Are you a Joey or a Monica?
I’m a bit of a geek, if I was a Friend I’d be Monica, always at the front of the class with my hand in the air…yes I was the annoying one. So I’m well into coffee geekery.
We’re split at Kopi HQ between people like me, the Monicas, and the laid back ones, the Joeys. The ones that pour a brew and sit back and savour, without so much as a thought for whether it tastes like cucumber or caramel.
This blog is really for the Monicas.
If you’re curious to learn about the flavours in coffee you might enjoy this handy little chart that the clever people at The Speciality Coffee Association of America (SCAA) developed to help detect the tastes and aromas in each brew. Save a bit of each month’s coffee and taste is black, next to the following month’s, that way you can really see what’s what. (P.S. click on the image to make it bigger.)
Now follow Kopi’s guide to ‘cupping’ coffee (as it’s known in the business!), to start your coffee taste adventure!
How to cup coffee
Great coffee is fragrant as well as flavoursome so first take a minute to breathe in the aroma and see what flavours you can identify (using the chart). Next take a sip making sure to spread the coffee over your palate, and look for:
Acidity: the brightness and sharpness of a coffee when tasted, does it make your mouth water?
Body: the weight of the coffee in your mouth (think of the difference between skimmed milk, whole-milk and cream)
Flavour: Quality coffees have an element of natural sweetness, not overly sweet, just naturally balanced. This might come through as fruity flavours, or chocolates and caramel depending on the origin, processing and roasting.
The balance of characteristics will determine the quality of the coffee and how much you enjoy it.
We’ve added a space next to Jo’s thoughts on the guidebook for you to jot down your thoughts (or do a doodle if your team Joey).
Tweet us what you taste @WeAreKopi! We’d love to know if you could taste peas in your Peruvian or blackberry in your Brazil.