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Mike Kohler

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Tasting coffee: It’s easy with these tricks!

It should be clear to most people that wine tastes very different depending on its origin, grape variety and vintage. Far fewer people are aware that this is also the case with coffee. The taste can vary from chocolaty, nutty to fruity with lemon or berry flavors. A cup of coffee can also be characterized by bitterness, acidity or roasted aromas. The technically correct coffee tasting is complex. But with a few simple tricks, it can also be done very easily. Professional coffee tasting is expensive. Among other things, it needs a room of 40 square meters, a room temperature of 20 degrees Celsius, humidity of 50 to 65 percent and at least 15 examiners who should first be trained. An effort that is probably only done very rarely. So how do coffee professionals taste when it has to be uncomplicated? Many do it like this:

Tasting coffee – step-by-step instructions
60g of coffee per liter of water
Roast color of the coffee medium to dark
Coarse coffee grind
Best filtered water
Heat water up to approx. 95 °C
Put the ground coffee in the French press and fill it up halfway with water
Leave for two minutes
Stir and analyze aroma
Fill up with water and leave to stand for another two minutes
tasting coffee

For the actual coffee tasting, you take a small portion of coffee with a spoon (cupping spoon) in your mouth and slurp it over the spoon into your palate. In this way, the liquid is distributed on the surface of the tongue, which means that flavors and aromas can be better recognized.

Tips and tricks for quick analysis!

Of course, it is not always possible to make such an effort. Especially not if you have ordered a coffee in a restaurant or a café. I adhere to the following guidelines:

I usually order an espresso. When I receive this, the first thing I examine is the crema. The color of the crema reveals whether the espresso was brewed too cold, whether it is burnt or whether the espresso has been standing for too long.
A perfect crema has a nice brown note, it would be ideal if the crema were marbled or had tiger stripes.
When the crema is analyzed, the espresso is drunk. Based on this tasting, I analyze the espresso.
For me, a good espresso has a full body and nice aromas. The coffee should therefore not be roasted too darkly if possible.
After the first rough assessment, I try to recognize the nuances of the espresso. Whether it contains fruit or chocolate notes, for example. It is often amazing what different flavors can be discovered in top coffees!
And for everyone who always wonders whether the glass of water that is often served with an espresso should be drunk before or after the espresso? Here’s the answer – before the espresso, of course! At least when the espresso is great. After all, you want to keep the good aroma in your mouth for as long as possible and not immediately wash it down with water.

Important at the end: If you want to taste coffee, you should always do so without sugar, cream or milk. The coffee should be tasted black. Once the tasting is complete, you can finally drink the coffee the way you like it. Whether sugar, cream or milk goes into the espresso is the sole decision of the coffee connoisseur