Local Engineer Uses Science to Brew Better Coffee - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Local Engineer Uses Science to Brew Better Coffee

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A local scientist is changing the way people drink coffee around the world, and right here in northern Nevada. Electrical engineer and physicist Carl Staub is also an expert in roasting coffee. "We do special roasts for chefs, small lots of coffee that we send around the world," Staub said during an interview at his south Reno office, where he has two commercial coffee roasting machines.

Staub also creates equipment for the food industry. "French Fries. That was probably our first foray into food. Making and analyzing an accurate look at the degree of pre-fry, or pre-cook-- for French fried potatoes. It was for McDonalds," said Staub.

Several years ago he turned his scientific talents to finding new ways of roasting coffee.

Staub uses raw coffee beans from around the world and roasts them, using chemistry to achieve a smooth brew for lattes, espresso or brewed coffee. He says coffee is more complex than most people realize.

"Coffee is like wood. It's like a medium density wood. It's poly-cellulose. If the coffee grounds are too hot, they swell up and expand. The big molecules that give you all the flavor and body in the coffee get trapped. You get bitter, astringent, metallic tasting coffee," Staub explained.

Staub invented a coffee roast analyzer that is based on chemistry, rather than the color of the beans. His company consults with coffee retailers like Starbucks and Folgers.

He also teaches others to make good coffee; holding seminars in Reno which draw students from around the world.

Reno cardiologist Kosta Arger has become a fan of Staub's coffee. "With someone like Carl -- he can help define why this one's not tasting good and this one tastes better," Arger said.

So what's the biggest mistake people make at home? Staub says it's the temperature of the water. The trick is to heat filtered water to between 196-degrees and 204-degrees Fahrenheit.

Staub recommends using a French press for great coffee, and has this tip for getting the water just right.

"At this altitude it usually boils at 207-208 degrees, so you bring it to a rolling boil, and you let it settle for a minute or two before you let it contact the grounds."

If that sounds too complicated, you can get coffee made with Staub's scientifically roasted beans at the following restaurants and coffee shops:

Harrah's Steak House, Dreamer's Coffee, Old Granite Street Eatery, Sterling's Steak House at the Silver Legacy, Campo, Josef's Vienna, Coffee Bar Reno and New Yalk Pizza. Tavern Products is the wholesale distributor for Staub's coffee.

Written by Jennifer Burton

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