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What is Coffee Taste, Aroma, and Flavor? Everything to Know

If you truly appreciate coffee, you have to become familiar with coffee taste, aroma, and flavor. This article will walk you through several popular flavors for coffee, textures of aroma from beans, and how you can recognize them. 

What Affects Coffee Taste and Aroma? 

Coffee taste and aroma are largely determined by the conditions the coffee was grown, how that coffee was manufactured, and how the coffee was roasted. For example, coffee grown high on mountains generally has a more fruitlike taste because the beans have to fight harder to grow. 

Mass-produced coffee will taste less impactful, more watery, and less pure. To make the best coffee, one needs to sort through individual beans by hand and only pick the ones by hand. Mass-produced coffee skips this step of the process and does it all with machines.

The roast affects the coffee as well. Coffee with a dark roast will taste more bitter and dark. Light roasts will taste more like the coffee’s natural flavor and have more caffeine. 

Chocolatey

“Chocolatey” is one of the most important coffee tastes out there. While no coffee is going to taste like a Hershey’s milk chocolate bar, a high-quality French roast, Ethiopian roast, or Columbian roast might remind you of some of the most bitter dark chocolates you’ve ever tasted. 

Generally, dark roasts taste more chocolatey. 

Fruity

A staple of the best light roasts, certain coffees might have a naturally sweeter flavor, which will remind you of the taste and aroma of berries. A good Congo or Ethiopian roast likely will feature overtones of fruit, which you can taste behind the regular coffee taste. 

Nutty

Darker, more hearty roasts of coffee might have that hard-tack flavor of nuts. This earthy, deep, and hearty flavor will greatly help you describe how your coffee tastes. 

Mellow

If the coffee doesn’t have robust tastes and aromas, it isn’t necessarily bad. A coffee with soft flavors that taste watery or low-quality could have a “mellow” flavor. If you buy coffee that’s mellow, you can still expect a good product. 

Winey

You could describe a coffee with a more pleasantly sour taste as “winey.” It’ll help people understand the effect the coffee has. 

Understand Coffee Taste

When describing coffee taste, it’s important to remember that what you’re describing is more the undertones and the subtle flavors of the coffee. At the end of the day, the coffee will mostly taste like coffee — don’t expect a “fruity” coffee actually to taste like a fruit. 

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