Articles From Whole Latte Love

Coffee Profiling: Distinguishing Flavors, Make a Favorite Cup!

Posted: 09/08/03
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It’s a small world, after all: global coffee profiles.
A useful tool for picking your favorite coffee is the Global Coffees Profile Chart we’ve created. It is a roadmap to some of the finest coffees in the world. It also illustrates some of the flavor characteristics unique to the main coffee growing regions around the world.

Note to Readers: The taste profiles and characteristics discussed in this article apply to drip coffee. Flavor characteristics and descriptions will change with alternate brewing processes.


This at-a-glance chart shows you flavor characteristics for some of the finest coffees on the planet. These are varietal coffees – not blends. For a comparison to wine, think of regions such as Sonoma County. (In wine, “estate vintages” draw more of a comparison to what we refer to in coffee as “single estates.”)

The chart indicates values for three key facets of taste: body, acidity and balance. A very brief description is also provided.

Global Coffee Flavor Profiles

Regional Coffee Flavor Profiles

Region

Body

Acidity

Balance

Brief Description

Central America

Balanced, Smooth, Nutty, Fragrant, Medium Acidity

Caribbean

Excellent, Balanced, Smooth and Clear, Nutty, Chocolaty, Fragrant, Sharp

South America

Mild, Soft, Balanced, Sharper than Central Americans

African

Sharp, Pronounced, Clean, Assertive, Robust, Strong

Asia/ Hawaiian

Full to Heavy Bodied, Smooth, Syrupy, Low Acidity, Sometimes Spicy or Winey

India

Spicy, Can be Earthy, Unusual, Distinct and Complex


Joe Coffee Flavor Profiles

Coffee

Body

Acidity

Balance

Brief Description

Sumatra Mandheling

Heavy Body, Syrupy, Low Acidity, Nice Aroma, Slightly Sweet and Earthy

Costa Rican

Well Defined Chocolate Aroma, Good Body, High Acidity, Smooth, Consistent and Well Balanced

Kenya

Fragrant, Sharp, Full Bodied, Strong, Good Aroma

Whole Latta Java

Smooth, Medium Bodied with a Chocolaty Finish

Colombian Supremo

Sweet Aroma, Chocolaty Flavor, Slightly Fruity, Citrus and Floral. Bright, Heavy Bodied, Well Rounded

Guatemala

Medium Body, Sharp Acidity, Complex with a Winey and Spice Like Aftertaste

Decaf Organic Mexican

A Highly Regarded Coffee, Smooth, Slightly Sweet, Nutty with a Hint of Chocolate

French Vanilla

Creamy Vanilla topnotes accent this truly wonderful cup, highly aromatic and completely tantalizing

Decadent Chocolate Truffle

Delicious, Velvety, Smooth, Incredibly Rich and Extremely CHOCOLATE


Individual taste preferences are important. So are variety and experimentation. The chart will point you in the direction of certain taste characteristics so you can select coffee based on your preferences – or explore new varieties and enjoy different flavors.Here are some in depth looks at the coffee’s offered by Java Joe.

Profiling Java Joe’s Coffee Offerings:
SUMATRA MANDHELING (pronounced man-dee-ling)
Lake Toba, Sumatra A SINGLE ORIGIN COFFEE
Heavy Body, Syrupy, Low Acidity, Nice Aroma, Slightly Sweet and Earthy
Considered to be one of the best growing regions in Indonesia, Sumatra is the second largest Island. This coffee comes to us from the beautiful Balak region, which is surrounded by two lakes, Lake Toba and Lake Takenon in the northern end of Sumatra. SumatraThe name Mandheling is an Indian name used to describe coffees that come from this region. Mandheling beans are especially highly regarded, and the beans from this region have even been described as the most full-bodied Arabica in the world. This coffee is grown at an altitude of 2,500 feet above sea level. It is a semi-washed coffee; it is put out on patios to dry or in drums fueled by wood and parchment. The unroasted beans are uniform jade green in color.

COSTA RICA SAN BOSCO RESERVE, TRES VOLCANES
A SINGLE ESTATE COFFEE
Well Defined Chocolate Aroma, Good Body, High Acidity, Smooth, Consistent and Well Balanced
Costa Rica The estate this coffee comes from in Costa Rica, San Bosco, is located in the Central Valley Region of Southern Costa Rica between two volcanoes. Three Volcanoes; the Poas, Irazu and Barva dominate the landscape in this traditional growing region (also known as Tres Volcanes). Reserva San Bosco is harvested in December, in the peak week of the season, yielding top quality coffee cherries. Costa Rica has earned an excellent reputation in the production of coffee. Only Arabica beans are grown – growing inferior beans (Robusta) is illegal. This coffee is grown at an altitude of over 4,260 feet above sea level.


