Coffee Taste Profiles
Our staff will often hear questions like, what will that Papua New Guinea taste like? Well there are many taste profiles from the different coffee growing regions around the globe. A broad description of these would be:
- Central and South America – Mild and Smooth
- Africa – Bright and Fragrant
- Indonesia – Full Bodied and Bold
We do need to define whether we are talking about a normal roasted or a dark roasted coffee. Many people will ask for a robust cup of coffee and what they really mean much of the time is that they want a dark roasted coffee. Some of our knowledgeable customers know the difference between a full bodied coffee and a mild.
Each specialty coffee from these regions requires different degrees of heat and roasting time to achieve its optimum flavor. What this means is that a Sumatran will require more heat and need to be darker roasted than say a Colombian would to get the most flavor out of each. If a coffee is under-roasted it will tend to have a little bite. If it’s over-roasted, some of the flavor will be roasted out of it.
African coffees are usually acidic. Winey is a term often used for the dry, bright taste. Kenya AA, Tanzania and Zimbabwean are good examples of these characteristics. Ethiopian coffees, like Harrar have floral, fruity tastes. Yirgacheffe will have chocolaty tones that are exquisite.
The Americas coffees are smooth, crisp and clean with bright aftertastes. Examples of these are Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico and Colombian. Colombian coffee is one of the most consistent from year to year as far as taste goes. Some of the Americas coffees have a nutty or buttery-like taste, such as Brazil or Nicaragua. Hawaiian Kona has a sweetness quality to it.
Indonesian coffees have body, similar to a bold red in the wine world. Some people wrongly call this taste strong, which really means that it was brewed strong, with extra coffee. These coffees include Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi and Indian.
Also of note when tasting coffees, they should be sampled hot, warm and at room temperature. Coffees that are just brewed can have their tastes masked by the high heat. These flavors will become more pronounced as the cup cools
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