A Simple Method to Measure Coffee Colloids


This project started with the intention of quantifying the differences between coffees brewed by various methods. The result is a novel technique for measuring colloids and a theoretical explanation of why and how it works. It also provides practical details about the use of the Raspberry Pi High Quality camera for data gathering.


What's a colloid?

Colloids are particles which are larger than molecules but are small enough that they stay dispersed in the coffee. They scatter light. When you shine a laser through a colloid dispersion, you can see the light beam. link

Do colloids matter for coffee?

Colloids and acids are two things that change depending on the brewing method. link
One major purpose of Traditional Cupping is to greatly enhance Brew Colloid formation, so that the broader spectrum of a coffees flavour can be perceived.

How does this project work?

We shine a laser through diluted coffee and take a picture of the resulting light beam. By analyzing the picture, we can tell how much light reaches the camera from each point along the light beam.