Sensory and monosaccharide analysis of drip brew coffee fractions versus brewing time

Mackenzie E. Batali, Scott C. Frost, Carlito B. Lebrilla, William D. Ristenpart, Jean Xavier Guinard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The composition of drip brew coffee versus brewing time has been chemically characterized in previous studies, and it is known that the total dissolved solids (TDS) systematically decreases with each fraction during the brew. Little information exists regarding the corresponding sensory attributes versus time, however, and it is unclear how TDS correlates with flavor profile. RESULTS: Standard drip brews were fractionated into distinct samples by switching in an empty carafe every 30 s during the brew. Using a trained sensory descriptive panel, we found that most taste and flavor attributes decreased with brew time; for example, the earlier fractions were systematically more bitter and more sour than later fractions. Surprisingly, however, several flavor and taste attributes increased in time; for example, later fractions were systematically sweeter and more floral than earlier fractions. Since later fractions had lower TDS, these results indicate that perceived sweetness in drip brew coffee is negatively correlated with TDS. Mass spectrometry measurements of the monosaccharide content in the brews showed that none of the fractions had perceptible concentrations of any monosaccharide. CONCLUSION: The results of the sensory analysis and the monosaccharide analysis suggest that perceptible sweetness in coffee is a consequence of masking effects and/or the presence of sweet-associated aromas and flavors. The results further suggest that unique flavor profiles could be obtained from the same coffee grounds by judicious combinations of specific fractions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020


  • Coffea arabica
  • descriptive analysis
  • mass spectrometry
  • monosaccharides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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