When you move into the world of really good coffee, you’ll soon discover a new vocabulary. Just as a graduate student moves from the basics to more advanced concepts, so does the coffee drinker in pursuit of better coffee. These advanced concepts bring their own vocabulary.
One of the words that you’ll need to discover if you want really good coffee is extraction. Not as in pulling teeth, but in terms of pulling out the best flavor of your beans.
It begins with the beans, of course. You can’t pull great flavor out of mediocre beans.
Then it moves to the grind. Fine, medium, or coarse. Each has their pros and cons, depending on the brewing method and desired outcome.
I recently came across a great article by Matthew Perger who blogs at Barista Hustle about extraction principles. In addition to the great information, it has some really cool graphics! Take a look: The Most Important Thing About Brewing Coffee.