Selecting the Right Coffee for You

There are so many different types of coffee roasts, blends and even specialty drinks; it’s hard to find the perfect cup of coffee. Some rules always apply when choosing the best cup. Burnt tasting coffee isn’t an option and comes, not from the type of coffee you select, but the way you make it. If the water is too hot, you over extract the flavors from the beans and get not just the desired flavors—but the bitter ones too. This makes the coffee taste burnt. If you have a good coffee maker kept clean and in good repair, you can avoid this situation. Leaving the coffee simmering on a hot plate also leaves you with a burnt or bitter taste.

There is little doubt that Arabica coffee is far more flavorful than Robusta and aside from burnt tasting coffee or weak coffee when you use too few beans or ground coffee, most of the decision-making uses your taste to make the choice. You use several indicators to select the perfect coffee to suit your taste. Body is one of those characteristics. A coffee with good body feels thicker on your tongue and pallet, making it seem richer.

Another factor in selecting your coffee is the amount of acidity it has. A coffee with a high acidity leaves a relatively pleasant, even though sharp, aftertaste. A dark roast is less acidic and has less zing to it when it hits your pallet. The growing region and processing are factors that also determine the amount of acidity in a cup of coffee.

Who can resist the smell of freshly ground coffee? The sense of smell has a lot to do with what we actually taste. The taste buds offer four different sensations. These are sour, sweet, salty and bitter. The sense of smell adds the subtle flavors, which might include floral or citrus-like. Just like wine, you’ll hear the smell of coffee often described as the bouquet.

Coffee flavor is the final way to describe coffee. You might have a distinct berry taste or even a caramel one. However, if you’re drinking a flavored coffee-of course, you’ll taste the flavoring. If there’s no particular element that’s outstanding, such as body, acidity or aroma, often people drinking the coffee note it has good balance.

Besides taste, there are other reasons to select a particular type of coffee. Dark roasted coffee has more compounds that lower the amount of stomach acid called N-methylpyridinium. So if coffee upsets your stomach, switch to a dark roast. The roasting increases the NMP. Steam treated beans have less caffeine, so a steam roasted bean would be a more logical choice for those who have difficulty with caffeine.

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