How to find your flavour and match with the perfect coffee.
Our guide on matching your tastes with the most awesome coffee!
When it comes to choosing the perfect coffee, it’s important to remember that taste is individual. A red wine lover, a smoker and a diehard espresso enthusiast might all like the same thing for totally different reasons because their experience of taste is unique and individual. Some will prefer; Bitter over sour, sweet over acid, fresh, fruity and punchy or deep, rich and velvety. Taste is a sense that defines our interaction with the world much more than we realise and the humble act of having a coffee is no different, there is more depth than we maybe realise in our simple cup of joe.
We are going to explore the flavours of coffee and where they come from, during roasting or before, leaving you with a better understanding of coffee to help inform you when choosing your brews in the future.
What influences coffee flavours?
The flavour of your coffee isn’t just down to the bean or how it’s roasted, in our story of flavour that’s nearly the end. Firstly let’s remember that coffee grows on a plant as a cherry (the bean we know and love is hiding inside), the whereabouts of this plant can have a huge influence on the taste of the coffee it will produce. Different countries, altitudes, climates and many other factors will contribute to the flavours that will develop in the coffee.
Once grown and harvested, how do we get our cherry to look something more like a green coffee bean? On this topic, there are different schools of thought the world around and they can all have a big impact on the flavours of our soon to be coffee, we won’t go into detail (that’s a blog in its own right), but a lot of flavours can be influenced at this stage of our coffee journey.
When we meet our coffee in the roastery, it’s green, not brown and has none of the usual smells or tastes we would expect. Every new coffee that comes into the roastery will be tasted, (an exciting and mysterious practice called cupping, involving bowls, not cups, spoons, lots of slurping, grunting and nodding). We taste a much lighter roast than that we intend to be the finished product as this gives the truest indication of the flavours that are inherent within the coffee. The notes from cupping will inform the creation of our roast profile, which will allow us to increase or decrease sour, acid, sweet or bitter notes, giving us the most flavourful and well-balanced coffee at the end.
But, how do I find what I like?
We normally recommend looking at complementary flavours, for example, someone who enjoys the taste of a rich pinot noir would be equally happy losing themselves in the rich smoky tannins and slight spice notes of an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. Have a think about things you enjoy that aren't coffee and look for similar notes on our coffees, or next time you have the opportunity to come to your favourite store, pick the brains of your local caffeine dealer. If there isn’t a 92º by you just yet then head to our coffee quiz and it will help you find your perfect coffee partner here.
Getting your tastebuds around as much coffee as you can help you find your personal sweet spot (even if for you that’s acidic and bitter). To make it even easier for you, we include our tasting notes on our site so that you can easily identify the taste and get a good idea of what you’re in for when you brew up.
If you’d rather chat with a person than a quiz, we’re always here to help you out too, so feel free to message us over on our Instagram and we would be happy to recommend something to you! Say hi on Instagram.
Much love, 92º Team.