Understanding Coffee Taste

Inside a delicious cup of espresso sits an entire universe of coffee pleasure.

Taste is determined through Flavor, Body and Acidity. Our tongues can detect five tastes – sweetness, saltiness, bitterness, acidity and umami (savory). We taste using smell through our noses, which act as a path to all the wonderful coffee notes and taste differences. Taste triggers the imagination, allowing coffee lovers to select flavors that they prefer. Fresh, high quality coffee like ours is very clean-tasting to the palate, not weak and with no bitterness or aftertaste.   

Flavor is the overall impression of aroma, acidity and body, made up of complex compounds interpreted by our noses and tongues.

Body is the weight and texture of the coffee. There are three types of Body:  Light - (watery or tea-like), Medium - (smooth, milky, syrupy and creamy) and Heavy - (full, velvety, big and chewy). Body is based upon the tactile feeling of the liquid in the mouth, especially as perceived between the tongue and roof of the mouth.

Acidity refers to the lively, “dry,” “bright,” palate-cleansing sensation present to varying degrees in all coffee.  Acidity can be described as mellow, winey, sour, citrusy and berry-like. It contributes to a coffee's liveliness, sweetness and fresh fruit character.

Aroma is brewed coffee’s fragrance (defined as the smell of ground coffee when still dry) and aroma (the smell of coffee when infused with hot water). Aroma is distinctive and complex and best described as floral, spicy, chocolaty and earthy.

Aftertaste is the length of positive flavor (taste and aroma) qualities emanating from the back of the palate and remaining after the coffee is swallowed.

Balance is described as when all the various aspects of flavour, aftertaste, acidity and body of the sample work together and complement or contrast each other.