The term Sweetness is used by cuppers to describe the intensity of sugar compounds present in coffee.
When it comes to coffee – Sweetness is a counter-intuitive, objective concept that says coffee has a bitter taste. However, it is not uncommon to find a bag of coffee with notes of flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, caramel, etc., and some other sweetness. When people talk about coffee, they’re just referring to the addition of sugar, a caramel flavor note doesn’t mean caramel has been added to your coffee. It just means that the combination of flavor molecules in roasted coffee can leave the impression of a caramel flavor on your tongue.
Like so many things related to coffee, sensory elements like Sweetness are often vague, elusive, and difficult to reach a common consensus. Some people believe that sweetness – typically caramelized – comes from the roasting process and is the residue of natural sugar or carbohydrate. Others feel that the perceived sweetness in coffee is mainly due to other flavor compounds that leave associations based on each person’s taste experience, such as apple, strawberry, etc.