Taste of Coffee

Taste of Coffee - Aroma, Flavor and Taste

Coffee - Aroma, Flavor and Taste

Coffee depending on the regions where it is cultivated and the type of roasting process can have its own special aroma, flavor and taste making each type a unique drink. You need to explore the various varieties to know which is most enjoyable to your taste. Here we have tried to list some of these but if there are more you know off do write to us and add to this fascinating beverage.


Animal like - Used to describe a strong aroma that may smell like wet fur, sweat, leather, hides or even urine. This odour reminds one of the smell of animals and hence the name.


This odour describes the odour similar to smoker’s finger or ashtray and depends on the degree of roast.


If you have smelt burnt food than you will immediately understand this odour. It is similar to the odour produced when burning wood and usually it is associated with dark-roasted or oven-roasted coffees.


This odour is reminiscent of chemicals, medicines and the smell of hospitals.


This aroma is reminiscent of cocoa powder and chocolate (including dark chocolate and milk chocolate).


This aroma descriptor is reminiscent of the odour and flavour produced when caramelizing sugar without burning it.


Used for describing - a ‘grain-type aroma.’ The aroma is reminiscent cereal, malt and roasted grain (including roasted corn, barley or wheat) or even freshly baked bread and freshly made toast.



The descriptor is reminiscent of the aroma of fresh earth, wet soil, humus, moulds or raw potato flavor. It is considered as an undesirable flavour when perceived in coffee.


If coffee aroma is reminiscent of ‘fragrance of flowers’ then it belongs to this category. The flowers include honeysuckle, jasmine, dandelion and nettles.


This aroma has the odour and taste of fruit.


This aroma descriptor includes a freshly mowed lawn, fresh green grass or herbs, green foliage, green beans or unripe fruit.


This aroma is reminiscent of the odour and flavour of fresh nuts.


This aroma descriptor is associated with either Rancid or rotten. Rancid as with nuts and rotten as with vegetables or non-oily products.



Describes the smell of hot tyres, rubber bands and rubber stoppers and is a negative attribute.


This describes the aroma associated with usually cloves and cinnamon and not with spices such as pepper, oregano and Indian spices.


This aroma descriptor is reminiscent of taste of tobacco but should not be used for burnt tobacco.


This terms simply describe the sensation of smell, taste and mouth feel experiences when drinking wine.


This aroma is reminiscent of the smell of usually dry wood, an oak barrel, dead wood or cardboard paper.


Standardizing taste is never easy but to give uniformity certain terms are accepted internationally and should be used if one can appreciate the difference between them. The tasters are paid to know the difference and use it normally.



The taste is sharp and acidic- it is typical of coffee from certain regions.


In contrast the taste is due to quinine and alkaloids along with caffeine. This taste depends on the degree of roast brewing procedures.


This is a basic taste descriptor for sweet aroma that is associated with solutions of sucrose or fructose. The aroma is of fruity, chocolate and caramel.


A primary taste characterized by a solution of sodium chloride or other salts.


If you have tasted Vinegar then you know this taste. If the solution has a sharp, biting and unpleasant flavor it is sour. Fermented coffee can have this taste. Do not confuse with acidic taste. It is pleasant and desirable taste in coffee.


Mouthfeel describes how does the drink feel in the mouth and what kind of after taste does it leave behind.


This attribute descriptor is generally used to describe the physical properties of the beverage that can be either strong but pleasant as opposed to being thin.


Attribute to describe the after taste sensation. Sometimes there can be a feeling of dry feeling in the mouth and this is not desirable with coffee.

Recommended Reading