What are flavor notes in coffee?

What are flavor notes in coffee?

Ever wondered why coffee labels say “notes of orange, caramel, almond, roast tones, etc..” and where those come from?

Coffee can have a wide variety of flavor notes all resulting from a factor like climate of the area the coffee is grown in, elevation, the soil and neighboring crops it was grown by, and once a coffee roaster gets their hands on the beans, the way they’re roasted also brings out or mutes certain flavors. But how do you identify these flavor notes?

It’s one big game of “this taste like” and for some, it may just “taste like coffee” which is great because, after all, it is coffee. But for coffee nerds (like Dave) these flavor notes like molasses or hazelnut jump out at them while tasting different coffees.

How to use the flavor wheel: First brew up some coffee (we know where you can get some). Take a few sips of the black coffee. After tasting, start at the center of the wheel and decide what broader flavors you are tasting. Is it earthy and nutty, floral and sweet?. As you become more familiar with the coffee you’re sipping on, narrow down to more specific flavors on the wheel. Is that fruit note you’re getting citrusy? As you continue to identify more flavors, you naturally move toward the edges of the wheel and get more specific with your descriptors. Many single-origin coffees have multiple of these flavor notes.

When we get a new single origin coffee in stock, we do a cupping. A cupping is the process of sniffing the dry grounds, adding hot water to steep the coffee, breaking the crust that forms on top, and then tasting the brewed coffee. During cupping, you assess various aspects of the coffee, such as its acidity, body, sweetness, aftertaste, and of course flavor notes.

With a wide variety of coffees in our inventory, you'll get a variety of flavor notes if you try different ones! One of our most popular, Mexican Chiapas has notes of brown sugar, milk chocolate & honey!

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