How to choose your coffee according to your taste?

couple drinking coffee

We are all different, and we all have our own individual preferences and taste.

Some like sour things while others prefer bitter things, some like fruity tastes and others like floral tastes… and so on! 

So here are a few guidelines to help you make your choice and make you dream, travel, and choose the coffee(s) that best suits you, the one(s) you will offer, or on the contrary, the one you will drink every morning.

TASTE AND COLOR

Coffee nerds like myself, likes to classify coffees according to their aromatic profile or more precisely their taste.

Taste is the totality of sensations experienced on the nose and in the mouth.

There are, of course, aromas (fragrances in the mouth), but also flavors (salty, sweet, etc.), textures (silky, astringent, etc.), body (weight of the coffee in the mouth or density), nervous sensations of spiciness or refreshment, for example, etc.

Taste is everything, while aromas are only part of it.

Here, to better accompany you, we propose three different groups: aroma, flavors, body.

tongue taste zones

FLORAL COFFEES

There are so many floral smells to discover and enjoy in your local café!

Yet, some coffees are particularly floral and are sought after by many coffee lovers for their espresso and sweet extractions.

Some of the most common floral scents are Jasmine, hawthorn, especially honeysuckle, and rose and chamomile or violet and citrus.

I even heard someone claim they can scent a hint of marshmallow.

FRUITY COFFEES

“A basket of fruit!

This cup is a real fruit basket!”

How many times have we heard the wonder of a richly fruity coffee?

In wine, we talk about nuts, red fruits, black fruits, fruits (white but often yellow) with stones, white fruits, small fruits such as currants or blackcurrants, citrus fruits, and tropical fruits.

Berries such as cranberries, cranberries, juniper are often included in this group.

In coffee, it’s the same thing but not always the same basket because apples and grapes are very present.

The coffees that seem immediately fruity are the natural coffees, fermented by dry fermentation or carbonic maceration.

They are often explosive!

Some coffees exude red fruits like strawberry and raspberry.

Others have a distinct scent of blueberry and blackberry apricot, peach, and pear.

The fruity taste is not only found in natural coffees, but some also washed and some coffee varieties carry these scents.

COFFEE WITH DRIED FRUITS

Dried fruits are very popular with coffee lovers.

In fact, gourmet coffee is an ode to this aromatic family since almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts are all part of it.

Add the pecan and you have the four great nutty aromas of coffee.

CHOCOLATE COFFEES

The chocolate notes come in several shades:

  • dark chocolate,
  • chocolate,
  • milk chocolate,
  • white chocolate.

Although these categories are a real eye-catcher for chocolate lovers, they are nonetheless easy to use and very meaningful.

SPICY COFFEES

Although they are very present in coffee, which was sometimes considered a spice, their expression can be more or less strong depending on the roasting process.

Pepper, black or green, coriander, cinnamon, or cloves are common spices in coffee.

But you can also find cardamom, paprika, Espelette pepper, and many others.

MILD COFFEES

Mild coffees delight the palate, especially in Espresso, with their roundness and suave first taste.

The sweetness is particularly appreciated by Latin coffee lovers in France and Southern Europe.

Coffees from islands and moderate altitudes are always very mild.

But coffee from high altitude can also appear very sweet if it is unctuous and above all very “sweet”.

LIVELY COFFEES

The liveliness or pleasant acidity is much sought after in the community of specialty coffee lovers because it allows the complexity of a coffee to express itself and because it is one of the signs of high altitude coffees.

It gives freshness to the coffee and, above all, enhances its aromas.

It is often perceived as opposed to sweetness, but flavors are not exclusive.

A well-balanced coffee is precisely a coffee that is both mild and lively.

In coffee, contrary to many tastings, the coffee lover plays at naming the acidities.

It reminds you of the roundness and volume of the apple, so it is malic.

It takes you to yogurt and kefir, and then it’s lactic.

It reminds you of scotch glue, olives, cocoa beans, or even vinegar, so it is acetic.

Parmesan or papaya?

It’s formic. With lemon, it’s citric, etc…

All our coffees, a sign of their high quality, are characterized by pleasant and melted acidities, but these are more or less present in the mouth.

FULL-BODIED COFFEES

Often used by coffee lovers, “full-bodied” is understood as intense, powerful, and marked by a beautiful bitterness.

These are coffees often used for espresso or Italian coffee, whose concentrated liquor is appreciated.

They are often also marked by their sweetness and full, generous body.

LIGHT COFFEES

Lightness is not necessarily immediate in coffee and is often associated, in France and Southern Europe, with a lack of substance.

But nay, lightness is not always unbearable!

Quite the contrary!

Thus, some of the greatest coffees can appear very light in the mouth and yet be wildly complex in aroma and taste.

The famous sock juice, like the color of coffee, which is often expected to be black, is never a gradient of its quality or expressiveness.

They please and are much sought-after by filter coffee lovers in particular, who call them tea-like.

The Geisha is undoubtedly the epitome of this lightness and light color.

And yet, with a silky texture, and an explosion in the mouth!

EVENING OR MORNING?

Tell me when you drink the coffee and I’ll tell you what coffee to drink!

If the WHO recommends drinking 5 coffees a day, it is because some people will choose to drink them all at once, and others will choose to spread them out over the whole day, from breakfast to dinner and including the coffee break.

It’s up to you to choose, we offer you coffees for every moment and every occasion!

THE BREAKFAST

Breakfast is the time to wake up in the morning and have a cup of coffee!

Wake-up coffees are then appreciated, they are chocolatey, sweet coffees that take us gently from the foot of the bed.

THE COFFEE BREAK

The coffee break, a former snack time, was invented by the Collectif Café in the 1960s and has given rise to a real ritual essential to the smooth running of organizations.

In fact, it is within companies that we drink the most coffee!

So, what kind of coffee to drink at this time of exchange, concentration, and activity?

The more caffeinated coffees are generally appreciated as much as the more aromatic ones, which could be perceived as too exuberant and not “comfortable” enough for breakfast.

LUNCH

After lunch, what to drink? Well, that depends on lunch!

IN THE AFTERNOON

And some kind of coffee time or second coffee break. We often prefer aromatic and mildly extracted coffees.

IN THE EVENING

Yes, the evening is coffee time. Either because you are not very sensitive to the effects of caffeine, in which case breakfast coffees will delight you, or because you like coffee, and so do we, but caffeine is a risk for you.

FILTER OR ESPRESSO?

This is often a question that comes up again and again from amateurs, and in view of the previous paragraphs, it seems clear that we are pushing for an answer: “filter AND espresso”.

Yes, we like both, we appreciate, depending on the moment and the day, more the finesse, freshness, and complexity of a smooth extraction than the richness and concentrated generosity of fine espresso.

Of course, that natural coffees, with their sometimes animal notes, very rare at L’Arbre à Café, can be too present in a filter or a Chemex or on the contrary participate in the richness of the cup:

Espresso enhances the intensity and richness of the coffee.

The Naturals for their fat or the Pulp Sun Dried for their balance are the perfect companions.

Now you know how to choose your coffee according to your tastes, we have compiled all our knowledge to help you make a good coffee in the form of a practical guide.

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