If you are like most of us, you enjoy a good cup of coffee in the morning to start your day the right way. Sometimes you change your usual brand to try new lands or leave behind your Starbucks or Tim Hortons routine to journey into specialty coffee beans to treat your taste buds. To inspire your day with different stories from around the world poured into a cup, in a local coffee shop or at home. Then you find that there are coffee varieties, and realize that there is a big difference between qualities and flavours from the coffee itself; no latte, no sugar, just coffee.
But your exploration does not end there; you want to learn more about coffee. Perhaps the most common questions to arise are 1. "how do you know if it is good coffee?" and 2. "what defines a good coffee?"
1. How do you know if it is good coffee?
The first thing to do is to know your coffee. There are ways to figure out as much as you can from the coffee beans and/or the hot coffee cup in your hands. It is necessary to know about the type/variety of beans that you are using, to know what to expect about the profile such as: shape, aroma, temperature, "body", taste, and aftertaste of the coffee. We have explained and listed the most common varieties and their profile in our blog which you can read here. Bear in mind that the description of the taste also known as tones will vary per person, but it builds expectations to hold for your coffee. Here’s how to determine a good from an average coffee:
Did you know? It is virtually impossible to know the real flavour of food if you don't use your nose. You may think you are eating caramel when in reality you are eating an egg or vice versa; since the sense of smell and taste are interdependent. Therefore, you can safely assume that the better the coffee smells, the better it’ll taste.
THE RIGHT TEMPERATURE
Temperatures when brewing and drinking affect the taste of coffee as well as the roast level of coffee. When brewing, the best temperature is somewhere between 195°F and 205°F (91°C and 96°C). If more it will make the coffee taste as burnt, and if less it may not extract the flavour of the coffee. Before pouring in the cup, let it set at least for 30 seconds in the same pot. Coffee is best when drank somewhere between 120°F and 140°F (48°C and 60°C). I enjoy it at lower temperatures but people such my mother and husband drink it above 140°F, and I still question, "how can they?". When drinking coffee, it is good to note that the taste will be different and unpleasant if drank too cold (sour) or too hot (bitter).
THE BODY OF COFFEE
The body of a coffee refers to its thickness. The body is the difference between tasting more water or feeling and tasting more coffee in your cup. You know when coffee has a "heavier" body because the flavours of coffee will settle on your tongue with ease.
2. What defines a good coffee?
TASTE THE COFFEE
There is a general common understanding between coffee connoisseurs about a good coffee. Good coffee shouldn’t be too bitter, too sour, or too dry. It should reveal the other flavours or tones with ease. We always recommend a light roast coffee to start with before ordering any other roast since it will allow you to taste the coffee characters (flavours) without the strong smokey or burnt taste from higher levels of roast that some people prefer. You can know when you got a low quality coffee brand because it will be over roasted to hide its lack of flavour or bad tastes, besides, it will be cheaper because it is mass produced and the quality control is not high.
ENJOY THE AFTERTASTE?
A pleasant coffee aftertaste will make you want to drink more coffee.
What at the end defines a good coffee given that the beans, roast, and preparation meet the standards is the taste. The ultimate judge after these conditions are met, whether coffee is good or not, it will be yourself and your preferences.
In the Kafetero family we produce the higher standards of caturra variety, we would like to be the ones to introduce you to a coffee you and your family love.
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COMING SOON: LEARN TO DRINK COFFEE AS A PROFESSIONAL COFFEE TASTER (CUPPING)