Coffee Tasting Terminology

Aroma Geschmack Geschmackprofil Kaffeewissen Körper

Let's talk taste - not all coffee is the same

.

Whoever has had a filter coffee from India followed by an espresso from Costa Rica knows that both coffees are different in taste. But not only the country of cultivation plays a role here, but also factors such as variety, preparation, storage, roasting and, of course, the preparation of the beans are important elements of the interaction that we later enjoy in the cup.

.

Especially in the Specialty Coffee field, we find a wide range of characteristics and new word creations that are confusing for coffee beginners. We explain nine terms with which you can describe your coffee experiences in the future in more detail than with "tastes good" or "tastes not good"

.

1. Aroma

.

In German, the term aroma is often equated with the term flavour, for example, we speak of vanilla aroma and mean vanilla flavour. However, this is not quite correct. After all, aroma only refers to the smell of something. Even people who don't drink coffee often enjoy the aromas that a freshly brewed cup gives off. Especially with coffee, "the nose drinks along", because aromas contribute strongly to the formation of flavour. If you brew your coffee with a hand filter, the next time you can take a sniff especially during blooming - because this is when a particularly large number of aromas are released. Fun Fact: A wide variety of aromas are also released during the coffee roasting process itself. But not the typical coffee smell. It smells more like someone is toasting bread, hay and popcorn in a pan; the fine coffee aromas only develop after roasting.

.

2. Body

.

The body of the coffee not only describes the consistency of the coffee, but also how it feels when you drink it, meaning the viscosity, weight and strength. For a better illustration, think of milk: skim milk with a low fat content feels rather thin and watery, while whole milk is perceived as thicker and fuller-bodied. The body of coffee comes from the protein molecules and coffee oils it contains, which are extracted during brewing. "Full body coffees" are often stronger (in flavor, not caffeine) and creamier, resembling cream in consistency. "Light body coffees," on the other hand, are thin and tea-like.

.

3. Acidity

.

What sounds caustic at first is one of the three most important components of a coffee flavor profile. A pleasant acidity is something desirable in the cup, because completely without acidity, the coffee tastes flat. In English, a distinction is made here between "acidic" and "sour". Acidic describes a fruity, pleasant acidity, such as strawberries and apples have. Sour, on the other hand, refers to really sour foods such as vinegar. Light roasts, as they are common in Specialty Coffee, are considered fruity and "bright", but they should not be "sour" (Here you should adjust your grinder).

.

4. Sweetness

.

Whoever prepares coffee correctly does not need sugar, because coffee contains a natural acid, contrary to its bitter reputation. This is extracted by the correct brewing. If the coffee is under-extracted, the sweetness does not come out, but if it is over-extracted, it is masked by the bitter substances. If you do it just right, you can taste notes of brown sugar or maple syrup in your cup, for example.

.

5. Bitterness

.

As mentioned above, coffee is often associated with a bitter taste. We agree with that - if it is bad coffee! Commodity coffee is usually roasted very hot so that each batch tastes the same. This kills everything we strive for in our coffees: unique flavor profiles, fantastic aromas, and individuality. But even the best coffee can become bitter if it's over-extracted. Small fact on the side: many confuse bitterness and acidity, the exact distinction requires a lot of practice and conscious tasting!

.

6. Balance

.

The term is actually self-explanatory, it is about a balanced cup. That means that no one flavor trumps the other. If you feel like you're biting into a lemon in the morning instead of taking a sip of coffee, it's probably because your coffee hasn't been extracted properly. In other words, it's "off balance." Balanced coffee produces complex flavor profiles, not a bitter brew!

.

7. Clean cup

.

A "clean" cup simply means that the coffee is free of any defects. In other words, the coffee has no unpleasant flavors. Perhaps you have already tasted one or the other defect, but could not correctly classify it. Typical taste defects for a "dirty cup" are, for example, a gummy taste (this often occurs with Robusta beans), a chemical aftertaste (triggered by incorrect storage) or a stale potato taste (caused by mouldy beans).

.

8. Taste

.

The actual taste of the coffee is described on the basis of known foods, so we all know coffee that tastes like chocolate or blueberries, for example. Of course, neither chocolate nor berries are in the cup, but the taste profile of the coffee is reminiscent of them - here we then speak of taste notes. In addition to these two typical tastes, there are about 1200 others. The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) has developed a coffee flavor circle for this, which helps to better allocate the taste experience.

.

9. Finish or aftertaste

.

The "finish" or "aftertaste" describe quite simply the taste that remains on your tongue after you have already drunk the coffee. You know this from eating or drinking wine. In our coffees, we avoid a bitter aftertaste and give you rather fine caramel notes!

.

Now you know nine of the most important terms to describe coffee. Proper tasting takes a lot of practice. It takes conscious eating, because how does the taste of a dried cherry differ from that of a fresh one? How do maple syrup and honey differ in taste? Does my coffee taste like strawberry, or is it peach?

.

To get you started right away, we recommend two coffees that could not be more different:

.

Our Ekata Community Coffee, which is a filter roast from India that tastes like milk chocolate, strawberry and macadamia nuts in the cup, and our Sonora Typica Espresso, a Costa Rican espresso that develops notes of fruity apricot. Wonderful in your cappuccino or flat white - or straight as an espresso. Have fun testing!


Older Post Newer Post

English
English
x