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Coffee Tasting

Environmentally Friendly Coffee

Taste Wheel


Major Characteristics

Here are the major characteristics you should be paying attention to, while you are tasting your coffee:

Acidity – The sensation of dryness in the back and under the edges of your mouth. This is a desirable quality and not to be confused with sour (which is considered a bad quality of coffee). Acidity creates a lively, bright taste which, without it, the coffee would taste flat. 

Aroma – Without aroma, we could only taste sweet, sour, bitter and salty. This is where we get the subtle differences such as floral, nutty or fruity. 

Body – The way the coffee feels in your mouth, such as thin or heavy. The best way to describe it is the comparison to how whole milk feels in your mouth compared to water. If you are unsure as to the level of body in the different coffees, add an equal amount of milk to each one and the one with the heavier body will retain more of its flavour when diluted. 

Flavour – This is the overall perception of the three characteristics above. Flavour can be rich (full bodied), complex (multi-flavored), or balanced (no one characteristic over powers the other. 


Desirable Taste Qualities

Bright or Dry – highly acidic leaving a dry aftertaste 

Caramelly – caramel like or syrupy 

Chocolaty – aftertaste similar to unsweetened chocolate 

Earthy – an earth like quality (sometimes unfavourable) 

Fragrant – an aroma ranging from floral to nutty to spicy, etc. 

Fruity – having a citrus or berry scent 

Mellow – a smooth taste lacking acidity but not flat 

Nutty – similar to roasted nuts 

Spicy – an exotic aroma of various spices 

Sweet – a lack of harshness 

Winey – aftertaste resembling a mature wine 


Undesirable Flavour Qualities

Bitter – aftertaste perceived on the back of the tongue 

Bland – neutral in flavour 

Carbony – burnt charcoal flavours 

Earthy – a musty, soil-like quality 

Flat – lacking aroma, acidity, and aftertaste 

Grassy – aroma and taste of grass 

Harsh – a caustic, raspy quality 

Muddy – thick and flat 

Musty – slightly stuffy smell (sometimes desirable in aged coffees) 

Rubbery – a smell of burnt rubber 

Sour – a tart flavour such as unripe fruit 

Turpeny – a flavour resembling turpentine 

Watery – a lack of body 

Wild – a gamey flavour 


Try one of our recipes…