The flavorsome compounds in coffee beans exist in the form of aprotic charge neutral species, as well as a collection of acids and conjugate salts. The dissolution and extraction of these organic molecules is a process dependent on the dissolved mineral content of the water. It is known that different rates and compositions of coffee extraction are achieved through the control of the water “impurities”, Na+, Mg2+, and Ca2+, which coordinate to nucleophilic motifs in coffee. Using density functional theory, we quantify the thermodynamic binding energies of five familiar coffee-contained acids, caffeine, and a representative flavor component, eugenol. From this, we provide insight into the mechanism and ideal mineral composition of water for extraction of flavorsome compounds in coffee.
Hendon, C., Colonna-Dashwood, L., & Colonna-Dashwood, M. (2014). The Role of Dissolved Cations in Coffee Extraction. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 62(21), 4947–4950. https://doi.org/10.1021/jf501687c