Scott: Welcome to Adventures in Coffee, a podcast by Caffeine Magazine, sponsored by Oatly
Jools: Now in this second series of Adventures in Coffee, Scott and I explore the world of coffee for people who are curious about what goes into their daily cup.
Scott: Yes, we are all trying to understand the provenance of our food and drink.
Jools: Oh I’m sorry, Provenance? Hmm okay. Fancy.
Scott: Anyway, as I was saying, we made this podcast to stick the spoon into the tasty world of coffee.
Jools: I am Jools Walker, that woman that you're going to see riding around on a bike in east London, going to her favorite coffee shops and enjoying being an everyday coffee lover
Scott: I am Scott Bentley. I'm the founder of Caffeine Magazine. And according to my dad, apparently I'm a bit of a coffee nerd. And in today's episode, we're going to be exploring the wonderful world of coffee flavors. I am going to help you dear listener, pinpoint those flavors; I am going to help you on your journey to become a flavornaut.
Jools: Scott, have you been spending too much time watching the kids' TV programs, again?
Scott: I do have two kids so
Jools: Now Scott, tell me why are you so interested and so invested in regards to like flavors and coffee. What what's that about?
Scott: Yeah, absolutely. This is definitely a soap box, which I've been like standing on for many a year now, uh, shouting into the distance with a megaphone and literally everyone's got earplugs in, but the point here is that, um, if I gave someone a cup of coffee and said, what do you taste?
I would generally get the answer, coffee. but if I gave you a glass of wine and said, what does that taste like? I doubt that many people will come back to me and go, it tastes like wine. They would understand. I think their level of appreciation and knowledge of wine tasting has been. Part of the, you know, the consciousness of people for a number of years now.
So they would understand that what I'm saying is we know you're tasting wine, but what does the wine tastes like? And I think that is a, an appreciation we don't have for coffee. So that's why I want to take on this journey and essentially start giving you the tools. So our dear listener can appreciate the galaxy of flavors that are out there.
Jools: All right, then Scott, tell us what we're in for today.
Scott: Okay. So this episode, I'm going to be speaking to my dear father. I never called him. My father. I'm talking to my dad, um, and try to prove to him that coffee doesn't just taste like coffee. And then I'm going to speak to some like real experts in flavor and tasting and trying to get like a simple framework that we can all work to and how we can all be better tasters.
And lastly, I'm going to unpack the question where do coffee flavors come from? And I know you're going to say, ah, the beans. But what I really mean is how does the flavor get into those beans?
Jools: Okay, Scott, so you mentioned how most people don't really get coffee flavors and don't necessarily have the vocabulary, I suppose, to, to discuss what it is the tasting. Scott, I've actually got a great example to share with you all. There's something that happened in my house yesterday. So I had a film crew kind of take over my, my living room cause I was doing some, some bike related work at home, which involved me being hot and sweaty on a turbo trainer, which I'm sure the dealers can appreciate and maybe smell through the mic, I don’t know.
No, but, um, you know, we had a crew over and, Ian, bless him. He had the day off, so he was able to, to help out and he was making rounds of coffee, for, for everyone. And I'm like, okay, cool, cool. I'm there breaking out the ultimate sweat, doing the workout on the turbo trainer and in the distance I'm hearing in and the cameraman nerding out to the extreme Scott, you would have loved it about coffee.
And, you know, they were talking about the smells, the flavors, the notes, the profiles, they were talking about the differences between natural coffees and washed coffees. And I was just like, yeah. Okay, cool, cool. I can't get involved. Cause I'm actually busy, sweating like a beast. And also I'm the person that co-hosts a podcast about coffee. And I can't get involved in this conversation.
I was feeling like even if I wasn't completely out of breath, there would only be a certain point as to where I could feel like I could get involved. And the thing is Scott is that I don't want to feel like a fool when I open my mouth and say something.
Scott: Well, Jools, I got some great news for you, and that is when we finish this episode, hopefully you'll be able to have that conversation with your boyfriend and the coffee nerd camera man.
