A Guide to Coffee Tasting
Have you heard coffee connoisseurs describe the taste of coffee? Although they are just detailing the
flavor and aroma of the coffee served, it’s not as easy as it may sound. Having functional taste buds and
being curious are two key pre-requisites of tasting and relishing coffee. If you have the ability to
differentiate between different roasts, origins, and flavors of coffee, you’re almost there. The rest is all
about practicing and becoming a coffee tasting expert. We’d say never miss a chance to take pleasure in
a good cup of coffee.
So, how to really taste a coffee and dissect the flavor?
The best way to begin tasting is to take it slow and pay close attention to your drink. To deepen your
understanding of the coffee, these are five specific categories you need to master. Sweetness, body or
weight of the coffee, acidity, flavor and the after taste that lingers in your mouth are the five categories
of understanding your coffee.
Smell your coffee, it impacts your sense of taste. Take a deep breath in and detect and distinct different
aromas of your coffee. The next step is to take a quick sip and engage your taste bud to identify the
Take another sip, but this time slurp your coffee. Slurping helps spread the coffee evenly across your
tongue. Finally, following every subsequent sip, think about your palate and learn to distinguish the
Know your beans
When the coffee beans or cherries turn red means it’s ready for harvesting. The beans are then
segregated, fermented, dried and milled. Although there are over 25 varieties of coffee, only three of
them are grown commercially – Robusta, Liberica, and Arabica.
Arabica: These beans originate mainly from Yemen and Ethiopia. The beans are carefully hand-
picked to ensure only the finest ones are chosen for roasting. As the most popular variety of
coffee, Arabica can be easily found.
Robusta: These coffee beans originate mostly from Vietnam and Ethiopia. This coffee variety is
harvested using machines and is most commonly used in instant coffee brands. Although
Robusta contains a higher amount of caffeine, it is known for its smoothness in texture and
distinctive chocolaty notes.
Liberica: Liberia and the Philippines are the most popular destinations where Liberica is grown.
There’s a woody flavor to it.
The next you sip a good cup of coffee or a new blend, try and understand the overall impression you
have about it. From aroma to flavor, practice to perfect the art of reflecting well on the flavors of your