Coffee Flavour Notes Explained

Coffee Flavour Notes Explained

Tropical fruit punch, fresh passionfruit and lemon Calippo – if this were on a dessert menu it had me at tropical fruit punch! These flavour notes however were not something I spied on a menu but instead were used to describe my latest filter coffee beans. So what do these flavour notes mean?

Coffee tasting notes are the result of three things – acidity, sweetness and bitterness and these tasting notes are used as a rough guide to communicate what the roaster tastes in the coffee, in a relatable way to you, the consumer. The roaster generally refers to the Specialty Coffee Association flavour chart when listing flavour notes.

There are several things that influence what you are tasting in the cup including terroir or geography of where the coffee originated, the variety of coffee, the processing method used, the way the coffee was roasted and finally the way it was brewed. What you taste in specialty coffee is never as a result of added flavourings.

So next time you are faced with a plethora of coffee options and don’t know which one to pick, go for the one where the flavour notes tickle your taste buds – this method has certainly served me well and never left me disappointed.