Uh, and I'm hoping we're going to give you enough tools and also confidence to realize that you can have those conversations. And if I haven't done that by the end of this episode, I think I might have failed you and I really don't want to fail you.
Jools: Let's let's see how this goes. If, if you have failed me, I'm going to make you do a really, really long session on the turbo trainer as punishment.
Scott: I need to get rid of this belly, so yeah that's fine.
Jools: But before that, let's have a quick word from our sponsor.
Scott: And here is a sustainability hack brought to you by Oatly.
Jools, do you remember in the last series, one of the things we learned was over 50% of the carbon footprint in our cup of coffee. And this is without milk by the way, straight black.
Scott: Just comes from the action of boiling that kettle
Scott: Oatly sent us some amazing statistics on this here in the UK, we make 165 million cups of tea per day, and 70 million cups of coffee. We're boiling kettles like up to 235 million times a day.
Jools: You know, the other thing that we learned from our friends Oatly as well, most of us usually end up boiling twice as much water as we actually need.
Scott: Right. So you, you make your cup of tea or your cup of coffee
Scott: And you've boiled another cups worth in that kettle. You're just never going to use .
Jools: Aha, and that translates as us pretty much needlessly wasting around 3,525 tons of CO2 every day
Scott: Jools those kinds of numbers, they just don't even register in my brain.
Jools: I've got you fam. So picture a plane on the runway at an airport, and it's going to be going from London, Heathrow to New York.
Jools: Can you see it?
Jools: Okay. Now picture another one
Jools: And then another one
Jools: And there's another one.
Scott: we're up to four now.
Jools: So after that, there's another one.
Jools: And then another one has just taken off going on.
Scott: How long is this going for Jools?
Jools: Aha! That is going on 6,000 times from New York and back every day. Exactly.
Scott: We must have a solution here.
Jools: Pour the water, into your cup first, just fill it up with water right into the brim.
Jools: And then pour that into your kettle
Scott: I’ll probably spill half of it on my counter.
Jools: It’s because you’re clumsy(7:12)
Scott: I know that, you know
Jools: If you’re clumsy like Scott, dear listener, make sure that you do it over the sink.
Scott: Jools thanks very much another great hack
Jools: A pleasure.
And that was a sustainability hat brought to you by Oatley.
Scott: So Jools, to set you up on this journey. I wanted to share with you an experiment. I tried to do with my dad, so called him up and I got him on the line.
Jools: Okay. Well, what, what's the experiment that you set out with your dad then? Tell me
Scott: So what I'm going to do is try and help people. Maybe like my father realize that, you know, coffee, doesn't just taste like coffee, and this is an experiment in two halves. And what I'm going to do is in this second part of this experiment, I've got a little magic trick up my sleeve.
Jools: Okay. So why did you choose your dad for this experiment then?
Scott: Yeah, so the thing is for this test, I wanted someone who just yet it really wasn't that super fussy. I mean, he's a man of relatively simple tastes and you know, none of his career had anything to do with Gastronomy or flavors or anything like that.
Scott’s dad: I did a, a bit of an apprenticeship in the RAF and then went into the motor trade. And I ended up at 23 years at a, at a Nissan as a, a motor manufacturer.
Scott: And when it comes to coffee, you know, he's just not that fussy really
Scott’s dad: Coffee is coffee. Isn't it?
Scott: I dunno is it?
Scott’s dad: Yeah, coffee is, coffee is coffee, and it's a legal high
Jools: I just, I just have to say, I love the sound of your dad. I really genuinely do. It sounds like he's had a very interesting life as well, but, but anyway, I digress cause I'll get very sort of like dad emotional here. But tell me about the experiment. What actually went down with you and your dad with this coffee experiment, Scott?
Scott: Ok, so we've got a coffee from our dear friends of Pact (9:06) and it was a Brazilian coffee. And I got my dad to brew this up.
Scott’s dad: There we go.
Scott: Um, but just to be clear, I actually sent him the bag, but I'd scrubbed all the tasting notes off of it.
Jools: Oh, okay.
Scott: So he brewed up the coffee to my exacting specifications. May I add
Jools: Of course.
