Brewing of Filter Coffee

Cian Booth, Cathal Cummins, Mohit Dalwadi, Paul Dellar, Michael Devereux, Jeff Dewynne, John Donohue, Andrew Duncan, Fionn Fitzmaurice, Andrew Gordon, Matt Hennessy, John Hinch, Ciaran Hickey, Paul Hjorth, Teresa Kyrke-Smith, Deborah Leahy, William Lee, Eoin Lynch, Oliver Mercier, Stan MiklavcicStephen Russell, Len Schwartz, Benjamin Franklin Shozi, Piotr Swierczynski, Catherine Timoney, Jakub Tomczyk, Emma Warneford

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)


We report progress on mathematical modelling of coffee grounds in a drip filter coffee machine. The report focuses on the evolution of the shape of the bed of coffee grounds during extraction with some work also carried out on the chemistry of extraction. This work was sponsored by Philips who are interested in understanding an observed correlation between the final shape of the coffee grounds and the quality of the coffee. We used experimental data gathered by Philips and ourselves to identify regimes in the coffee brewing process and relevant regions of parameter space. Our work makes it clear that a number of separate processes define the shape of the coffee bed depending on the values of the parameters involved e.g. the size of the grains and the speed of fluid flow during extraction. We began work on constructing mathematical models of the redistribution of the coffee grounds specialised to each region and on a model of extraction. A variety of analytic and numerical tools were used. Furthermore our research has progressed far enough to allow us to begin to exploit connections between this problem and other areas of science, in particular the areas of sedimentology and geomorphology, where the processes we have observed in coffee brewing have been studied.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTechnical Report from MACSI's 2012 Problem-Solving Workshop with Industry
PublisherMathematics in Industry
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Food and drink
  • Fluids


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