Coffee flavor profile

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.

Postby hnns » Jan 11, 2019, 8:50 am

I was looking to buy some new coffee and found I'm having a very hard time choosing which kind to buy. For example:


I can understand sweetness and acidity, but body and balance is so vague to me.. What does this mean and how can I learn what my preference is? Let's say I buy this coffee and I like it, how am I supposed to know I like it because of the balance, and not just because the sweetness?

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Postby emradguy » Jan 13, 2019, 10:56 am

When we talk about flavor profile, we generally mean tasting notes...chocolate & walnut with hints of citrus or lavender...or floral tones. Things like that.

None here really would buy beans based on the characteristics you're being forced to choose from, and I think we don't really know what the roaster has in mind by "balanced". Body is more intuitive, but the real truth is, it's determined by the brew process and coffee:water ratio, not so much the bean or roast. Perhaps there's another roaster you could buy from that has a better understanding of how to communicate with the artisan coffee community?

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Postby » Jan 13, 2019, 11:36 am

My thoughts reflect Ron's as well. It's a convoluted description of the coffee that confuses people who know a lot and provides an odd certainty to people that know nothing. Like, what does it mean to be a smidge from perfectly sweet? It's a terrible communication method with no context.

Ask more questions of the coffee and if they use this chart to answer your questions without explanation then either pass or just try grab whatever coffee you think you might prefer.

I wouldn't base my observation on that chart. You base it on why you liked it which is how a lot of people choose their daily coffees. Go back to what you like if you need certainty.
I know I've pulled a great shot when the flavour is 'like a beany taste that tastes like a bean'.


Postby hnns » Jan 14, 2019, 3:49 pm

Thanks both for the response! This was from The Barn, and they do list tasting notes as well I see, so I'll just look at those from now on :)