We all love coffee right?! Of course! But how much do you know about coffee? Many coffee lovers have an idea about how coffees come from different parts of the world and are blended to create the ultimate flavour. But did you know what flavours different regions of the world produce? Read on to find out how to decipher the taste of beans from around the world.
Brazil is unique because they are such a large producer and have a widely varied output. Brazilian coffee is processed in three ways: dry (natural), wet (washed), and semi-washed (pulp natural). During dry processing, coffee is dried while still in the cherry, whereas with the wet process, the coffee is stripped of its outer layers before the drying process. Pulped natural is done by pulping a coffee but emitting the fermentation stage in order to remove the skin. Chocolate and spice flavours are common, and these coffees linger in your mouth in comparison to other South American coffees. Some Brazilian beans have a pronounced nutty quality and a heavy body which makes them a frequent component in espresso blends.
Ethiopian coffees are processed either natural or washed: two different processes that create very different flavour profiles. Washed coffees have a floral, tea-like delicacy to them, while natural coffees tend to be dense, fruity, and wine-like. Washed coffees can often express lemongrass or jasmine characteristics, and they are much lighter and drier on the palate. A naturally processed Ethiopian coffee has more of a syrupy body, along with a strong sweet berry flavour. Ethiopia is in a category of its own because of its high biodiversity and the many varieties of coffee grown there.
Most Kenyan coffee is processed by wet method to guarantee the best quality. The sugary coating that remains on the beans is extracted through a fermentation process and then they are dried. Processing, quality, and the fact that most of the coffee is grown without shade, allows Kenyan coffee to have savory and sweet features that are prominent in the form of a black currant tartness or tomato like acidity.
When we think of Central America, many of us might think of Guatemala and Costa Rica. This region as a whole is one of the largest contributors to the global coffee supply. Central America often produces bright and clean coffees, whereas the qualities produced in Guatemala, Mexico and Nicaragua are somewhat less sweet than those from South America. Other flavours commonly found in these coffees range from fruit to nuts; these fruity essences often work well with cocoa and spice flavours.
Colombian coffee is often thought of when talking about South American coffees, which makes perfect sense when thinking about how they rank among the top three coffee producing countries in the world. Their coffee also has the most recognisable flavour for most North Americans, which is why the character reminds some people of a traditional coffee. They tend to stick with wet (washed) processing: this produces a mellow acidity and clean cup. Natural flavours found in South African coffee include nuts, chocolate and caramel tones.
Coffees from Indonesia have dark and deep flavours, with almost an earthiness to them. These coffees often have heavy, musty notes with a long-lasting finish that feels like unsweetened or dark cocoa. One coffee from this region that is familiar to many would be Sumatran coffee, which takes a well to dark roasting. Sumatra produces Mandheling and Ankola, which are two of the world’s most famous and high-quality coffees. There are usually smoky or toasted flavours with a lot of complexity present in a cup of Sumatran coffee.