Coffee 101 - Why are some coffees more acidic than others? By PerfectDailyGrind

2020, Aug 29

While expanding my knowledge on the different tastes of coffee I stumbled upon this great blog by PerfectDailyGrind called "Why are some coffees more acidic than others". As it turns out, a large part of the flavor is based on the original product: the berry and especially how high it was grown. After the berry itself, the darkness of the roast has a big effect on how well the original flavors of the berry can be distinguished:

"You cannot create a flavor, in roasting or brewing, that a coffee doesn’t have. However, you can roast it in a way that will highlight or obscure the acidity"

The second interesting find in this article is the way different flavors get into your cup of coffee whilst brewing. This has to do with the time of extraction, in other words, the time the water interacts with the coffee:

"Fruity and acidic notes are extracted first, followed by sweetness and balance, and then finally bitterness. This means that under-extracting will lead to a sour taste, as it doesn’t have the sweetness and slight hint of bitterness necessary to balance the acidity. But over-extracting will taste bitter, as the sweetness and acidity will be overwhelmed. You want the perfect balance."

I find this really interesting, especially when compared to mixing cocktails. When mixing cocktails the balance between sweet, sour and bitter is extremely important. In cocktail mixing however the balance between the tastes does not have anything to do with timing, only with ratios between ingredients, which is a lot easier to manage than achieving the perfect time of extraction whilst brewing coffee.

I got the idea of adding another category to the blog: linking to other great coffee content I've discovered! Starting off with the NorthStarRoast coffee blog on coffee blends. As mentioned in a previous blog I really enjoyed reading about the coffee blends, what a coffee blend is, why you would rather have a blend or a single origin coffee and how roasters use blending to create more complex flavors to coffee. I find it quite interesting that the coffee world uses similar techniques as the whisky world in which single malt whiskies differ greatly from blended whiskies.