Scott’s dad: Oh, there we are. That's that's that's two minutes gone. So it was probably three minutes since I've put it in to start with.
Scott: And I then asked him what he tasted
Scott’s dad: Have a sip, um, Coffee? It smells like coffee tastes like coffee,
Jools: Scott. Okay. Although I am loving. This cannot have been your whole experiment, Scott, like you, you gave your lovely dad a cup of coffee and he correctly guessed that he was drinking a cup of coffee. This isn't it. This is not it, right?
Scott: I did actually send him the bag so he could see it was coffee. It wasn't like because even a blind taster or anything like that.
Scott: Now the next bit are we are to listen to how my dad is describing these coffee flavors? Because we're going to come back to this.
Scott’s dad: tastes reasonably strong, I suppose. It's, um, It's not, it's not bitter, but it's a, it's a strong cup of coffee. Um, it's an okay taste.
Scott: It's strong. It's not bitter, but it's an okay taste.
Scott: So then bought out my little trick. I asked him to brew up now a second different cup of coffee.
Jools: Okay, then Scott, this is your trick. You've put two coffee. Side-by-side for your dad.
Jools: Okay. Paul Daniels.
Scott’s dad: Okay.
Scott: So I’d like you to have a sip of this and see if you can give me anything on that.
Scott’s dad: It doesn't taste as strong. So it's, it tastes probably a bit lighter in the, in the, in the mouth.
Scott’s dad: Not so much flavor, but a different sort of flavor. So it's, as I say, it's much lighter. Um, it's quite smooth.
Scott’s dad: Coffee is coffee, but this is a completely different. To the, to the first.
Jools: Okay. So there's, there's a twist coming here cause your, your dad is still very much of the coffee is coffee, but now all of a sudden he's tasting this and he's talking about it being lighter in the mouth
Jools: And then he's talking about the different sort of flavors and that it's quite smooth. So something's happening here, isn't it? There is now this, this split is, developing.
Scott: And I think this is it. I think this is literally where we're rewiring his brain.
Scott’s dad: And certainly, you know, you've enlightened me that well coffees and all, you know, all coffees, aren't the same. They are, um, you know, coffees are different and, uh, tasting these two side by side, then that really sort of shows that, um, uh, that there are differences.
Jools: I like this little insight into the coffee journey that you've taken your father on.
Scott: Yeah, I, I don’t think we've moved, you know, a huge distance, but I think just by doing this one tiny experiment, it gets people to open up the idea that coffee can taste of different things. And the interesting thing here is that my dad knew there was a difference, but did you notice maybe how difficult it was for him to either find the right vocabulary?
Scott’s dad: Doesn't taste as strong. So. It, it tastes
Scott: Or essentially express what those differences were.
Scott’s dad: Not so much flavor, but a different sort of flavor.
Scott: So before he was having difficulty expressing what he was tasting, so I worked with him, you know, has some quite pointed specific questions. And then I think he was getting pretty close.
We've moved from these “strong, not bitter, okay taste” to something far more specific.
Scott’s dad: It's quite sort of fruity. Does that make sense? Perhaps berries, some sort of berries.
Jools: Okay. There's, there is a real development and a real journey going on here with your father.
Scott: Yeah. And I think this is the same for everyone.
You can pick out these nuances. You just need a little bit of confidence about what you're tasting
Scott: And what they need is just this simple framework to think about how to appreciate different coffees. So that's why I got on the line to this person
Freda: My name is Freda Yuan, and I'm the head of coffee of Origin Coffee Roasters.
I am the three times UK Cup Tasting Champion. I'm also a Q grader and I also did third at the World Cup Tasting Champion in 2017.
Scott: Jools I bought, I bought the big guns out because I was so intimidated by you bringing out the big guns. I thought I'll bring some big guns this time.
Jools: This is all very impressive indeed, with Freda, but what's a Q grader and a Cup Taster?
Scott: A cup taster, is not someone that licks cups. That’s called a dishwasher, but basically when you're, when you're doing cup tasting, especially in cup tasting competitions, you have this triangulation of three coffees. Two of them are the same and one is different. And the idea is you have to taste these coffees and work out what the different one is. Now that might be quite easy if they're very different coffees, but they generally aren't, they're generally very, very similar coffees. Is quite a thing to, uh, to be able to do.
