Coffee tasting tips

Here’s a set of easy criteria to evaluate coffee like a pro.

While Merlo undertake formal structured ‘coffee cupping’ sessions on an ongoing basis, the enjoyment of coffee tasting is not confined to cupping alone. You can evaluate a coffee at any time using the following criteria.

fragrance/aroma
Before we assess the taste of the coffees, we focus on what we can smell – the fragrance and aroma. Fragrance refers to the scent of dry coffee and aroma is the term used for wet coffee.

It is not unusual to observe a distinct change between the characteristics observed in the freshly ground coffee and then once it has been saturated with water.

flavour
These are the major characteristics of the coffee. A combination of the tastes on your tongue and the smell of aroma, coffee flavour gives an overall evaluation of the coffee taste.

acidity
A highly desirable characteristic that adds sparkle and verve to the cup. It can be citrusy, berry or green apple-like. It creates a pleasant cleanness on the palate and is termed bright, effervescent, and crisp. Acidity is to coffee as dryness is to wine, so coffees without acidity tend to taste flat and dull, like flat soda. Darker roasts tend to have flattened acidity. Acidity is best observed on the first taste.

body
Body is the physical mouth feel and texture of a coffee, the physical sensation on your tongue or roof of your mouth. A coffee’s body (light, medium, full) is its thickness due to the amount of dissolved and suspended solids extracted from the coffee grounds, and may range from thin and watery to thick and creamy.

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