March 3, 2020
What are coffee flavor notes?
Author
Jesse Gonzalez

We get asked all the time about how we come up with the tasting or flavor notes that go on our retail bags. First off we do not flavor our coffee beans. We take pride in selecting the finest specialty coffee Colombia's farmers have to offer and would never want to mask their hard work. In fact we are here to highlight their labor of love and showcase the coffee’s terroir.

In this post I want to go over briefly how the team at Progeny goes about picking out notes like: Honey, Chocolate, or Blackberry, that you see on one of our bags.

Coffee much like wine offers various flavors, some delicate, some bright, and some comforting. The flavors we taste all start at the source from where and when it’s grown, how it was processed, the coffee variety, and finally how it was roasted. Coffee is a complex beast and has thousands of unique chemical compounds that offer many different colorful flavors for us to enjoy. When we taste notes of “Papaya” chances are we’re tasting the same chemical compounds that are found in Papaya.

Tasting notes in coffee can be very obvious but most of the time they’re very subtle. This is where our QC team, both at the source in Colombia and in the States, comes together to identify each flavor the coffee is naturally producing. We do this by tasting multiple cups side by side to identify the flavors that pop from the cups we brewed. Even as pros we can struggle with narrowing down what flavors we’re tasting. To help us finalize the selection of notes, we turn to the coffee flavor wheel. The coffee flavor wheel is a great tool that will assist us with deciphering between those subtle notes that challenge our taste buds.

SCAA Coffee Flavor Wheel

It is our job to make sure you get the best coffee we can offer and that’s why we taste for quality on every roasted batch we put into production. Coffee is a fruit, and flavors will change from season to season, when we notice this change we update our notes.

You can join in on the fun and test your palate at home. A good way to test your palate is to brew two different coffees and taste them side by side. You should be able to notice the subtle differences from cup to cup. One cup may be fruitier with a hint of acidity while the other be nuttier with more of a chocolate profile.

Remember to have fun when brewing coffee. Coffee is meant to be enjoyed. Enjoyed while being creative and enjoyed with friends!

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