Does Coffee Taste Good?
The answer is yes! Many people might think that coffee tastes bitter, but that’s not always the case. Good coffee should have a natural sweetness with a refreshing acidity that is complemented by its flavor and aroma. Its bitterness shouldn’t be the dominant element of your cup.
When selecting and buying coffee, you need to be sure that the beans are sourced from reliable sources and are freshly roasted. This will ensure that you get the best-tasting cup of coffee possible. Also, using filtered or bottled water can also help improve its taste.
And if you’re looking to add something special to your brew, try adding some spices like cinnamon or nutmeg to enhance its flavor! Finally, remember to store it properly so that it retains its freshness and flavor for as long as possible.
What Is The Taste Of Coffee?
When it comes to what coffee actually tastes like, it’s important to understand the two main types that are involved in making up 98% of the coffee produced worldwide: Robusta and Arabica. Arabica is considered far superior in taste, and this is what we’ll focus on for our discussion on good coffee.
Coffee can be broken down into 5 tastes and physical sensations: mouthfeel, acidity, bitterness, sweetness, and flavor & aroma. All five need to be present in each cup but should be well-balanced – none should dominate too much or become overwhelmingly unpleasant to drink.
1. Arabica Flavor & Aroma
The Arabica beans used in coffee can provide some serious flavor and aroma. Coffee drinkers prize Arabica beans for their elegant and complex flavors, as they contain various volatile and non-volatile compounds.
These compounds are created during the roasting process, a reaction aptly known as the Maillard reaction, which is responsible for the browning of the beans and creates delightful aromas and flavors. The aromas range from floral notes such as lavender, jasmine, and bergamot to dried fruits like dates or raisins to stone fruits like cherries or peaches.
Even citrusy pineapple, orange, or lemon hues can be tasted in Arabica beans when roasted correctly. Not only do these notes create striking aromas, but they also result in strong flavor profiles that run from nuttiness from peanuts or hazelnuts to cocoa-like dark chocolate or milk chocolate.
2. Arabica Sweetness
Arabica coffee beans contain 6-9% sugar, making them naturally sweet and not requiring any additional sugar. This sweetness comes from the coffee cherry fruit, which ripens to impart a sweet flavor to the premium quality beans.
Ensuring that the fruits are allowed to ripen fully before being harvested is essential to unlocking the sweetness of Arabica coffee beans while harvesting under-ripe cherries yields a cup of coffee that isn’t as sweet.
3. Arabica Acidity
For those of us who enjoy the taste of good quality arabica coffee, its refreshing acidity is an important factor. This acidity comes from three main types: citric acid for a citrus-like bite; malic acid, which provides a juicy and sharp taste like that of a green apple; and tartaric acid, providing a flavor similar to grapes.
Higher altitudes tend to promote this acidic quality in arabica coffee, generally between 1000 – 2000m (3300 – 6600ft) above sea level. Low altitudes like those found in Brazil are likely to have lower levels of acidity compared to other countries such as Colombia which produce arabica best-tasting coffee beans.
4. Arabica Bitterness
Arabica coffee is renowned for its low levels of bitterness in comparison to other varieties. As mentioned before, all coffee has certain levels of bitterness as it’s an inevitable part of the roasting process, but Arabica is much less bitter than other coffees due to its lighter roast profile.
The mild bitterness of Arabica beans is usually balanced out by acidity and sweetness, affirming that Arabica beans are well-rounded and are highly sought after across the world. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not the caffeine content that makes coffee taste bitter; rather, it’s down to the variety and/or how darkly roasted the beans were.
5. Arabica Mouthfeel
Arabica coffee is known for its unique and complex flavor, but did you know that it also has a distinct and individual mouthfeel to it? Different types of arabica coffee cater to various taste preferences. From thick and creamy to thin and buttery, each cup of arabica is truly special.
These different qualities each contribute to the overall taste of the coffee that you are enjoying. It makes for an incredible experience in your mouth as you savor your cup of Arabica joe.
Taste Of Bad Coffee
Taste of bad coffee can be off-putting for sure, and it often happens for two main reasons – Robusta coffee beans variety and poor processing. Poorly processed beans tend to have an earthy, sour, or otherwise unpleasant taste.
Furthermore, certain types of beans from the Robusta variety are naturally bitter in taste. Last but not least, if coffee beans are overly roasted they can become extremely dry and give off a burnt aftertaste.
1. Poor Processing
One of the main reasons why your coffee can taste so bad is poor processing. Coffee beans come from coffee cherries that must be processed in a certain way to bring out their optimal flavor. Unfortunately, not all coffee beans are processed with care and attention.
Due to coffee being the second-most traded commodity on earth, more effort is often put into its profitability than its quality. In some cases, coffee pickers are paid by weight which encourages them to pick under-ripe coffee cherries in order to increase their earning potential.
This results in lower-quality coffee beans that don’t taste as good as they should.
2. Robusta Variety
This variety of coffee beans is particularly attractive to growers and manufacturers due to its hardiness and high caffeine content, which requires less maintenance and produces more yields than its arabica counterpart.
Unfortunately, Robusta coffee doesn’t have the same heady flavor, aroma, or intensity that Arabica does – it has a rather bitter taste. Those who’ve had Robusta can attest that it tastes like smoke, leather, rubber, woody notes, tobacco, ash, cardboard, burnt toast, and mustiness all rolled into one cup.
What Effect Does Roasting Have On Flavor?
Different types of coffee, such as light, medium, and dark roast, result from varying degrees of roasting, which affects the flavor immensely.
Light roast coffee is made with beans that are roasted for less time, which preserves its earthy, fruity flavor. It’s much more subtle and gentle than other roasts and may taste more like tea rather than the coffee that most of us are used to.
Unlike dark roasted coffee, light roast coffees don’t have a strong flavor or bite. In addition, the aroma from the light-roasted coffee has notes of brightness, freshness, and delicate floral notes that may be lost in darker roasts.
When it comes to coffee, medium roast is where it’s at. This roast brings out the traditional flavor of coffee, with a slightly stronger taste that you won’t find in a light roast.
The longer roasting process gives the beans an unmistakable unique aroma and taste that everyone loves. If you’re looking for something different from your regular morning cup of coffee, give medium roast coffee a try.
When it comes to dark roast coffee, its popularity has soared in recent years. You don’t roast the beans for as long as a medium roast, but you bake them more than enough to give them an intensely strong taste that can sometimes border on being burnt.
Though some may be shocked by how burnt-tasting this variety of coffee drink can be, many people actually love its acquired flavor and it’s become increasingly popular at large chains such as Starbucks.
What Effect Does Brewing Have On Taste?
Brewing coffee can have a huge impact on the flavor and strength of your cup. Depending on the brewing method, you can achieve different levels of extractions from the beans.
A French press will yield a stronger cup because it extracts oils, nuances, and subtle flavors that are mellowed out in an espresso machine or a drip-style brewer.
Controlling and altering variables such as how coarsely one grinds their beans, the water temperature, and even the filter used can all alter and change the bean flavor profile in your cup of coffee.
What Is The Distinction Between Premium And Low-Cost Coffee?
When it comes to coffee, there is a distinct difference between premium and low-cost coffee. Premium coffees typically use higher-quality beans which results in a richer flavor that cannot be replicated with budget brands. Where coffee beans are grown has a big impact on their taste – like the unique flavor found in Blue Mountain beans from Jamaica.
However, many people prefer to drink low-cost coffee due to the reason that they have grown accustomed to the taste and/or do not understand the subtleties associated with premium-grade coffees.
Generally speaking, people are more likely to reach for organic or ethically sourced brands than an expensive bag of premium coffee beans.