Uh, yeah. And I suppose the Q grader thing, in some ways you can think of them as like a coffee sommelier.
Scott: So when I spoke to Freda, what I was basically after was a framework that I could give people, maybe like my dad, uh, of how they can approach tasting coffee
Scott: Freda, I'm just thinking back to my dad the next time he brews up a cup of coffee. Have you got like a, I dunno, maybe like a three point framework, something like that, where the first thing he does is he drinks some coffee. He thinks, Hmm. What can I taste?
Freda: Uh, yeah. So what you could do is ask him to identify this three categories.
The first would be floral, and then that will be fruity, and then that will be, I would say nutty or chocolatey
Jools: All right. This, this is a framework I can get on, on board with. So these three points that it's, you know, floral, fruity, and chocolatey, trying to identify that.
Scott: Yeah. So all coffees have this spectrum of flavors, some are much more in a background, some much more in the foreground, obviously. So the next time you drink a cup of coffee, maybe think about what am I tasting? Is it florals? Is it nutty? Or is it fruity? And also to what extent can you taste each of these?
Scott: Um, but it doesn't just stop there.
Jools: Okay. I'm very intrigued now.
Scott: I've sent you a link to the SCA coffee flavor wheel, and we'll also link it in our show notes.
Jools: I'm, I’m having a look at the flavor wheel that you sent to me, Scott, and it's incredible. Other than the fact it's very pretty to look at is the first thing that got me. It's a swatch of flavors and the colors that go with it.
The fact that I'm looking at things skipping from one minute, it could taste of, of clove. And then the next moment you've got like rubber or skunky on there as well. I've, I'm following it through like a very interesting rainbow.
Scott: I'm going to explain to our dear listener who may not be seeing this at the moment. Exactly how this flavor wheel works.
It's essentially three concentric circles; and the way you use this chart is that you start in the center. And the center has a number of generic flavor types. So it's got everything from nutty, sweet, floral, and a few more things on there as well, but we won't get into them right now, but you find the generic flavor thing that you can identify, and that might just be fruit.
So you're kind of, you're drinking some coffee and you kind of think, Hmm. It's a bit fruity. So you, in that section now you're in the fruity section, you think to yourself, what kind of fruit am I getting? Maybe what color fruit am I getting? Is it a dark fruit or is it a bright fruit? So let's say it's a yellowy fruit.Let's say it's a citrus.
Scott: You then go into the citrus section, which is next. That's the second concentric ring.
Scott: And then firing out from that citrus fruit ring are more citrus fruits and there's grapefruit, orange, lemon, lime. So you then think to yourself, what am I tasting? Am I tasting grapefruit here?
Or am I tasting lemon here? Or am I tasting orange or lime? And so you've gone from drinking some coffee thinking it's quite fruity. What kind of fruits? a yellow fruit? What kind of yellow fruit is kind of like a grapefruit. And there you are. You've made that line that you, then you check against the bag and you realize you're completely wrong
Scott: You know this whole thing about crazy flavor notes on coffee bags. I brought this up with Freda.
So my dad goes into a coffee shop. He sees the word strawberry on a bag of like Ethiopian coffee, and then he phones me up and he goes, Scott, this got strawberry or not tasting strawberry. Could you maybe unpack maybe why he's not tasting strawberry?
Freda: So when we put up tasting notes, we try our best to put things into words, and sometimes coffee itself is really complex that has so many different nuance that it is sometimes really hard to grasp. So what we could do is try to find a bigger direction of the flavor notes, having strawberry on the flavor notes doesn't really mean your dad will taste or strawberry. Sometimes it can be just that aroma when we first bite on the strawberry. And then it's probably can be, we talk about the acidity of the strawberry, but it is an indicator for people who are interesting in trying to explore, try to understand how coffee tastes like, and then we try to match it up for them.
