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A Beginner’s Guide to the Art of Coffee Tasting

Coffee Project Windmill near Luxury houses and lots in Crosswinds Tagayaty | Luxury Homes by Brittany Corporation

Get your favorite cup of coffee from Coffee Project in Crosswinds Tagaytay and have your coffee tasting there too!

 

If there is one thing that people from all over the world would be able to agree on, it would be the universal love for coffee. We can all agree that coffee is the one drink that fuels our day-to-day lives. It is so essential to some people that their coffee reflects their personality (Full disclosure: I’m a cappuccino)! To fully appreciate coffee and its intricacies, we have coffee tasting.

 

Suggested read: How to Set Your Own Coffee Station at Home | Luxury Homes by Brittany

 

The different types of coffee beans coffeeshops have available can be overwhelming. There are bean blends, single origins, robusta, arabica, and more. To someone that only started their coffee journey, this would all just taste the same– like coffee. But did you know that coffee is not just always dark and bitter? 

 

When we think coffee, we always think it just a cup of dark liquid, but like wine, it is also full of flavor notes that need training. In your first try of coffee tasting, it can be difficult to discern the different flavors that different coffees can offer. Just like in wine, we can find food pairs to enhance the natural flavors of coffee. 

 

Your coffee journey starts with this helpful guide.

A perfect cup of coffee in a cold rainy day in a luxury home | Luxury Homes by Brittany Corporation

Coffee can be as complex as a luxury house and lot from Brittany Corporation | Photo by Lood Goosen from Pexels

 


Coffee can be as complex as a luxury house and lot from Brittany Corporation | Photo by Lood Goosen from Pexels

Elements of Coffee Tasting?

Before we can start with coffee tasting, we must understand what affects the flavors of coffee. There are so many things that affect the flavor profile of coffee. Understanding specialty coffee is a skill that can be learned by anyone. Today, we’ll focus on two aspects that can affect the flavor of the coffee we drink.

1. Coffee Tasting and Coffee Origin

The luxury lots of the Coffee Belt | Luxury Homes by Brittany Corporation

Most coffee can be grown in the luxury lots found within the coffee belt

 

Where the coffee comes from affects the flavor of coffee when coffee tasting. The different levels of elevation, heat, and soil composition greatly affect the final product. There are 62 coffee-growing countries and most coffee can be grown between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn near the equator. This area is called the coffee belt or as some people would call it, the bean belt. The coffee belt is divided into three major regions. These are Africa, Latin America, and Asia/Pacific. Let’s see how they differ from one another.

Three women sorting coffee beans in ethiopia | Luxury homes by brittany corporation

Coffee tasting is best when the beans are hand-sorted just like they do in Ethiopia

 

Africa

Coffee in Africa comes from the countries of Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Uganda to name a few. Africa produces some of the world’s most exotic coffees. It is also said that the history of coffee and be traced back to the coffee trees in the vast African landscapes under the wide-open skies. A thousand years after the discovery of coffee, Africa still produces one of the best coffees imaginable. When coffee tasting, the typical flavor profile of African beans is fruity, floral, and citrus. These coffees are best paired with citrus fruits and fruit tarts.

Minas Gerais Coffee Estate looks like Lausanne at Crosswinds | Luxury Homes by Brittany Corporation

Coffee Plantation in São João do Manhuaçu City – Minas Gerais State – Brazil

 

Latin America

Latin American coffee makes up a third of the coffee production around the world. The region’s many active volcanoes, high altitude, mild climate, and dependable dry and rainy seasons ensure that the beans from this region are consistently flavorful. Latin American countries like Guatemala produce some of the finest coffees in the world. When coffee tasting, the typical flavor profile of Latin American beans are the well-balanced flavors of cocoa, nuts, and the crisp, bright acidity.

Asia/Pacific

Coffee from the Asia-Pacific region has some of the world’s most distinctive flavors. With varying climates and topographies, you can expect complex flavors in coffees from this region. Some of the largest coffee producers are from Asia-Pacific. Coffee in the Philippines in particular is known for its robusta production. When coffee tasting, the typical flavor profile of Asia-Pacific coffee is its spicy, herbal notes, and balanced acidity. Coffee from this region is also known for its full body.

