That first whiff of freshly ground coffee is an enjoyable moment. Water is infused and the coffee pours into your mug releasing pure aromatic joy. You take a sip and the coffee stirs your mind alive. Glorious, isn’t it? Not all coffee is the same, of course, and learning how to evaluate each of these moments will improve your experience and bring your daily coffee to a new level.
Fragrance is the “scent” of the volatile compounds interwoven with carbon dioxide in ground coffee. When coffee is freshly roasted and packaged, these compounds are locked in place and stabilized, only to escape when it is time to brew your coffee. Fresh coffee has an abundance of fragrance compounds and is easily detectable. Stale coffee lacks both and will smell vaguely similar to crisp toast. The higher quality coffees will possess layers of fragrances such as cinnamon or vanilla; both are naturally occurring from the coffee bean and the roast we choose.
These fragrances are also an indicator of what flavors lie ahead. When you begin to brew your coffee and hot water meets grounds, the aroma reaches us from the gasses that escape. These are carried off into the air in a wisp of vapor when the coffee is nice and hot. The aroma may have a new series of scents as the hot water reacts with the coffee to extract new compounds.
Take a deep breath as your coffee finishes brewing and take note of the presence of specific smells, their intensity, and whether they are pleasant. Aroma is a wonderful indicator of how enjoyable and how fresh your coffee is.
As you take your first sips, you should notice the fragrances and flavors meld into one and are immediately recognizable on your palate. You may also feel the weight of the coffee on your tongue and a tingling sensation reminiscent of seltzer water or cola. These are all attributes of your coffee and all should be present in freshly roasted and high-quality coffee.
At Real Good Coffee Co we love our coffee routine! We taste our coffee every day, brewing it not only to test it, but to enjoy it. We drink our own coffee consistently, day in and day out, and love to share it with friends and family.
By giving you the tools to improve your coffee experience, you too can extract the same bliss each and every day. Tell us about your daily coffee routine in the comments below!