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The Difference Between Tasting Notes and Flavored Coffee

The Difference Between Tasting Notes and Flavored Coffee

Understanding the Difference Between Tasting Notes and Flavored Coffee
What does it mean when a coffee description says the coffee has “flavors of chocolate and graham crackers” much like our Costa Rica Rio Negro does? This can be a little confusing for coffee newbies and people unfamiliar with coffee descriptions, but we are here to break it down for you.

What are tasting notes? 
Tasting notes describe the flavors and aromas that naturally occur in the coffee bean. Coffee tasting notes are designed to be a guide to better differentiate one coffee’s taste profile from another. Tasting notes help you understand the coffee profiles you are drawn to—much like the notes of different wines and beers. A coffee’s profile is affected by the type of bean, the region where it’s grown, and how it’s roasted. It’s important to know that none of these tasting notes are the result of added flavor.

Coffee producers and buyers, along with roasters, use the process of cupping, which means tasting the coffee to check for quality and distinguish the tastes and variances between distinctive beans. They identify various notes within coffees, such as a hint of chocolate, or citrus fruits, or nutty undertones. Remember that tasting notes are subjective, and some of them might not be detectable to every coffee drinker. 

So, what exactly is flavored coffee then? 
Flavored coffee is when roasters add extra flavor to the beans artificially through a process of absorption or the use of flavoring oils. A good thing to notice is that flavored coffee is not often described with—tasting notes— since the taste is often overpowered by the added flavor. 

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