Coffe beans on a plate in a luxury home in the Promenade | Luxury Homes by Brittany Corporation

Kapeng Barako beans from the Asia-Pacific region, specifically in Tagaytay, Cavite where you can also find Crosswinds that has some of the best coffee shops

 

2. Bean Type and Coffee Tasting

The region where the coffee comes from affects the flavor and our coffee tasting experience. The complexity of flavor in coffee does not end there. While drinking coffee in our go-to cafes, let’s try to think about the different types of beans used in our coffee.

@ cups from coffee project near brittany properties | Luxury Homes from Brittany Corporation

Major coffee chains would usually use arabica beans for its well known high quality

Major Coffee chains would usually use Arabica for its well known high quality

Arabica

Arabica is the most popular coffee bean in the world. Over 60% of all coffee in the world came from an Arabica bean. These beans are grown in high altitudes with steady rainfall and plenty of shade. Arabica beans are known to be easy to care for making them a favorite among major coffee chains. Arabica coffee beans are full of complex and varied flavors and aromas.

Robusta

Robusta is the second most-produced coffee bean in the world. It is named robusta due to its hardy nature and its general immunity to a number of plant diseases. A lot of the coffee in the Philippines is known to be robusta because the robusta bean is best grown in hot climates with irregular rainfall. Robusta is known for its darker flavors and strong energy kick. It is also nice to note in coffee tasting that robusta has notes of chocolate flavor and a smooth texture. 

Kapeng Barako | Luxury Homes by brittany corporation

Kapeng Barako is a well-known Liberca type bean. Barako boasts of a chocolatey and smokey flavor along with earthy undertones

 

Liberica

Liberica is one of the more difficult coffee beans to come by. Making up only about 2% of coffee production, Liberica can stand out in terms of rarity. It generally has a strong and unique flavor with hints of chocolate and smoke. It is also accompanied by hints of floral and spicy flavors. One of the most popular coffees in the Philippines is actually a Liberica– the Barako. It is grown in Cavite where the most instagrammable cafe is located.

Excelsa

Although reclassified as a type of Liberica by the British botanist Aaron P. Davis, hardcore coffee enthusiasts would argue that Excelsa brings a different depth of flavor compared to the liberica variant.

3. Coffee Bean Roast and Coffee Tasting?

Another aspect of coffee that adds another layer of flavor to coffee is the way it is roasted. When coffee tasting, knowing its roast type can help your flavor expectations. There are three types of roasts. These change the flavor drastically by changing the roasting time of every batch of beans.

Blonde, Medium, and Dark roast coffee harvested near Crosswinds Tagaytay | luxury homes by brittany corporation

The three different coffee roasts from L-R: Blonde, Medium, Dark

 

Blonde

The blonde roast has short roasting times thus creating a moderate light brown appearance. It is a preferred roast for some specialty roasters,  and it highlights origin characteristics as well as complex acidity.

Medium

Most specialty coffee uses a medium roast. Its roast character is slightly muted acidity and enhanced origin character.

Dark

The least acidic of the three in terms of flavor. The dark roast coats the bean in its natural, shiny, oils. This roast emphasizes the roast characteristics than the origin and acidic flavor. It also gives an intense, smokey aroma that could easily wake you up. Espressos are usually made with a dark roast called an Italian roast. To feel like you got transported to Italy, Portofino was Italian-themed luxury houses that are perfect for that Italian, coffee tasting experience. 

Pietro Luxury House and Lot | Luxury Homes by Brittany Corporation

The Italian-themed luxury house and lots by Portofino Alabang transports you to Italy for the perfect coffee tasting experience

 

Bean Blend vs Single Origin

What are bean blend and single origin? These two are the types of coffee you can buy. When you get a bag of beans, a bean blend is a pack that includes beans from different countries or regions, and sometimes, roast. A bean blend creates a subtler, more balanced, flavor profile and it is usually made to achieve a unique flavor and acidity single origin coffee can’t achieve. Single origin on the other hand as the name would suggest, comes from one specific farm. Single origins tend to have a more intense, unadulterated, flavor profile from the specific region. A single origin kapeng Barako would mean that that batch of Barako is from one single farm.

