A coffee’s aroma is the result of a perfect combination of chemical substances that interact with each other and trigger that sense of wellbeing that is pleasure in a cup. The range of its flavours – which includes acid, bitter and sweet – and its extremely rich range of aromas, with notes running from citrus to caramel and flowers, are derived from the whole series of stages that lead to its preparation: from the plant to the coffee cup, the journey of coffee comprises many stops, and each one plays a role in determining the final result. ‘The most important part of coffee is the bean,’ says Simona. ‘To provide intense flavours and aromas, the beans themselves must be very good.’ Another element that determines coffee quality is the roasting of the beans. Subjected to very intense heat, the beans develop around 800 new chemical compounds and acquire the aromas and flavours that the customer will ultimately find in the cup. The extraction method is based on factors that can be controlled by the barista, such as the quantity of water and coffee, the fineness of the grind, the water pressure and so forth. The relationships between all the factors are perhaps more complex than some people imagine: ‘Just making a coffee seems like a very simple act but on the chemical-physical side, there are so many variables in play,’ says Simona, explaining the ‘science of coffee’.