It is common to pair a full bodied red wine with a ribeye but you don’t always hear about full-bodied coffee being paired with anything. The idea of breakfast has drastically changed to accommodate our working lifestyles and we’re seeking more on-the-go and at-work solutions. While skipping breakfast is common, skipping (aka forgetting) coffee is almost a sin.
As most of us know, breakfast is an important meal that fuels us for our day and coffee is often an essential part of many morning routines at home or in the workplace. Whether you prefer a standalone cup or accompany your roast with some toast, we’ll help you find the perfect blend to start your workweek off strong.
Flavor development starts with the origin of the coffee. The soil it’s grown in, the altitude, the humidity and the heat are all factors that can impact the taste of the coffee cherry or the coffee bean in its most raw, unroasted state. It is common for beans in these main growing regions to take on the following characteristics:
Latin America: nutty, chocolatey
Africa: floral, fruity, citrus flavors
Asia-Pacific: bold, earthy and herbal
The sensation of sweetness correlates with how uniformly ripe a coffee was when harvested. Further flavor development happens during roasting. We are all familiar with the three roast profiles: light, medium and dark. But how these translate to the flavor, aroma, and acidity of the coffee might be surprising.
Light: semi-sweet, toasted, herbal, fruity, pronounced acidity
Medium: sweet, spicy, balanced
Dark: ashy taste, bitter, smoky, burnt
Longer roast times equals further breakdown of sugars, which leads to more complex even bitter caramel compounds. The age of the coffee, the processing method, the grind, and the brewing method will also affect the taste.
So how can we distinguish which coffees our pallets prefer? When coffee is roasted, it can develop up to 1000 different aroma compounds which make up the flavor of the coffee.
Aromas directly affect the flavors you taste and this can vary from person to person. Flavor can also be enhanced or changed completely if it’s being consumed with a sweet or savory treat.
In short, finding your perfect cup is trial and error. But here are a few suggestions based on the body, acidity and underlying flavor notes found in our coffees.