How does it feel when you sip a cuppa of coffee and your friend asks you how is it to which you can only reply good or bad! Though identifying the coffee notes is an art to master, but there has to be a starting point somewhere. So, if you are known among your friends for being a die hard coffee lover, then do not miss out on understanding these basic concepts:
The art of coffee tasting is also known as cupping where the taster has to evaluate not just the smell, but also the taste, texture, body and the overall feel of this divine drink. There are four basic tastes which are salty, sweet, acidic and bitter. The taste would ultimately be a result of how the beans have been roasted. The lighter the roast, the better will be the flavour. All deeply roasted beans tastes almost the same. So, if you are on a hunt for beans for tasting purposes, opt for the light roast. Needless to say, for tasting purposes, coffee is never mixed with milk or sugar.
The tasting procedure:
How to convert beans into coffee shot is another story. But if you have a cup ready to be tasted in front of you, then this is how you should go:
Place a spoonful of coffee against your lips and inhale the aroma. Slurp noisily to get the liquid to the back of your mouth in one go. Swish the liquid for few seconds and wait! Don’t gulp it, but you have to spit the liquid out in case you want to try another coffee.
While you taste your coffee, remember to make notes of each and every moment you spend while tasting. Following are few of the tasting notes that would help you describe your cup:
Well, every good coffee will be acidic in nature. It is good if your coffee is acidic. If you are able to detect some sort of sharpness or numbing effect on the tip of your tongue, then thank goodness, you are drinking acidic coffee. Costa-Rican and Mexican coffees are examples having good acidity content.
When the beans are over roasted, they produce burnt flavour. You would feel the carbon like taste as well as aroma. Not everybody appreciated this note.
When the coffee gives hints of fruits along with smoothness in the mouth, it is said to be winey. The texture also plays a role here. This kind of coffee is a bit rare to find, but don’t whine! Kenyan and Ethiopian Harrars are examples which you can buy.
If you can sense some peanut like taste in your coffee, it is nutty. Some Jamaican varieties are indeed very nutty!
5. Hidey: Well, this might seem a bit gross but hidey flavour is when you sense some aroma of leather or animal hides. When your cup of coffee reminds you of leather shoes, you are drinking a hidey coffee! Whether you would want to have that cup or not is a different matter!