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Coffee Qualities

Every coffee bean has a different flavour profile, some are more desirable than others, but this entirely depends on your preferences. We look at the flavour qualities of coffee beans so you can identify which beans you prefer. The best coffee beans aim to balance flavours to create a delicious cup of coffee. However, most have some distinct flavours, making them unique; picking up on which flavours you prefer helps you choose coffee beans you’re more likely to enjoy.

Aroma

When it comes to coffee beans, brands often talk about aroma; this is actually the smell of the coffee. Only freshly roasted coffee will have a strong aroma. The smell of the coffee can indicate how the drink will taste, and it can also impact your coffee experience. Coffee connoisseurs rate the aroma of a coffee as part of their process of finding good-tasting coffee. The aroma can be described as sweet, nutty or fruity, and coffee experts can identify the flavours of a cup of coffee from the aroma alone.

Acidity

One key part of the flavour of coffee is acidity; this is the sharp, tangy taste that you feel at the front of your mouth. Acidity is sought after in coffee; it enhances the flavour and makes the coffee appear fresh and lively in terms of taste. A coffee lacking in acidity is often described as dull or tasteless. Medium acidity provides a smoother coffee experience. Look out for acidity in coffee to decipher if you prefer a high acidity or low acidity coffee. Lightly roasted beans have a higher acidity than medium or dark roasted beans; your preference will determine what level of roast you should purchase. 

Bitterness

People who don’t like coffee often refer to it as bitter; this is true to an extent coffee does have bitter notes as part of the flavour profile. Coffee shouldn’t be overly bitter; this is often the case if the oils have been over-extracted by water that’s too hot or if the coffee is ground too small. A coffee machine can help prevent over-extraction from the water being too hot and the coffee ground too small. A coffee bean machine will regulate the temperature and the ground level based on your selected drink. If you like bitter notes in your coffee, opt for robusta beans rather than arabica beans. Arabica is considered less bitter than robusta beans, and they appeal to people who dislike the bitterness of coffee. 

Acidity

Another key part of the flavour of coffee is acidity; this is the sharp, tangy taste that you feel at the front of your mouth. Acidity is sought after in coffee; it enhances the flavour and makes the coffee appear fresh and lively in terms of taste. A coffee lacking in acidity is often described as dull or tasteless. Medium acidity provides a smoother coffee experience. Lightly roasted beans have a higher acidity than medium or dark roasted coffee. Look out for acidity in coffee to decipher if you prefer a high acidity or low acidity coffee. 

Sweetness

Sweetness is a desirable flavour in coffee; many coffee drinkers enjoy the sweetness as it complements bitter notes to produce a balanced coffee. Coffee experts may describe this type of sweetness as fruity or similar to that of caramel. When we talk about sweetness in coffee, we’re not talking about the extra sugar or milk you might add to adjust the coffee to your liking. 

Aftertaste

After you swallow the coffee, you will experience the aftertaste; this can vary from very dry, sweet or smooth. The aftertaste is determined by the level of acidity, sweetness and bitterness of the coffee. Bright coffee beans that are lightly roasted with high acidity are more likely to have a dry aftertaste. Some people prefer a clean aftertaste which completes your drink on a high point; for a clean aftertaste, opt for a medium roast. 

Now you understand what to look for when tasting coffee; this can help you select coffee beans that fit your taste preferences. The best thing to do to work out which type of coffee you prefer is to taste and evaluate several different types of coffee beans rather than sticking to the same bean variety. 

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