates and fats, it will always use the carbohydrates as an energy source, therefore making the carbs the preferred fuel over fats. However, if there are no carbs in your system, then yes, your body will choose to use fats over starving itself, but is that optimal? This is a clear example of an Appeal to Popularity fallacy (believing something is good because lots of people are doing it), the Band Wagon fallacy (doing it because everyone else is), and a Correlation proves Causation fallacy (assuming that correlation between two variables implies one causes the other).


Buttered coffee is a common drink around the world – and Bulletproof coffee simply adds another healthy fat to the mix. Some people think it’s awesome while others are convinced it is just another “Blood of Kali”.  Here at Strong Coffee we suggest you don’t knock it until you try it.

DRINK STRONG COFFEE….with butter and MCT oil…..if you want to…but if not that’s cool…SCIENCEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.