Most of us drink coffee every day, but do you stop and think about what you are drinking? If you are like me you just drink coffee to drink it, until I attended a coffee tasting, and learned what to look for in a quality cup of Joe. Luckily, if you live in Ashland the “B” will be holding its first coffee tasting on February 1 from eight am until one pm, and it’s open to the public!
If you have never attended a coffee tasting, we will be teaching about how to judge coffee, and doing a blind taste test of four different brands from Oregon; show up and try them for yourself!
You judge the quality of a coffee on four qualities: Body, Acidity, Aroma and Flavor. Here is a break down from coffee-illuminated.com on what you are looking for in these qualities and the different “types” of coffee out there.
Body-The best way to describe the Body that a coffee has is how its weight feels on your tongue. Imagine the difference you can feel in your mouth between skim and whole milk- there is a considerable difference in thickness and weight.
When coffee is brewed, it releases oils and solids. These are what determines the body that you perceive. If you are just starting out with tasting coffees it may be difficult to tell the difference in body from one coffee to the next. Try adding the same amount of milk to two different but equal cups of coffee. The coffee with a heavier body will hold more of its flavor after it has been diluted.
Acidity-Similar to wine, acidity has a large part of how coffee is tasted. It can quickly determine if someone will love a coffee or hate it all depending upon its acidity. The acidity of a coffee does NOT describe whether a coffee is bitter or sour. A good coffee should never have these characteristics. Acidity is a crisp, bright, lively taste in your mouth, one that should please you, not make you squint as if you just tasted a lemon!
The only thing to watch out for with acidity in a coffee is that it may upset your stomach. Some coffees naturally have a higher or lower acidity. Without any acidity however, coffee would taste very bland.
Aroma-If you don’t already know, your sense of smell is directly related to your sense of taste. If a coffee smells very rich and robust, you can expect the taste to have these characteristics as well. If a coffee smells mild and weak, chances are it will taste that way too.
Flavor-Finally we get to flavor. This is the part that is very similar to wine in that coffee flavors can fall into many categories and learning to recognize them will take time and tasting a wide variety of coffees. Here are just a few typical flavor characteristics:
Richness – deals with the body, its fullness
Bright, Dry, Sharp, or Snappy – these are characteristics of the acidity in coffee
Chocolaty – Many coffees will offer a lingering taste of chocolate
Caramelly – Some coffees feel almost syrupy sweet in the mouth
Delicate – a slight flavor felt just on the tip of your tongue
Earthy – a soily characteristic
Fragrant – an aroma that can range from floral to spicy
Fruity – some coffees leave a taste of berries or citrus in you mouth
Mellow – like mentioned above, a lack of acidity with a smooth taste
Nutty – a lingering taste of roasted nuts
Spicy – sometimes you can taste a hint of a spice such as cardamom or pepper
Winey – an aftertaste of an aged wine
Now that you have the liner notes on coffee tasting study up, (or just drink more coffee), and we hope to see you at the “B” on Febuary 1, from 8-1 for our first coffee tasting event!
For updates on the event follow us at facebook.com/BoulevardCoffee or meet me at the “B”.