Something as simple as a coffee cup hides many layers of complexity. The flavor of your favorite coffee drink has many nuances to it, and every little step in the coffee production chain has an influence and an impact on the final result. To learn why and how your coffee tastes the way it does, let’s take a few steps back and let’s trace it all back to the very beginning of the process and take a look at what happens before the coffee actually reaches your mug or glass. There are many important steps that contribute to great flavor in coffee’s amazing journey from the farm to your cup! If you are getting started with your barista skills, the Tassimo Bosch coffee machine is a great place to start brewing perfect cups.
Sourcing the right variety
Two of the main coffee variety currently available are known as “bourbon” and “arabica”.
Bourbon is generally considered more resistant to pests and diseases, and it is a bit more resilient, therefore easier to produce. On the other hand, arabica is often regarded as a superior variety, yielding a more accomplished flavor profile.
The region makes all the difference.
Coffee produced in different parts of the world will also have different flavor palettes. There are many factors that influence the quality and taste of coffee. This includes altitude (coffee usually loves higher altitudes), the quality of the soil, as well as the fauna and flora that coexist with the coffee plants. In some cases, farmers are particularly attentive to pairing their coffee plants with other fruit plants that can have a positive impact on coffee or ad specific characteristics. Africa, South East Asia, and Latin America are considered the world’s main exporters of coffee.
While South East Asia is commonly the source of some of the most affordable coffee out there, African and Latin American producers are often highly regarded for the quality of their product.
Some of the best African coffee comes from Kenya or Ethiopia, while countries such as Colombia, Brazil or Guatemala are well-known for their quality of their products. Generally speaking, African coffee is known for its nuanced fruity flavor, while Latin American coffee is generally hailed for its bold, cream flavor, often described as earthy, nutty or chocolaty.
Blend or Single-Origin?
Coffee drinkers who are interested in sampling the authentic flavor of a coffee product often choose single origin coffees, meaning that they will be drinking coffee sourced from a single location, and in some cases, even from a single farm! However, amazing coffee flavors can be achieved by blending different coffees. For example, a roaster could bridge the gaps between the fruitiness of an African coffee and the richness of a Latin American one by blending the two in their roast.
The Roasting Process
The roasting process plays a huge part in how the coffee will taste. Light to medium roasts are usually perceived as less strong and stay truer to the flavor of the coffee beans. Darker roast as a stronger, bolder taste and it is often used to impart more character to coffee.
The skills of the barista
Last but not least, the skills of the barista and the freshness of the coffee used will greatly affect the final result. If your coffee shop uses beans that are too old or stores them improperly, it will negatively affect the taste of the coffee. If a barista uses too much water, or too much heat (or too little), the aroma and flavor might not be extracted correctly!