A Quick Note About Flavor Notes
1. They are a completely subjective interpretation of the coffee they are attached to.
Anyone responsible for choosing the flavor notes to describe a given coffee probably did it after cupping the coffee and tasting it with a variety of brew methods. They probably spent a lot of time experiencing this coffee, and likely associate the coffee with distinct flavors that they recall from memory. If you don’t taste the grapefruit in our Kenya Yara, it doesn’t mean you’re bad at tasting coffee, it just means you need to taste more coffee (or eat more grapefruit).
2. Flavor notes are to coffee what genre(s) are to music.
Have you ever asked a musician to describe the sound of their music? It’s a tough question to field, and it usually starts broad (genre/sub-genre), and ends up a little more specific (It’s like if Prince and Led Zeppelin had a side project with an electronic twist). There aren’t any actual Princes or Led Zeppelins in their music, but you understand why they would draw those comparisons if you’re familiar with those artists. Flavor notes are able to give you a decent clue about whether or not you’ll like a coffee. Don’t like acidic coffee? Stay away from the ones with citrus or fruity flavor notes (unless it’s a naturally processed coffee). Like something with a more classic flavor profile? Look for flavor notes related to chocolate, caramel, nuts, and spices.
3. Flavor notes do not mean that the coffee is flavored.
Flavored coffee involves adding artificial flavor to subpar coffee. Specialty coffee is about highlighting the natural qualities present in the best green coffees.While flavor notes are subjective, more often than not, tasters will agree on the flavors present in the coffee. Roasters who include flavor notes do so in an attempt to help you find the coffee that will make you the most happy.
Want to learn more about the fine art of craft coffee? Tune into our podcast, Coffee&, and follow us on Insta for announcements and upcoming events!