Types of Coffee Characteristics and Coffee Tasting

You have probably seen different types of coffee characteristics on packaging and promotional materials. But what are these types of characteristics of coffee?

While there are two main types of coffee beans, there can be different configurations of coffee characteristics based on the blend (percentage of Arabica bean Vs. Robusta beans in a blend), the type of coffee roasts (light, medium, and dark) and the origin of the beans.

So what exactly are these coffee characteristics about?

Coffee Characteristics #1 – Aroma

Aroma is basically the fragrance of coffee but what is tricky about aroma is that it is usually affected by many other factors. Many senses come into play together and directly affect the taste of coffee because of the aroma. The aroma of coffee can be fruity, nutty, smoky, complex or floral.


Coffee Characteristics #2 – Acidity

Acidity is a tasting note in coffee that refers to the sharpness or pleasing brightness in coffee. It is through the acidity of coffee that delivers what is mostly identified as the fruity and flora flavours in the drink.  The acidity of the drink can be intense, mild or even smooth.

Coffee Characteristics #3 – Body

This is the sense of weight or heaviness that coffee brings in your mouth. It is distinguished by the viscosity or thickness of the coffee and the consistency that it leaves in the mouth. Some common descriptors of coffee can be thin, grainy, syrupy, buttery or oily.

Coffee Characteristics #4 – Sweetness

It may not be common knowledge but coffee beans are actually the beans inside coffee cherry fruits. Hence these coffee beans also contain sugars that undergo changes during roasting. These sugars help offset the bitterness with sweetness. Sharper, nearly burnt bitterness are often associated with darker roasts.


There are many more descriptors of a coffee blend but these are the commonly used descriptors to give you an idea of how the taste is going to be. The best way, however, to describe the flavour of the coffee is by tasting it – whenever you get the chance to!

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