Coffee drinkers regularly speak of a coffee having fruity, nutty or sweet notes, or any number of other flavors. These aren’t chemically infused flavors. They’re characteristics that are inherent in the beans. They come from the environment the coffee grew in and how it was processed. While an individual microclimate or farmer’s unique technique might make a single-origin coffee different from others in the same area, we can speak broadly of common characteristics found in the world’s four main coffee-growing regions: South America, Central America, Africa and Asia.
South American Coffees are Classics
Coffees from countries like Brazil and Colombia tend to have characteristics that remind people of a classic coffee. The area’s infrastructure is set up for washed and semi-washed processing, which produces a mellow acidity and clean cup. Some common flavors from South America include chocolate, nuts and caramel tones.
When roasting these coffees, we often use our Classic Roast Profile. This medium roast balances is versatile and lets the well-rounded characteristics of these coffees shine.
Central American Coffees are Bright
Central America produces coffees that are often bright and clean. The rich soils of Mexico, Guatemala and Nicaragua produce flavors that are slightly less sweet than those from South America. For instance, a coffee from South America might remind you of a milk chocolate bar with its slight sweetness, but a coffee from Central America may be described as having cocoa notes, which are more reminiscent of an 80-percent cocoa bar that’s less sweet. Other flavors found in this region range from nuts to fruits.
We approach many Central American coffees with our Balanced Roast Profile, which is a little lighter than the Classic Profile. This lets us highlight the coffee’s brightness and flavorful notes.
African Coffees are Exotic
African coffees are often as exotic as the lands they come from. Many coffees in Africa are dry processed, which infuses the beans with flavors from the cherry and mucilage. These coffees often feature a big body that’s enhanced with a strong sweetness. Flavors from Ethiopia’s, Rwanda’s, Kenya’s and Burundi’s coffees are often fruity or floral. Their acidity may fall anywhere between that of a nice merlot or a tannic British breakfast tea.
Our roast profile for most African coffees is aptly named Fruity. This light roast accentuates the exotic flavors and natural sweetness found in many African coffees.
Asian Coffees are Heavyweights
Asian coffees, such as those from Sumatra, are the heavyweights of coffee. They often have heavy, musty notes that capture the climate they come from. When you first sip a well-curated Asian coffee, you can almost taste the ocean spray misting the volcanic soil it was grown in.
The Coffees of the World
Each region of the world, South America, Central America, Africa and Asia, produces coffee with unique qualities. When selecting a roast profile for a lot, we consider where it’s from and which profile will best enhance the coffee. This way, we’re not only making sure you get the best coffee, but that you’re able to appreciate the precise characteristics that make it so good.
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