Specialty coffee is really good at over-complicating things. The one I’ve been scratching my head over most recently is brew time, or contact time.
Ever notice that people mostly complain about consistency and flavour with brewing devices designed for sub-four-minute brew times? Especially espresso?
Ever notice that people lament “it tasted so much better on the cupping table”, shrug their shoulders, and continue on?
Every notice that batch brews are quite consistent and tasty compared to V60’s or similar?
It’s because fast brews are fickle and generally under-extracted, while longer brews are more consistent and generally more evenly extracted.
Aiming for brew times anywhere up to 4 minutes is like trying to catch light in a box. Extraction is happening so rapidly that’s it’s almost impossible to stop it at the same point twice. It’s also more than likely under-extracted due to the interior of grinds being a torturous water maze.
Extracting for longer in any brew method is far more consistent because extraction slows as it approaches the maximum. I’m not saying absolute maximum. I’m saying the maximum you could get with that brewer if you extended the time indefinitely.