Start with the four most important terms that describes the taste of coffee:
Aroma is a sensation which is difficult to separate from flavor. Without our sense of smell, our only taste sensations would be: sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. The aroma contributes to the flavors we discern on our palates.
Acidity, this refers to the crispiness of the coffee that provides a sharp, bright, vibrant quality. “The taste of freshness”. It is the sensation of dryness that the coffee produces under the edges of your tongue and on the back of your palate. Without acidity, the coffee would taste flat.
Body As you sip the coffee, you can feel its weight on your tongue. Like heaviness, viscosity, thickness or richness that you perceive on your tongue. Like whole milk feeling. It could range from the full (buttery and syrupy) to medium to light. Full bodied coffee usually originates in Indonesia such as Sumatra. Latin American coffees are usually light to medium-bodied. Coffees with a heavier body will maintain more of their flavor when diluted.
Flavor refers to the total impression of the aroma, acidity and body. Flavor is the overall perception of the coffee. It is generally used to describe the flavor, such as the fruitiness or spiciness in your mouth.
NEXT WEEK: THE LANGUAGE OF COFFEE – A GLOASSARY OF COFFEE TERMS.