Become a Coffee Expert
One of the beverages people around the globe enjoy the most is coffee. No wonder having a hot cup of java is practically a world tradition. And for some, having a cup of coffee after lunch is practically a ritual. However, it’s not the same to have Colombian, Ethiopian or Mexican coffee given that the characteristics of each blend, just as those of wine, depend greatly on the product’s origins, and in this case, on where the coffee tree is planted.
When drinking it, most people are able to identify which blend they prefer, but what does this preference depend on? It all comes to defining the acidity, aroma, toasting and, as we already said, the region of origin. DINKtravelers will guide you through the different qualities of coffee so you can decide which one’s your favorite.
First of all, there’s the preparation method. You can use a French press, an espresso machine or a traditional filter coffee maker. The first one will favor a more concentrated taste while the last one creates a lighter and softer coffee.
Bring your nose close to the cup and slowly inhale to identify your coffee’s scent. You’ll notice that it might be fruity, caramel, toasted, fermented, earthy, acidic or bitter, although experts say that there are over 800 different varieties. Aroma depends on where the coffee tree was seeded and how much the coffee bean was toasted. Mexican coffee, for example, is intense, and it has chocolate, spices and flower-like notes. Kenyan and Ethiopian coffee varieties also show intense notes.
Acidity and body of Coffee
After identifying your coffee’s scent, take a small sip. This will make evident several characteristics. First, acidity, which is the dryness coffee provokes on the edges of your tongue. It depends greatly on the coffee bean’s region of origin, and its drying and toasting processes –the greater the toasting, the lesser its acidity. Colombian coffee is popular for being robust and having a high acidity, unlike coffee that is produced in Sumatra, which has a low acidity, more similar to Asian blends.
Its body depends on the viscosity, thickness and weight you perceive in your mouth as well as on the method of preparation. Ethiopian coffee, for example, is light unlike Asian or Colombian beans that possess a fuller body.
Coffee Taste Test
This is where all the aforementioned characteristics come together. When they do, coffee shows richness with an interesting and pleasing wholeness; complexity, which is defined by its notes and the moments in which they are perceived; and lastly, balance, which means that none of its characteristics overshadows the others.
The experience of coffee tasting can be enthralling and intense, and it should be an inspiration to travel to all the coffee regions in the world.