How to Taste Coffee

Learning the termonology of different coffee tastes will help you better describe and share your tasting experience to others.

Acidity: A sharp radiance and pleasing quality that enhances coffee's flavor. Coffee comes in various levels of acidity; however, coffees in which acidity is lacking are most likely boring and unexciting.

Aroma: The fragrance or smell of fresh-brewed coffee, ranging from fruity to herby to smoky and more.

Body: The weight of a coffee as perceived in the mouth. A coffee may have light, medium, full, or very full body.

Bright: Sharp acidity.

Chocolaty: A roasted, sweet aroma suggestive of unsweetened chocolate, cocoa, or even vanilla.

Clean: A coffee that finishes clear, graceful, and smooth in the mouth, not dry.

Complex: Flavors that have multiple layers of sensation.

Earthy: The aroma or flavor of moist soil or earth.

Fine: A quality coffee in terms of acidity, body, and overall positive characteristics.

Fresh: A positive trait used to describe freshly roasted coffee with vibrant flavor and aroma.

Fruity: A sweet or tangy aroma or flavor suggestive of berries or citrus.

Full: Indicating strong character, in terms of acidity, body, and flavor.

Light: Indicating a delicate character, in terms of acidity, body, and aroma.

Mild: A moderately bodied coffee that finishes with balanced acidity and sweetness and lacks bitterness or dryness.

Nutty: A roasted aroma or flavor suggestive of peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, etc.

Rich: A full-bodied coffee that finishes with a depth and complexity of flavor and an overall pleasing taste.

Roasty: Coffee that has been dark roasted properly may take on this smoky, high quality flavor.

Strong: Characteristic of rich, full-bodied coffees.

Sweet: A mild, smooth, or fruity taste noticeable at the tip of the tongue.

Tangy: An intensely piercing sweet and sour impression along the sides of the tongue.

Woody: Coffee that has been aged properly may take on this aroma or flavor, suggestive of tree bark or oak.


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