Basic tastes in coffee
Depending on the type of coffee, we can usually detect the bitterness and sourness quite clearly. So, have you ever sat back and carefully sipped your coffee to see how many flavors there are? According to experts, there are four primary flavors in coffee, which we have already mentioned.
- Bitter flavor: This is the dominant flavor in coffee. The bitter taste is caused by various compounds, the majority of which have no similar chemical structure to caffeine. Some familiar names are phenols (and polyphenols), flavonoids, catechins, CGA acids, and caffeine.
- Sour flavor: Each type of coffee has a different acidity (pH) level. The sourness of coffee will increase or decrease with each roasting and preparation process and the coffee variety. For example, during the roasting process, approximately 30 different types of organic acids (organic acids) contribute to the sour taste of each cup of coffee.
- Sweet flavor: Because of the amount of fructose and glucose available in coffee beans, coffee has a sweet taste. It will be difficult for us to feel the sweetness immediately at the tip of the tongue, but a gentle sweetness that settles in the throat after drinking will help us. Feel the balance of coffee’s bitter and sour flavor.
- Salt flavor: The mineral salt content in coffee beans is usually in the form of free inorganic salts like NaCl and KCl. The salty taste is felt near the tip of the tongue and becomes more prominent when cooled. Salty and sweet flavors are more challenging to detect in coffee than other flavors.
Factors can affect coffee quality (affect taste or influence taste)
Coffee consumers, as we all know, are always concerned with taste. Many of us have probably felt that making coffee the traditional way takes too long. However, making a full cup of coffee is more complicated. And it all starts with green coffee trees of various strains nurtured by farmers all over the world.
Coffee flavor varies due to variety and other factors. Arabica Bourbon, Arabica Typica, Arabica Ethiopia Heirloom, Liberica – Excelsa, and Robusta are the five coffee varieties identified today in the research world. Arabica coffee varieties are highly valued and preferred for use when it comes to providing a rich, distinct, and interesting flavor and exceptional caffeine quality.
After four years of cultivation, a coffee tree can be harvested. Trees can be harvested for 10-20 years, depending on conditions and variety.
However, the old trees must be replaced and new trees planted after that time. During the four years of care and re-cultivation, this problem causes many difficulties for people.
This process, however, is required for high productivity and quality. The flavor of the coffee can change after replanting. Today, many scientists and farmers are conducting research and planting to develop better coffee varieties with good environmental adaptation and consistent quality.
The motherland where the coffee trees bloom is the essential factor in forming a distinct flavor. Experts frequently define “pure coffee” as coffee brewed from beans grown in a single country, preferably from a cooperative or plantation.
If a purebred variety is of high quality and adequately roasted, you’ll have a cup of coffee with an authentic flavor that no finesse can match. Coffee’s flavor reflects the unique, organic qualities of the soil in which it grows; whether watered in cold rain or sunbathing in warm air and matured in harsh sunlight or shady, each retains its distinct character, and many have their own.
As a result, farmers must always understand their motherland to improve the soil or select suitable coffee farming areas.
However, improving soil quality is problematic because it is linked to natural nutrients. As a result, farmers must frequently experiment on various soil types and evaluate the results before beginning mass farming.
There are currently four major coffee regions in the Coffee Belt, each with numerous prominent localities and cooperatives suitable for growing coffee and producing high-quality aromatic products. Africa and South and Central America are well-known in the international coffee community for making high-quality coffee beans. Furthermore, Asia, the Caribbean, and North America compete with a wide range of coffees.
Green coffee processing
It is also an essential step in determining the flavor of the coffee. In the world, there are three main processing methods for green coffee. They are natural, wet (washed/wet), and honey (honey).
- Natural processing helps preserve the pure coffee flavor with exciting characteristics, specifically the tropical fruit, mint, and herbal.
- Wet processing gives the wet cooking method a distinct, premium flavor. This method is more expensive due to the equipment used; machines should usually only be used for specialty Arabica coffee lines, which assists in preserving the maximum flavor in the seeds.
- The honey processing method aids coffee in keeping the body; with a sweet taste with some acidity. As a result, coffee processed in this manner typically has a whole body, along with a sweet aftertaste with a balanced sour taste.
Roasting Degree Profile
Different levels of roasting will produce different flavors from the same coffee. We usually have three roasting levels: light, medium, and dark roast.
The light roast is light brown, with a light texture and no oil on the roasted coffee beans’ surface. Light roasting imparts a distinct flavor and acidity. The original taste of the coffee beans is preserved more than in darker roasted coffee. Light roasting also keeps the majority of the caffeine in the beans. Lightly roasted coffee has an internal temperature range of 180°C – 205°C (356°F – 401°F). The coffee beans crack and expand in size when heated to 205°C—also known as first crack, first bang.
Medium roast coffee beans are darker in color and have more texture than light roast. They have no oil on the surface of the beans, just like lighter roasts. On the other hand, the medium roasts lacked the nutty flavor of the light roasts, exhibiting more balanced flavors, aromas, and acidity.
Caffeine content is slightly reduced but higher than in dark roasted beans. Internal temperatures in medium roasters range between 210°C (410°F) and 220°C (428°F) – approximately halfway through the roast. the first explosion and just before the second begins
Black roasted coffee is dark brown, almost black, and tastes like chocolate. When dark roast coffee is brewed, a layer of oil on the surface of the coffee is visible in the cup.
The flavor of the roasting process overpowers the original coffee flavor. Coffee will typically taste bitter, smoky, or burnt. Caffeine consumption is significantly reduced.
To achieve a dark roast, the beans are roasted at an internal temperature of 240°C (464°F) or higher around the end of the second bang. They are rarely roasted above 250°C (482°F), at which point the grain becomes thin, and the flavor is characterized by tar and charcoal flavors.
The preparation technique is the last of the five factors that influence the taste of coffee. It is also the stage at which the cup of coffee’s success or failure is determined. Is a cup of coffee delicious, quality, rich, and balanced in taste, or is it too bitter, too light, or too sweet? It all depends on the barista’s skill and skill.
Because the preparation necessitates consideration of numerous factors such as tools, mixing ratio, coarseness of coffee powder, water temperature, etc.
So anyone, even a professional barista or those just beginning to learn about brewing, must continually know and practice as much as possible to produce a perfect cup of coffee.
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