Coffee has never been so accessible; with coffee shops and chains on every corner, you can get every type of coffee with any flavor you want, hot or cold, wherever you go! It can be confusing where to start but with a bit of experimentation, you’ll find what flavors and mixes you prefer. To get you started, here are 6 things you need to know about different types of coffee and why they can vary in taste so much.
- Location Can Affect The Flavor
The area in which it is grown can have a big impact on a type of coffee’s flavor and smoothness. There are a variety of factors which can alter how the coffee beans taste including the climate, altitude and harvest methods. These can affect things like how acidic, how spicy, how earthy, how woody, how sweet and how fruity a bean is. Generally, you can do some research and find out what kind of bean a particular place will produce and product descriptions can give you a good idea too. For example, if you buy Maui coffee at the Coffee Store, this coffee is grown on the Hawaiian island of Maui, where the soil is rich in nutrients from the volcanic landscape. The sunny days followed by the milder and rainy nights produce a complex-tasting bean with an often smooth and medium-bodied sip with sweet and nutty flavors.
- Different Types Of Coffee Uses Different Types Of Beans
The main part of the difference in taste between different types and brands of coffee is the type of bean they use.
- Arabica: These are the most popular beans, used for their tastiness, and are used in over 60% of coffee all over the world. These originated from Ethiopia and can be hard to grow, hence their higher price tag. They are described as producing a smooth and complex flavor.
- Robusta: These beans are also widely consumed and grown, mainly in Central Africa, Indonesia and Vietnam. These are less expensive to produce and are often blended with other types of coffee beans to produce a tasty but more cost-effective product. They are known for having a more bitter and harsh flavor.
- Liberica: Produced mainly in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, these beans have been said to be inconsistent in taste. Some report a nutty and smoky flavor, but others have described it as inconsumable. You might call it the ‘marmite’ of coffee.
- Excelsa: Grown in south-east Asia, libercia beans have a unique, fruity flavor which is added to coffee blends for their complexity.
- How The Beans Are Roasted
This is arguably the second most important factor in determining the flavor of the coffee. Before the beans from a coffee plant can be used in a drink, they need to be roasted. There are different degrees of roasting, which vary from medium light roast to very dark roast. This will affect the sweetness, acidity, aroma and body of the bean. These different things can also affect how your body will feel; for example, some people’s stomachs don’t deal well with too much acid.
- Check The Blend
As mentioned before, some brands use different blends of coffee beans to combine complexities and flavors. This can be combining different types of beans, but can also be the same type but from different regions with different harvesting methods, which we now know can affect the bean too. Blending can occur before roasting (which can allow the flavors to blend better during roasting, but sometimes does not roast evenly) or after roasting (so the beans can roast individually to their optimum, but can be more expensive).
- Type Of Drink
Although a lot of people do just combine coffee grounds with hot water (espressos), there are so many other ways to enjoy coffee. It is often combined with extra hot water (Americanos) and milk – which can be cold or steamed and can have varying levels of milk froth added. People also enjoy coffee iced, with hot chocolate added, or whipped cream and flavored syrups; all these things affect how your drink will turn out, so experiment wisely.
As you can see, there are so many factors which make coffees different, so there’s almost an endless amount of possibilities when it comes to how you enjoy a cup of coffee. It’s why coffee-making has become an art, and enjoying coffee has become a hobby. The main things to remember are: check the type of bean, how it is roasted, the blend, the location and then what you combine it with before you drink it.
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Whether she is researching the latest trends in home decor, life-changing destination getaways, or the best way to maintain your finances, Dewey takes pride in leaving no stone unturned. She is passionate about distilling and delivering high-quality information that you can use to upgrade your life.