When you walk into a gourmet coffee store, you're typically presented with over 30 different styles, origins and blends of coffee beans. And, if the coffee beans are in view, as they often are, you will see many different shades and colors of beans.
So what are all of these coffee varieties and coffee roasts about and what does it all mean?
For many, when they walk into a coffee store like Starbucks, the same order day in and day out of the house blend, or maybe just the daily latte fix is more than enough. But if you're at all curious about all the different coffees out there, then this Coffee Tasting primer will get you started.
In this series of articles, we hope to provide you with a basic understanding of coffee origins, regions and roasts and talk about the different taste variations across all of the coffee varieties. We hope this will open up a new universe of coffee experience and enjoyment for you.
At first glance, it all seems overly complicated. All of these different names and confusing terminology. Maybe it is easier to just order the "coffee of the day". But the bottom line, no matter how complicated it may seem, all of these different coffee names and labels boil down to these basics:
- The origin of the coffee bean - where it was grown and where it came from
- The degree to which the coffee beans are roasted
- For blends (combinations of coffee beans), there is no consistent naming standard and different dealers will have their own name for blends.
- Flavored coffees have become quite popular in the United States. The coffee name or label may reflect the flavoring that was added to the beans after roasting.
In this Coffee Tasting primer, we'll start with the fundamental tasting basics common to all coffees. This will give us a more standard way to classify and categorize the different taste sensations across the coffee varieties.
Then we'll move on to coffee roasts and the different degrees and styles of roasts. And just as important, how the proper style and degree of roast can bring out the best flavors of a particular coffee.
And we'll finish off with coffee origins and growing regions and talk about the different taste and flavor of all of these coffee varieties.
When we're done with the Coffee Tasting primer series, you'll have everything you need to begin expanding your coffee experience and enjoyment. It's an adventure we're sure you'll find most satisfying.