Brewing coffee is a neverending science project, according to barista Sam Penix, owner of Everyman Espresso in New York City. Grind-size, brew method, coffee beans (which are really seeds), water temperature can all affect the flavors that end up in your cup. Harold McGee, author of On Food and Cooking, explains some of the chemistry of coffee.
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His latest book, the Keys to Good Cooking, is a how-to guide for home chefs in which McGee, a food science expert, explains techniques for kicking recipes up a few notches. McGee details why people perceive flavors differently, offers his thoughts on seasonings and explains why searing meat doesn’t seal in the juices.
McGee joins Fresh Air’s Terry Gross to offer advice for harried home cooks wondering whether it’s safe to eat that shrimp in the back of the freezer (maybe) or whether it’s worth it to buy that fancy new appliance (also maybe).