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Sweetness in coffee? How sweet

Sweetness in coffee? How sweet

Sweetness in coffee? How sweet

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Coffee taste profiles are a key discussion when trialing new beans. Over the years this delightful beverage has been known to have a (preferred) bitter taste but is this becoming a thing of the past? Bitterness can be due to many factors and this taste characteristic is not always desired. These days coffee professionals and consumers alike prefer their morning coffee with a hint of sweetness, but this does not necessarily mean added sugar or honey. We’re spilling the beans on just how sweet coffee can be – naturally.

So why and how is coffee naturally sweet? Firstly, it’s important to understand what we consider when we talk about natural sweetness. Of course, this doesn’t reflect the same taste as those delightful sugar crystals we see on biscuits or the icing on a cake, this is more subtle. When it comes to coffee, sweetness is a mild, smooth taste sensation with no harsh flavors. This sweet quality is often perceived as a palatable and/or fruity taste that is sensed primarily at the tip of the tongue.

Generally, lighter roasts will have more of a fruity sweetness. Roasting a coffee to darker levels continues the caramelizing process, transforming the flavour to more of a chocolatey sweetness. Even before the roasting process, natural sugars are present. Coffeechemistry.com reports the presence of 7 kinds of sugars produced in green beans. However, not all of these sugars are soluble and therefore do not all end up in your cup.

Sweetness is not just for those who have cravings either but an important part of balance. Did you know that back in pre-historic times, animals and humans tended to favour sweet things? This is linked to evolution in that bitter tasting foods would often indicate poison and eating sweeter things became an eating habit paramount for survival.

Remember trying lemon or lime for the first time? It’s something that takes time to get used to, right? Lots of different coffees have a bitter flavour, but like evolution, we have learnt to adapt our pallet and love these tastes. Nowadays, coffee is increasingly crafted to cater to a variety, including those with a sweeter tooth. No natural sweetness will ever be as obvious as the taste of added sugar, but you can be pleasantly surprised by the natural sweetness of some coffees. Sipping different blends and origin coffees will determine those with a sweeter taste amongst other attributes.

For more on coffee, check out our monthly blogs at coffeeplanet.com and share with your coffee-loving friends. Or visit us on social media @mycoffeeplanet.