8 Coffee Tasting Tips
While many of us enjoy a good cup of coffee, it is often difficult to decipher the multitude of flavours and subtle taste differences within the different varieties of java. If you want to refine your palate and deepen your appreciation of flavours, here are just eight tips that are sure to enhance your coffee tasting experience:
Whenever you’re about to delve into a freshly brewed cup of java, the first that will hit you is the smell. This is essentially the first part of the tasting experience due to the fact that our olfactory (smell) and gustatory (taste) senses are closely linked. As such, take the time to savour this moment as much as possible, taking in all those lovely aromas but questioning whether you can smell any different elements and if so, what these might be.
Once you’ve inhaled its rich aromas, the next step is to taste your wonderfully warm cup of coffee but again, take a moment to try and identify the range of flavours within it before gulping it down all at once (we know it’s tempting!). If you’ve used Arabica coffee beans to make your java, you may detect a selection of slightly sweet flavours with a hue of chocolate. Alternatively, those who have opted for Robusta beans are likely to experience a more potent and bitter taste. To help you pinpoint exactly what it is that you’re tasting, we have listed some aspects to consider below:
Acidity – does your coffee taste bright and zesty or quite flat and dull? Does it have a sharpness when drinking or leave it your mouth feeling bitter and dry? Asking yourself these questions will help you determine the acidity of the coffee you are drinking.
Balance – do the different flavours in the coffee balance or is there one overriding flavour that dominates?
Intensity – some cups of coffee have a flavour so intense that it can almost take your breath away! While some label these brews as ‘aggressive’, others love a punchy kick and savour the bold flavour some coffee provides.
Sweetness – as we have previously mentioned, some coffees are naturally sweeter and consequently, will taste softer on your palate while others may be earthier.
Also referred to as the “mouthfeel”, body describes the sensation of the coffee as it hits your tongue and considers both its consistency and texture. If you’ve chosen smooth java, this is likely to leave little residue and will glide effortlessly across your palate without leaving much trace. Other types, however, could feel heavier and even a little grainy, especially if the coffee has not been filtered correctly.
This is essentially the aftertaste of the coffee and whether it leaves a lasting flavour on your palate. Some coffees provide what is known as a ‘long finish’ when the taste lingers in your mouth long after you’ve finished drinking your cup. Alternatively, the flavour of a coffee with a ‘short finish’ will evaporate almost instantly after it has been consumed, much like the coffee itself! Either way, the taste of the finish is often quite different to that of the coffee while drinking, so it is good to take a moment to register the different tastes that are offered throughout the drinking process.
By considering these different aspects of the coffee tasting process, not only will you be able to discover a whole new world of flavours and sensations when enjoying a cupful but taking your time to drink your java will also allow you to savour it for longer!
Whatever type of coffee you’re brewing, make sure you filter it properly with our AeroPress filters to ensure maximum flavour, full body and a clean finish! Browse the AeroPress collection online today or visit our blog to discover more about how to choose the right coffee bean to achieve the perfect brew!