Kenya KENYA AA GUAMA
A SINGLE ESTATE COFFEE
Fragrant, Sharp, Full Bodied, Good Aroma, Slightly Sweet with a Trace of Chocolate and Fruit Flavors
Kenyan coffee has everything we want from a good cup – wonderful aroma, an excellent balance of acidity and body, and an excellent fruit quality. The best classifications include AA, and are deliciously fragrant with a bright flavor. Almost every knowledgeable person in the coffee industry has a high regard for Kenyan coffee.

WHOLE LATTA JAVA
PERFECT HOUSE BLEND
Smooth, Medium Bodied with a Chocolaty Finish
A delicious blend of Central American and Indonesian coffees. This coffee is perfectly balanced, slightly nutty and aromatic. It makes a delicious cup any time of day.

Fair Trade CertifiedCOLOMBIAN MESA DE LOS SANTOS
ORGANIC FAIR TRADE COFFEE & A SINGLE ESTATE COFFEE
Sweet Aroma and Chocolaty Flavor, Somewhat Floral, Slightly fruity with a hint of citrus. Bright, Heavy Bodied, Well Rounded .
This coffee is ideal as a stand alone coffee. It is rated as one of the best cupping Colombian coffees. Mesa de los Santos was founded in 1872 and is located (at the perfect coffee-growing altitude of 5,100 feet) in the town of Los Santos, nearly 25 miles south of Bucaramanga. Oswaldo Acevedo, fourth-generation farm owner, along with a crew of dedicated workers, Columbiahas transformed a 130-year-old family-owned coffee farm into a forward-minded producer that is, indeed, having an effect on the quality. In the beginning everything was done by hand and with ultimate regard for the land that helped produce one’s livelihood. "The old ways were better, we believe," says Acevedo. "My great-grandfather never used chemicals to grow his coffee, so neither do we." Café Mesa de los Santos was certified organic in 1998. The labor-intensive practice of organic coffee farming at Mesa de los Santos has vastly improved the land’s ecology and has resulted in a higher-quality product year after year.

GuatemalaGUATEMALA HUEHUETENANGO (pronounced way-way ten-ang-o)
A SINGLE ORIGIN COFFEE
Medium Body, Sharp Acidity, Complex With A Winey and Spice Like Aftertaste
The Huehuetenango region is located on the pacific slopes in southwestern Guatemala. This coffee is grown in the small town of Barillas founded in 1989 by 20 farmers. This Co-Op now includes 711 family members, 80% of which are indigenous K’anjob’al Mayans. The coffee is hand picked and sun dried. It is grown at an altitude between 1,200 and 1,600 meters above sea level. The high altitude of this country produces wonderfully lively coffee, and connoisseurs often prefer the spicy, complex flavor to other kinds of beans.

DECAF ORGANIC MEXICAN
Fair Trade Certified & A SINGLE ORIGIN COFFEE
A Highly Regarded Coffee, Smooth, Slightly Sweet, Nutty with a Hint of Chocolate
Our customers love this coffee with its medium acidity, smooth body and a hint of roasted hazelnuts with a chocolate finish.

FRENCH VANILLA
Creamy, Luscious, Delightful
Creamy vanilla topnotes accent this truly wonderful cup, highly aromatic and completely tantalizing.

DECADENT CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE
Delicious, Velvety, Smooth and Incredibly Rich
Now you can have the decadent taste of dessert all day long with this sinfully chocolate coffee.

SOMETHING ELSE TO KNOW:

WHAT IS FAIR TRADE COFFEE?
An excellent quality coffee that has been Fair Trade Certified by Transfair USA, an independent non-profit organization which monitors and certifies Fair Trade products in the United States. Fair Trade raises incomes and living standards for small coffee farmers overseas while helping to protect the environment. Fair Trade doesn’t provide aid or charity, but instead promotes self-reliance and quality for farmers who are disadvantaged under present trading conditions. Fair Trade practices include:
• Paying farming families a fair price for their harvests that provides them with a decent,   living wage.
• Helping small farmers gain access to needed loans.
• Establishing direct, long-term trading relationships between buyers and farmers.

DECAF
We, at Java Joe’s ®, use SWISS WATER Process decaffeinated coffee. The SWISS WATER Process is the only chemical free method of decaffeination. It uses carbon filters to gently remove caffeine and "flavor-charged water" to prevent flavor loss. The process is certified organic by the Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA) and the National Organic Program (NOP). No chemicals are used, and every care is taken to ensure the coffees’ inherent tastes are respected and preserved.

There are three other commercial methods of coffee decaffeination. These methods are:
Methylene Chloride, Ethyl Acetate, Supercritical CO2, which use chemical either directly to the beans or indirectly via a water extract or water bath. When you choose our decaffeinated coffee, you can be sure you are getting a superior, healthier product.


FLAVORS
At Java Joe’s ®, you’ll never find us using a powdered flavor on our coffees. We use the highest grade liquid flavoring available, and apply it to our coffee just after it is pulled from our old-fashioned roaster. Because we flavor our coffee when it is warm, the flavor absorbs into the beans in a much better capacity. That’s the kind of TLC that sets us apart, and why are flavors are so darn good!