What Are the Five Elements of Tasting Coffee?

coffee tasting and taking notes

by Matt Gibson

There are five different elements to the taste of coffee, which are aroma, flavor, acidity, body, and aftertaste. Just like fancy wine tastings, sophisticated coffee drinkers practice coffee tasting, or cupping, to understand the complexities of high-quality coffees beyond the surface level. Coffee tasting is not something that should be practiced on generic coffees like folgers, or maxwell house, but if you like trying out fancy, high end coffee beans, and really enjoy brewing exceptional joe, learning about coffee tasting is the next step towards truly enjoying coffee and understanding how to analyze the way a good coffee can affect your palette. 

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What Is Different About Pour Over Coffee?

pour over coffee set up

QUESTION: What’s different about pour over coffee? I don’t get it. Doesn’t a coffee machine do the same thing? — Eddy H

ANSWER: If you are a coffee drinker, you are most likely familiar with the common electric drip coffee machine that brews coffee quickly and easily. Most electric drip coffee machines are super affordable and especially easy to use. Just plug it in, put in a filter, add ground coffee beans, fill the reservoir with water, and turn the machine on, and in just a few minutes, your coffee is ready. Inside the machine, a heating element heats up your water to the correct temperature. The water travels through the tubing and drips into the filter basket where it flows through the coffee grounds, absorbing their flavor and caffeine, as it travels through the grounds and into your coffee pot. 

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What Size Grind Is Best for Pour Over Coffee?

coffee grinder and beans

QUESTION: What size grind is best for pour over coffee? I’m just getting into it and I want it to taste good so it’s worth the trouble. — Leonard S

ANSWER: Nothing compares to a cup of coffee made in a pour over setup with coffee beans you’ve ground yourself just moments before brewing, so we understand why you’ve gotten interested in pour over coffee! And the grind matters. How coarsely or finely you grind your coffee beans can either tweak your brew to make it exactly what you’re looking for or completely ruin what could have been an excellent cup of coffee. Most of the time you’re going to do best with a medium course grind, but keep reading to learn about which size grind is recommended for some specific pour over machines, as well as how adjusting the grind will affect the coffee you make.

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What kind of coffee tastes the least like coffee?

fancy coffee drink that doesn't taste like coffee

QUESTION: What kind of coffee tastes the least like coffee? I’m trying to get into coffee drinking, but it all tastes too strong and bitter for me. — Olivia M

ANSWER: Are you looking into drinking coffee but just can’t get past the taste of roasted coffee beans? The flavor of coffee is not for everyone, although some say it can be an acquired taste. Some people have learned to like coffee just by drinking it regularly until they became used to the flavor and ended up liking it quite a bit. Some people, however, just can’t stomach the taste of coffee. Well, that’s okay too. Coffee isn’t for everyone.

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Non-Coffee Alternatives for People Who Don’t Like Coffee

matcha tea is an alternative to coffee

By Matt Gibson

If there’s no hope for you slowly moving into becoming a coffee drinker, and you are sure that trying to do so is a waste of time, there are plenty of non-coffee alternatives that you may not have thought about. First and foremost, there are thousands of different teas available, many of which have comparable amounts of caffeine to coffee.

Black teas are usually the highest in caffeine content aside from matcha green tea. Most black teas contain around 37 milligrams of caffeine per cup, while matcha greens are available in a wide range of caffeine strengths, some of which have as much as 130 milligrams of caffeine per cup. Black filter coffee averages out to about 40 milligrams of caffeine per cup, while caffeinated teas average about 20 milligrams per cup. However, many black teas are closer to 40 milligrams than 20, and some green teas have very high caffeine contents. 

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20 Coffee Drinks for People Who Don’t Love Coffee

vietnamese coffee

By Matt Gibson

If you are not a fan of coffee drinks, there is no reason to try every drink on this list, but if you’ve only ever had a cup of regular drip coffee from a machine, or perhaps coffee and espresso or cappuccino, there’s a good chance that you may find a coffee drink on this list that is more agreeable to your taste.

At the least, give this list a scan and see if there are a few drinks on it that you would like to try just to see if you like them. You can find most of these options at any coffee bar. Lots of delicious choices here!

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Why is Kona coffee so special?

Kilauea Iki Crater on the big island of hawaii

QUESTION: Why is Kona coffee so special? It’s really expensive and most places don’t even stock it, but I don’t understand what makes it good in the first place. — Howard E

ANSWER: 100 percent Kona coffee can be quite expensive, with some roasts going for $20-30 per pound, and other roasts going for as much as $100 per pound or higher. These prices are incredibly high for coffee, and yet Kona coffee flies off the shelf so quickly that it is often hard to find. But what makes Kona coffee so special? 

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Does Finer Grind Make Stronger Coffee?

coffee beans and different grinds

QUESTION: Does finer grind make stronger coffee? I like my coffee very strong. — Vivian A

ANSWER: Do more finely ground coffee beans will make you a stronger cup of coffee? Not exactly, although your brewed coffee will taste stronger when you grind the coffee more finely. This may seem to be a bit of a contradictory statement, so let us explain what we mean a bit.

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What Are the Four Types of Coffee Beans?

different types of coffee beans

By Erin Marissa Russell

Ready to learn all about the four main types of coffee beans? It seems like the more you delve into the world of coffee, the more there is to learn. From different levels of roast to different preparation methods, there’s a whole world of information that can get you closer to the perfect cup. Here’s a guide to the four main types of coffee beans out there to help you choose the coffee you’re going to enjoy drinking the most.

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