Coffee: it’s everywhere and is witness to every sort of occasion and event that takes place in our lives, from first dates to business meetings to late nights studying to relaxing desserts after a wonderful meal with family.
But if coffee is so ubiquitous, then it’s no surprise that there are tons of options out there for coffee. From different methods of preparation to different countries of origin to different types of beans to different flavor profiles to different serving suggestions, if you can dream it up, someone is probably selling it. The question is how to navigate through the sea of coffee products and determine which one is right for you.
What Characteristics Should You Look for in Your Coffee?
There are four main characteristics of every cup of coffee, and these are body, acidity, flavor, and aroma.
Body in coffee refers to the thickness or heaviness, the way that it feels on your tongue and in your mouth. Body encompasses things like creaminess, lightness, and smoothness. All of these textures and consistencies are things that may not be on the front of your mind when ordering coffee, but you definitely notice them when you’re drinking it.
Acidity might sound like a bad thing, but some amount of acidity is an essential part of any coffee. When you hear “acidity” don’t think of burning, but think of tanginess, the little spicy bite that your coffee has.
Flavor is the most obvious of the characteristics, though in the coffee business we don’t talk about “flavor” as if a coffee has one flavor; instead we talk about “flavor profiles.” Flavor profiles are all of the many, many flavors that make up a single swallow of coffee. The notes of fruit, chocolate, berries, caramel, and more. Each bean will come with its own flavor profile which will be a result of the type of bean as well as the soil and climate in which it was grown.
Finally, aroma is the last characteristic of coffee. Because of the way the taste buds and the olfactory senses are connected, the aroma of coffee has a lot to do with the way you interpret the flavor profile. And there’s the always-important scent of coffee that fills your nose as you walk into a coffee shop, or enter the kitchen on a chilly morning to find someone has made a steaming cup for you.
The same types of beans, grown in the same climates and soil, can have very different overall characteristics depending on the way they’ve been roasted. There are four main types of roasting coffee: light roast, medium roast, dark roast, and espresso roast.
Light-roasted coffee, also sometimes referred to as “light city roast” or “cinnamon roast” is the color of cinnamon and has a wonderfully strong aroma, with a good body and noticeable acidity.
Medium-roasted coffee is a darker color of brown and has a nuttier flavor profile. This is sometimes called “city roast” or “American roast”.
Dark-roasted coffee is a much darker brown, called “French roast” or “full city roast”, and the flavor has a hint of smokiness to it.
Espresso roast is the darkest roast of all, often black. The flavor is strong and pungent, with a carbon profile.
Types of Coffee Beans
There are two main types of coffee beans: Arabica and Robusta. Arabica are generally considered a more gourmet bean. The flavor profiles in Arabica beans are considered to be more pleasant and rich, while Robusta beans are more bitter. Robusta beans are very common and less expensive because the Robusta plant will grow in more places, grow larger, and produce more coffee beans. For all of these reasons, the Arabica bean is a superior bean that makes up most gourmet coffees. See our collection of gourmet coffees here.
What Flavor Profiles Do You Prefer?
Everyone has their favorite flavor profiles, and connoisseurs of coffee will often try many different varieties--even after they’ve determined which ones they like best--just to get a wider flavor pallet to base their decisions on.
Depending on the type of bean, the origin of the bean, and the roast, there can be any number of flavor profiles to choose from. But if you’ve ever stepped foot in a coffee shop you’ll know that many people like to augment their coffee with any number of syrups and mix-ins. Determining what type of flavor profile you want will come down to experimentation, but that’s half the fun. Learning more about different types of coffee can be an exciting experience.
A New Way To Drink Coffee
Now that we’ve talked about all the different characteristics and flavor profiles of coffee, why don’t we look at something new and different: coffee in tea bags. Coffee Blenders offers gourmet coffee, Arabica beans from Costa Rica, Columbia, and Brazil, but in tea bags to make brewing coffee as easy as possible--as easy as just leaving a cup of hot water to sit on the counter and brew. To take your coffee experience to the next level without any coffee making hassles or fuss, buy coffee today!