What’s The Best Coffee?
Learn about coffee characteristics.
Experts will agree when a particular coffee is “quality,” that its characteristics meet the expectations of coffee grown in that particular region, but if we ask fifteen different coffee connoisseurs which is the best coffee, we’ll get fifteen wildly variant answers. That’s because there is no “best” coffee—it’s just a question of what characteristics you like in a coffee. There are four aspects of coffee that are generally talked about: aroma, flavor, acidity, and body.
Choose one of the characteristics to the left to learn more.
Slightly more than just the smell, aroma refers to the sensation of gasses released from the brewed coffee. Aroma can be thought of as your “first impression” of the coffee. Aromas are typically described as floral, fruity, or herbal.
A somewhat ambiguous term, flavor is what happens when the particular aroma, body, and acidity of a coffee combine inside your mouth. Richness, complexity, and balance are words used to describe flavor. Flavor can also refer to a specific taste that may be present in the coffee such as nutty, musty, or spicy.
Acidity is a pleasant tanginess felt under the edges of your tongue as you taste a coffee. Not to be mistaken for the kind of acidity in orange juice that can cause an upset stomach, acidity in coffee is a good thing that can be described as giving the coffee a sense of “bite.” Bright, sharp, dry, vibrant, and wine-like are some words that refer to acidity.
The sense of a coffee’s weight and texture, perceived at the back of the tongue, is called body. Some coffees feel very light and fluid while others feel slower, heavy and thick.