What are coffee taste notes?
You must have seen notes of chocolate, caramel or fruity, and nutty mentioned in the description of our coffee blends. People tend to think that these are the added flavours to the coffee, but that is not how taste notes work. For example, when you sip a coffee with the taste note of chocolate, the coffee will not taste like chocolate, it will just have a hint of sweetness and chocolatey flavour but still taste like actual coffee. Read through this blog to know more in detail.
Since people differentiate coffee based on taste and aroma, it is important to understand what these terms mean. The sense of taste refers to the sensations of sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and saltiness on the tongue. Aroma is the sense of smell experienced through the nose and back of the mouth, while flavour is the combination both. There are several factors that affect the flavour of coffee, so let's explore them in detail.
Understanding how coffee gets these taste notes:
Just like wine, coffee can have different tasting notes depending on when and where it was grown, its variety, how it was processed or roasted, and even how it was brewed.
To understand the origin of these notes, we must first remember that coffee comes from coffee cherries. A coffee bean is a roasted seed that is removed from this cherry. Since they are seeds of a fruit, coffee beans naturally contain fruity flavorus that are further influenced by the different processing and roasting methods.
During the different fermentation and roasting process, various chemical compounds are naturally created within the coffee beans, and these are similar to chemical compounds found in other fruits and foods. When you taste a hint of orange, you are likely tasting a citrus flavour compound that also exists in oranges. To put it another way, the chemical compounds that give coffee its natural flavour are similar to the chemical compounds found in fruits or foods in actual comparison. Take another example, when a tasting note is mango, the coffee contains a similar chemical compound found in a mango. It’s not going to taste like a fresh, juicy mango, as it’s still coffee, but subtly that fruit you are sensing might make you think of a mango.
In the end, the place where coffee was grown, the way it is processed, how it is roasted, and brewed can all affect the way these tastes and aromas because they affect the chemistry (chemical compounds) of the coffee beans.
The Coffee Taster’s Wheel
In order to organize the various flavours that exist in coffee, the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) and World Coffee Research developed the Coffee Taster's Flavor Wheel. You can use this as a guide when trying different coffees.
Taste Notes of Light & Dark Roast Coffees
In general, coffees that are roasted lighter tend to exhibit citrus, fruit, and floral flavors (mango, orange blossom, raspberry). These coffees are described as light, vibrant or complex. Our Classico blend which is medium-roasted has taste notes of Apricot, Citrus Blossom and Roasted Nuts. Dark roasted coffees display tasting notes like dark chocolate, caramel, toasted almonds, baking spices, molasses. These coffees are often described as balanced, full-bodied, rich, or bold. Our Dark Roasted Forte blend has taste notes of Chocolate, Walnut and Malt
It is important to remember that these taste notes are subjective. Your taste will always differ from someone else's, because your reference will differ. Tasting notes are only intended to help us understand the differences between different coffees and help us enjoy the experience better.