 

What to Look for When Coffee Tasting

Coffee tasting is a complete sensory experience. When coffee tasting, there are four things to look out for these are aroma, acidity, body, and flavor. The experience starts even as you brew the coffee. You can smell the wonderful aroma of coffee as soon as you brew it. When you taste it, you can feel the warmth and the mouthfeel of the drink and you’ll be able to take your coffee appreciation even further.

Aroma

Aroma is the way the coffee smells. The aroma of coffee is directly related to the flavor of the coffee. Different coffees can smell nutty, smoky, spicy, earthy, or others. An example of an earthy scent is the smell of pine trees. Just like the 35,000 pine trees in Crosswinds Tagaytay, your coffee can have the same comforting scent that will make you feel like you have your own exclusive sanctuary. Because coffee tasting is a sensory experience, starting with your sense of smell, you already have an expectation of how your coffee will taste. 

Acidity

When we say acidity, we say the tanginess or the tartness of coffee. Acidity hits the sides of your tongue the same way eating an orange would. Some blonde-roasted, African coffee has the most acidic flavor profile. These are usually described as bright and crisp with a clean finish. Coffee with low acidity usually feels smoother in your mouth.

Body

The body is the weight of the coffee on your tongue. How does it feel? Does it feel light? Does it feel like your tongue is getting coated? The best comparison for this would be milk. Full-bodied coffee is akin to whole milk. Light-bodied coffee is comparable to non-fat milk, light, and non-lingering.

Flavor

The flavor is the way your coffee tastes. It can be sweet or citrusy. It can also be smoky or spicy. This is when you can taste maybe a hint of chocolate or floral notes. You can easily decide on what flavor you are tasting by trying to feel where the flavor hits your mouth. More acidic coffees hit the sides while sweeter coffee hits the tip of your tongue. This takes time to master but is never impossible.

A Step-by-Step Guide to the 4 steps of Coffee Tasting

Coffee tasting is simple. When doing it, we use plain, black, coffee with no cream or sugar. The purpose of coffee tasting is to appreciate the natural flavors of the coffee as you would wine. To be able to fully appreciate the characteristics of coffee, we have four steps. 

1. Smell

Before tasting your coffee, smell it first. The nose can detect hundreds and thousands of different scents. Compared to the tongue that can only distinguish four tastes, the nose can smell even the most minute of aromatic flavors. To smell your coffee, cup your hand over the opening of your cup and hold it close to your nose. Inhale the scent deeply. How does it smell? Does it smell floral? Smokey? or even syrupy?

2. Slurp

After smelling, it is time to take a drink. When coffee tasting, we do not simply take a sip, we slurp the coffee. The action of slurping your drink allows the liquid to spray all over your tongue. It makes you taste the full flavor of the coffee by hitting all the parts of your tongue. Slurping the beverage also prevents your tongue from getting burnt. Spraying the coffee all over your palate lets the subtle flavors coat your entire tongue allowing us to taste the complexity of the coffee.

3. Locate

Like what was said earlier, to ease the process of finding the flavors of the coffee, you can try and locate where the flavors hit your tongue. Is it on the tip or on the sides? How does it feel in your mouth? Is it smooth? Does it taste tart? How heavy is it? What is the mouthfeel?

4. Describe

Lastly, is describe it. You’ve already smelled and tasted it. How was your experience? Did it smell like how you imagined it to be? How did it feel? Describe the aroma, acidity, body, and flavor. For an even more immersive experience, how did this coffee make you feel? Are these memories of experiences that you remember when you drink your coffee? Maybe the smell of soil after the rain or even your first kiss? What emotion of luxury can you feel? Coffee can evoke all of these feelings and describing them when coffee tasting can create a stronger appreciation for your favorite cup of coffee.

Coffee is one of the most magical drinks there is. It keeps us awake and we get to enjoy the intricate flavors of a good cup of coffee. We can drink it on the go or even when we’re relaxing in our luxury condominium.

Photo by Los Muertos Crew from Pexels

 

We can take a break and celebrate our day-to-day lives in the comfort of our own luxury homes while coffee tasting. We can even invite our friends over, but of course, we must always remember to keep social distancing.

 

Learn more about how you can take advantage of living in a luxury house and lot by visiting https://www.brittany.com.ph or by contacting us at +63917 883 8103.