For those who love a warm cup of coffee to start their day, the taste of those blended coffee beans can be truly irresistible. So much so that it is hard to explain to a non-coffee lover just what is so appealing about this particular beverage.
For many, a cup of coffee can be the make or break difference between a good day or a bad. Yet, explaining what the taste of it is can be surprisingly difficult. How many times have you tried to tell someone what does coffee taste like? And how many times has your answer actually been coherent?
There is a simpler way to explain what does coffee taste like. The trick is to truly understand the process in which coffee is made and understanding that there are many different types of coffee. Certain coffee beans bring out different flavours in the blends.
Therefore, the taste of coffee is defined by many different features. Being aware of these and recognising the differences in blends and beans will help you to understand and explain what does coffee taste like. This is a great way to sound like a true connoisseur!
What makes up a coffee blend
There are two main components to a coffee that give the foundational basis for what does coffee taste like.
First, there is the acidity to coffee . Different beans and blends have different levels of acidity throughout them, but it is the acid in coffee which gives it the needed bite. That is often what kick starts us with that first sip of the delightful drink.
Next, there is the body. The body of coffee is best described as what you taste in the lingering aftertaste. So it isn’t the initial sip, but it is what you feel and taste in your mouth and senses after you’ve finished a cup of coffee.
Basically, a ‘good’ coffee blend is one that achieves a well rounded body of coffee taste while still having an acidic kick to it. You will know that taste when it hits your senses!
What are the main coffee beans?
Coffee comes with endless variations, from plain coffee to adding sugar and milk or whatever you like. However, before any additives, there are two main coffee bean camps: the Arabica and the Robusta.
Robusta coffee comes from the Coffea Robusta bean and makes up about 30% of the world’s coffee production. There is a lot more caffeine in this coffee bean and it is typical very bitter. Imagine an Italian espresso as this is where this bean is more popular.
As for Arabica beans, it comes from the Coffea Arabica bean. It is harder to yield than the Robusta bean and requires higher altitudes to grow well. It creates flavours that are slightly sweeter, almost fruity, and typically smooth and chocolatey.
What does ‘bitter’ coffee mean?
The bitterness of coffee largely comes down to the temperature that the coffee beans were roasted at and if they were burnt during the process. Some people love a bitter brew so burnt coffee beans are the way to go. Others do not like this taste at all.
The bitterness of coffee also has to do with how much of the coffee grounds dissolve into the water during the brewing process. Making a good coffee is more scientific that you’d first think, but the process impacts what does coffee taste like.
A good bitter coffee will also have hints of sweetness and subtle aromas balancing out the bitter taste. If these aren’t happening for you, then you’ve just been given a coffee made from burnt beans. Order another one!
How different brewing methods impact the taste of coffee
The way that coffee is brewed also impacts on what does coffee taste like. There are many different methods to consider, such as French Press and Espresso, which are the two main dominant methods used. These arguably create the best tasting coffee.
The French Press/Cafeteria method was created by the French, of course. It works by mixing the ground coffee and hot water. The time it takes to brew depends on how fine the bean is ground. Generally, it takes around 3-4 minutes. This is a cheap and effective method that can be done at home.
The Espresso method is just about the default method of brewing coffee in cafes around the world. It produces a rich and intense taste. This method works by passing pressurised water into densely packed coffee beans
Everyone has their own method of brewing coffee and each taste bud has its preference. There is no right or wrong way to make coffee, after all.