The truly great things about coffee can be elusive…there one minute, gone the next, as temperature changes and all the many variables affect the coffee you chose.
To aid you in finding one you love…and then finding another; we have devised this “fingerprinting” method © .
This will allow you to track a coffee based on 4 basic properties, as shown in the diagram to the right.
Love a certain coffee but having trouble putting your finger on why? Want to find other coffees that are similar, or even something completely different? Use the chart for each coffee to guide your taste experience. Remember, every coffee is & should be a unique experience, but many great coffees have something in common. Appreciate each coffees intrinsic value, but when you find one thats a winner for you, we can help you find others!
This indicates the roast level, or degree to which the coffee is roasted, using visual, audial and other sense cues in conjunction with technical ones such as temperature and time.
This is an overall index of sweetness, since there are several kinds of sweetness that show up in every cup. There is a very real difference between citrus sweet, like you would find in an orange; and Caramel sweet. This catagory does not attempt to break down the kind, just the intensity of the sweetness.
This is the brightness, or lightness found usually in the finish of a coffee. this can be a citrus-like or tart sensation on the tip of your tongue. Also called brightness, it is a highly desirable flavor characteristic. Usually the acidity is best evaluated once the coffee has cooled slightly to a warm/ lukewarm temperature.
This is a particular heaviness on the palate, or mouth-feel. Not unlike the lasting sensation of a stout beer, as compared to an Ale. Some common terms used to describe body include rich, creamy, full, thin, watery, light, heavy, and syrupy.
the smell of gases released when water is added to the coffee. Terms used to describe aroma include spicy, wine-like, grassy, musty, earthy, floral, nut-like, or chocolate.
Complexity and Balance:
Complex coffee includes the presence of a number of flavors & aromas, more than the one or two that might be evident in more simple coffees. A balanced coffee offers this complex range of flavors, that compliment one another, with no one flavor overpowering the other.
this is the taste sensations left lingering on the tongue & palate after drinking the coffee. It is also somewhat related to the body of the coffee, as coffees with a heavier body will typically leave a longer taste in the mouth. Terms often used to describe aftertaste are spicy, sugary, earthy and charcoal.