The taste of coffee is a lot more complex than what most people think. It’s more than just a caffeinated drink to get us going. Coffee comes in endless varieties and nuances and is a vast field of study, not unlike wine. Tasting coffee is called cupping, a practice that involves sniffing the coffee and loudly slurping it.
Just like wine grapes, coffee beans come from different places in the world. Each terroir offers something unique, which defines the taste of the bean.
Here are other factors that play a crucial role:
When tasting wine, you look for certain specific elements. It’s the same thing for coffee. The first would be the most evident, which is the look of the coffee. Just like wine, some coffees are darker, while other are lighter. These are good indications of how strong a coffee can be. The darker the coffee, the darker the roast or the more intense the coffee will be. The opposite is true if the coffee looks lighter. You can also see variations in the colour. While some offer a blacker colour, others will look almost brown with a tone of red.
You will always see sommeliers smelling their wine before taking a sip. You want to do the same with coffee to discover a variety of smells. Some coffees offer very complex aromas, such as oak and spices, while others are more flowery and fruity.
The final step in appreciating your coffee is to taste it. It’s important to slurp your coffee to get all the flavours onto your tongue. You can judge the coffee based on bitterness, acidity, saltiness and sweetness.
Coffee tasting is a sensuous experience whether you’re an amateur or professional. Slurp on!