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October 02, 2020

Our coffee beans are renowned for their full flavour and we’re particularly proud of that. From fruity, citrus tastes to floral aromatics, right through to the chocolate, nutty flavours that enhance every cup, there is a taste for you. We’re sure you know that there is a delicate alchemy to coffee, and every aspect affects the flavour - there are over one thousand chemicals in one cup, so the flavour profile is politely put, complicated! Yet that is the beauty of coffee, so much goes into your morning cup.

Whilst the coffee world is still exploring the science behind each flavour element, we thought we would break down what we do know that contributes to the diverse flavours behind your favourite brew...

Land

First up. it's the land where the coffee fruit plant is grown that affects the overall flavours. For all our green fingered customers, think about your gardens at home. Here It all comes into play from the pH of the soil, water composition, timing of precipitation, elevation, latitude and yep, you guessed it, temperature! The delicate coffee plant is influenced by all of these farming and environmental factors (much like your classic garden plant) which ultimately alter the flavour profile. Not to mention the nutrition, pesticides and herbicides that may also be used during the coffee plants cultivation.

Coffee Variety

Secondly, without stating the obvious, the variety of coffee plants changes the flavour. Coffee has different varieties each with unique characteristics, including typica, caturra, bourbon, geisha (sometimes called gesha) & hundreds more. The type of coffee plant used changes the aroma, flavour, body, and acidity, much like wine.

Harvesting & Processing

Then (stay with us) we have the harvesting and processing which comes into play. Coffee should be harvested when it is ripe, so it will be sweeter, cleaner & smoother if properly grown, and it is then processed using one of the three main techniques.

  • The wet method is where the coffee bean is washed by way of removing the fruit skin & pulp. This is done either by fermentation, with or without water, or via mechanical removal.
  • The semi-washed method is the most popular, when the coffee flesh is removed but the thin layer of sugar surrounding the bean remains while the bean dries. Resulting in a sweeter taste and heavier body.
  • The natural method is when the coffee is harvested & put out to dry, fully intact with its fruit skin surrounding the bean. This provides a fruity somewhat berry-like flavour & aroma.

For more information on coffee processing, check out our extensive guides here.

Drying

We then have the drying which can affect the overall taste, for instance if it’s too hot and fast, the coffee tends to have woody, papery flavours. All coffee should be dried slowly and evenly to enhance the taste. Then also the storing (we told you, there are many factors that contribute!) This needs to be kept in mind as usually the longer the coffee is stored, the more faded the acidity, the heavier the body resulting in woodier flavours.

Roasting & Brewing

Last but not least, we have the roasting and brewing, a key element in the combination of flavours. Now roasting is a matter of personal preference and we have explored in-depth the handy tips and processes of home roasting. The subtle art of roasting allows you to enhance certain flavours, yet If you roast too dark, all of the coffee will become carbonised and mostly undrinkable!

So, as you can tell, every single factor no matter how big or small, contributes to the flavours of your favourite coffee. It’s a delicate ecosystem that has been mastered over time, to produce your daily brew.

All of our beans come with a full flavour description, however we’ve come up with a quick-fire, handy guide for our four flavour categories, based off location:

Fruity

  • El Salvador - Red apple and plum tones.
  • Nicaragua - Good body, stone-fruit flavours.
  • Colombia - Bold, grapes and berries.
  • Peru - Plum and mellow fruit flavours.
  • Kenya - Blackcurrant, hibiscus and grapefruit, offering a bold and distinct taste.
  • Tanzania - Bright and fruity.
  • Uganda - Juicy fruit notes.
  • Papua New Guinea - Sweet, tropical red fruit.

Citrus & Floral

  • Panama - Exotic, clean, floral aromas.
  • Ethiopia - Exotic bergamot, rose and sweet jasmine.

Nuts & Spice

  • Mexico - Light, mild acidity with delicate nutty flavours.
  • India - Tastes similar to spices like clove and white pepper.
  • Indonesia - Wild and earthy spices.

Chocolate & Caramel

  • Guatemala - Rich chocolate.
  • Costa Rica - Elegant, milk-chocolate with some floral tones.
  • Brazil - Creamy with nutty and mellow fruit notes.
  • Bolivia - Malty, cocoa tones.

Struggling to get these flavour notes? Try coffee cupping!


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