What Impacts Your Coffee Flavour Profile?

Coffee is one of the most complex drinks you consume on a daily basis. Want to explore why?

There is nothing complicated about your morning coffee, that’s if you simply brew it or pick one up on your way to work. But if you look closer at the bean. roast and flavour profile you will get to understand why coffee has such complex and unique flavours from it’s aromatic compounds. Roasted coffee has over 800 aromatic compounds, which makes for an incredible range of rich and complex flavour profiles for you to explore.

Here at Bristol Twenty not only do we source out coffee from a range of sustainable farms across the world, but we also roast all of our coffee on site. This is why we share each of the tasting notes of all of the coffee that we produce. We love talking to our customers about the flavour journey of each coffee and we are working towards 100% traceability with our coffees in 2022.

Most people don’t realise how a bag of roasted coffee beans has the capability to taste like a selection of delicious flavours and experiences from rich chocolate, to sweet fruits and nuts. Let’s take a look at some of the factors that affect how your coffee tastes.

bristol twenty coffee flavour profile

Species

The Genus of Coffee is Coffea which includes 4 species; Eugenoides, Canephora, Liberica & Excelsa.

In most cases, the most commonly grown are Canephora (Robusta) and Arabica (Eugenoides and Canephora) making up 40% & 60% of the world’s coffee production. Arabica has superior cup quality with higher acidity & sweetness which builds its character. In comparison to Robust, Arabica has half the caffeine, making it less bitter but also more prone to pests & disease. The caffeine in coffee is its own natural insect repellent so Robusta species require little farming inputs to grow successfully & is higher yielding. Arabica requires stricter growing conditions of 800-2300 metres altitude with stable temperatures in the range of 15-25 degrees C whereas Robusta grows from sea level in hotter climates with higher humidity.⁣

bristol twenty coffee flavour profile

This can sound very complicated but essentially this is the start of creating the flavour profile that you experience in your morning cup of coffee.

Arabica:

  • smooth character & discernible flavour
  • high quality & higher costs involved in producing it make it more expensive
  • delivers more in the cup

Robusta:

  • Its traditionally heavier, harsher profile of traditional Italian espresso, roasted darker to maximise its characteristics.⁣ However, we have started working with Macenta Beans  for our Guinea Daro robusta which is so good we can even serve it as a single origin.

Guinea Daro Single Origin Coffee 

Flavour profile – Black cherry, Brown sugar, Cacao nibs, Dark chocolate, Marzipan, Pecan.
It’s punchy and full-on but very nice.

Terraine

One of the biggest factors that affect the flavour profile of the crop is the landscape in which the coffee plantation is in. This is why we get so many beautiful different flavour profiles from plantations all over the world as each of the climates is so different.

In general, the soil and the climate are the most important elements that support and nourish the coffee. The climate refers to everything from temperature, air pressure and sunshine to humidity, cloudiness and winds. Some plantations have their own micro-climate, in. which there are subtle and more evident differences in climate in smaller areas and regions.

Any small changes in altitude, wine and shade can heavily impact the development of the coffee plant. If the plantation finds itself at a higher altitude, then generally speaking the maturation is slower and brings out an optimal cup profile. The coffee grown at higher altitudes tends to be used for speciality grade coffee as they are denser and harder to roast due to the amount of flavour in the bean.

In the last two years we have been looking even more closely at our single-origin speciality coffee bean, of which the process can have a huge impact on the flavour in the cup . . .

bristol twenty coffee flavour profile

Process

When we talk about the ‘process’ we refer to the seeds of the coffee cherry and relate to the methods of getting the seeds out of the fruit in order to roast them. There are 3 main types of processes used which are washed, honey and natural. The difference between the three looks at how much of the fruit is left when the beans are dried.

Washed: Washed coffee has all of the fruit removed before the beans are dried. Higher levels of acidity, medium body, medium sweetness – good filter options.⁣⁣

Honey: Honey coffee has the skin of the cherry removed, keeping its stickiness. Exaggerated sweetness & beautiful balance, medium acidity, medium body suited to both filter & espresso.

Natural: Natural coffee dries as the whole cherry. Often fuller-bodied with high sweetness & lower acidity, for this reason, they can be beautiful as espresso.

bristol twenty tea

Our new single estate Brazilian Mió Lot 1990 Coffee. Mió is a coffee farm in Monte Santo de Minas, Brazil. The farm spans a total of 1,589 hectares. A third of the land is used for the coffee processing and milling facilities, some pasture areas and the plantation of eucalyptus trees, which is home to some lovely bees. The rest of the land is equally divided between the coffee trees and the native forest reserve.

Their state-of-the-art processing facilities include: a wet-mill, concrete patios, raised beds, ambient-air drying rotating machines, wood silos, cross-beater hullers and a density separator.

PROCESS  – Red Honey
GRADE  – 86
VARIETY  – Bourbon and Mundo Novo

Honey Process – This involves the mechanical de-pulping of the cherries at the wet-mill while ensuring the mucilage stays attached to the beans. This sticky part of the cherry contains high amounts of sugar, resulting in a pronounced body and developed, chocolaty sweetness in Mió’s coffee.

Rory’s tasting notes: Silky, milk chocolate, cherry, vanilla, red berries

People

The care and quality of the dedication that goes into the supply chain is phenomenal. Regardless of all of the environmental factors that you can’t control, a coffee plantation relies on attentive care and hard work from the farmers growing and picking, keeping each decision with quality in mind. The farmers have to consider when to replant, what variety to plant, when to pick each individual cherry, how to sort out the ripe cherries from the less ripe cherries and how to dry and process them. All of these things have a vital impact on the overall flavour profile of your daily coffee.

We work with some of the best farmers in the world to ensure that we are supporting them and giving back. We have chosen these farms not only for their great coffees but also for their responsibility to the community around them and the environment. Things that we should all be doing now more than ever.

Read more here about the relationships we have with our sustainable coffee farms.

bristol twenty tea
bristol twenty tea