coffee mouthfeel
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What is this mouthfeel that coffee connoisseurs keep talking about? It is the complex, haptic sensory impression of food.

With the tongue, rather than the palate, we investigate the nature of the food or liquid.

Different Textures

Various foods have different feels to them when we take a bite. For instance, the differences in haptic sensory impressions between crispbread, oysters, and dough are enormous. 

The vocabulary to describe these differences is also very broad: crisp, smooth, chewy, etc.

It’s different with coffee. As it is liquid, the broad spectrum of variation is limited.

Instead of going into detail about the texture, we have to go into depth here and describe the quality of the intensity in order to communicate coffee. 

From tea-like, silky, velvety, juicy, to round, creamy, syrupy, etc. There’s a wide range of descriptions available for describing drinks as well.

Factors that Affect Mouthfeel

Numerous factors are collectively responsible for the drink. 

The ripeness of the coffee cherry, its preparation, the way in which we roast the coffee, and its resulting solubility, all contribute to the differences in taste.

The substances dissolved by the extraction are partly responsible for the quality of the mouthfeel. 

The water used also plays a major role here, as the composition of the minerals contained in the water react with the coffee and thus work out soluble substances.

tongue taste zones

Mouthfeel and Perception

The texture of coffee has a significant impact on our perception. 

If coffee has a syrup-like consistency and lingers longer on the tongue, one has more time to analyze the coffee. The flavors seem more intense. 

If, on the other hand, a watery coffee disappears quickly from the tongue, there are fewer dissolved substances in it. The low intensity and their short dwell time mean that the taste notes are not sufficiently perceptible.

The quality of the mouthfeel plays an important role in the sensory assessment of a coffee. 

Even if the coffee has great aromas and complex acids – if the mouthfeel does not go along with it, the coffee becomes less enjoyable and the taste notes less legible.

Since many terms in coffee sensor technology come from Anglo-Saxon, the term mouthfeel has established itself to be quite popular.

Watch this video to learn more about describing coffee tastes:


So, you now know what mouthfeel means and a lot of other descriptions of coffee.

Next time, you’ll hopefully find it easier to describe an amazing coffee drink to someone else.

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