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09 Mar

How Does Your Coffee Get Its Flavour?

When you awaken your senses using the magical notes of coffee, have you ever stopped to wonder if your cup of delicious coffee gets its flavour? Have you pondered a moment on what is the tasting note that is mentioned at the back of every pack of coffee you purchase from the grocery store or coffee roaster in your locality?

You would have noticed names like chocolate, nutty, fruity or even burnt on the back of the label. Interestingly these are not a flavour that is added to the coffee but a natural flavour the coffee attains from its place of origin or when it is roasted or brewed.

However, there are various factors that affect how a coffee gets its flavour- These are detailed below.

  • Terrain:
    Terrain is the land on which the coffee is grown and plays an important role in a coffee getting its distinct flavour. Factors such as the pH in the soil, amount of precipitation, elevation, temperature, sunlight, etc. influence the flavour of the coffee.

    For example, the Bababudangiri Arabica variety of coffee grown in the Bababudangiri hills of Chikmagalur in Karnataka in India give the coffee its unique flavour.

  • Cultivation:
    The cultivation of coffee that includes the use of fertilizers or other cultivation practices like green manuring also influences the taste of the coffee.

  • Harvesting:
    Interestingly the ripeness of coffee beans also affects its flavour. The riper the coffee- sweeter, cleaner & smoother the coffee if it is properly grown, harvested, processed, roasted & brewed.

  • Processing:
    The processing of coffee is one of the biggest factors that determines and contributes to the flavour acquired by the coffee. The four main techniques used in the processing of coffee are washed, natural or dry process and honey process.

  • Storage:
    The storage of coffee also has a vital role to play in the flavour opf the coffee. The longer coffee is stored, the heavier the body and muskier the flavors it gets. This depends on how well you store it, but generally coffee lasts 10-14 months if stored properly.

  • Roasting:
    There are three main type of roasting which includes: light, medium, and dark. Traditionally, light roasts are brighter, fruity, and floral. Medium roasts are well-rounded, ranging from chocolatey and nutty to fruity. Dark roasts are bitter and chocolatey.

  • Brewing:
    There are a variety of factors in brewing that can drastically change the taste of your cup of coffee. The brewing of coffee includes the below factors: the grind of coffee(size and consistency), water (temperature , hardness/softness and Ph, time ( length of exposure to water), pressure (espresso, siphon etc), type of immersion(French press, drip etc) and filtration among others.