Jools: See Scott, I get the strawberries specifically because I still like eating strawberry Jawbreakers, but I know that those strawberry flavoring I'm going to have in that sweet is going to taste completely different to the strawberry hit that I'll get from a jar of jam, which is then going to be really different to picking my own strawberries in the field and eating them fresh.
Scott: Now, Jools. There is a temptation for people to use this flavor will whenever they're trying to pinpoint coffee flavors, but there is actually a big problem with this flavor wheel. A problem that Freda has helped me realize.
So, you know, for instance, you'll see, one of the flavors here is blueberries.
Freda: For example, I'm from Taiwan. I came to UK eight years ago and before I came to UK, I personally never tried blueberries before. So for, for me, blueberries doesn't mean anything to me when I was in Taiwan until I come to UK.
Jools: You see, the thing is Scott with what Freda said there, I can get on board with that.
I grew up in the UK and, you know, I grew up with, with west Indian parents, but I was also eating fruits, like lychees, or I was having pomsite or I was having chenet. And you know, I'm saying these things to you, you might have no idea what, what I'm talking about, but it's just the fact that these flavors do exist and say, for instance, I have a cup of coffee and I feel like I can taste notes of chocolate in it because it's not on, on that flavor wheel that we're having a look at that doesn't mean that I'm wrong because it hasn't been stated as one of the definitive flavors that I will pull from from said coffee from said reasons, so you know, things are culturally specific. Nobody has a right or wrong palate. It's just the fact that there is so much more out there and things like the flavor wheel don't necessarily cover it.
Jools: All right, Scott, I've got to go back to this flavor wheel, that I'm looking at as, as beautiful as it is the amount of flavors that I am looking at on here and the different levels that they go to feels absolutely crazy. So, you know, we've got berries and blueberries, and then if you spin over to the wheel, you've got chemicals and petroleum.
Jools: Like one minute I'm tasting berries and the next minute I'm guzzling petrol. This is very bizarre.
Scott: It’s a party in your mouth, Jools
Jools: It’s a party I'm not sure that I want to have, I'm not sure how I feel like going to a local petrol station and just guzzling down some good old fuel
Scott: It depends on the vintage of the Diesel. I find the 95 was really quite good.
Jools: That's a fine year. It's a very, very fine year. But in all seriousness though, Scott. Where do all of these flavors come from?
Scott: I'm glad you asked, because this is exactly what I asked friend of the show. Deanna
Deanna: So my name is Deanna, and I've been in the industry for about 17 years. I'm a licensed Q grader, the current UK Roasting Champion, and I'm completing a post-grad in Coffee Excellence at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences alongside my day-to-day job as the head of quality for DR Wakefield which is a green importer in London
Scott: Speaking to Deanna, she broke down this basically three things which really affect coffee's flavor. And she's going to take us on a bit of a world tour.
Scott: So we're going to talk about where the coffee is grown geographically. How that coffee is processed and then how that coffee is actually roasted.
And if you change any of these variables, you will completely change the taste of that coffee. And it can be as much as night and day. I'm not saying it's going to be no petrol to sort of like blueberries. But you can shift these parameters pretty radically. And I'm hoping that this is really going to help our listeners understand what's printed on their coffee bags.
The first thing that we're going to start with is to discuss terroir, which is essentially a fancy word for where the coffee is grown, and Deanna is going to explain how this is one of the first ways in which you know flavor gets into the coffee.
Deanna: So let's take five origins, just really broad brushstrokes. Okay. We've got Brazil. A lot of people have had Brazilian coffee. It's a big origin and it's really known for like chocolate, nuts. If you contrast that to somewhere like Kenya, you'll notice that when you pick up a Kenyan coffee, you're probably going to have kind of like an effervescent acidity. You know, the feeling that orange juice gives you, in your mouth in contrast to like milk, right? It's got that kind of sparkling sensation. And then you go over to Colombia and Colombia is really known for this kind of apple characteristic can be red apple can be green apple, but it has this kind of apple and caramel thing going on. And then of course, we've got one of the favorites, which is Ethiopia, super complex origin, but you get these floral notes. sometimes you get some forest fruit, sometimes you get like stone fruit. And then just to just chuck one in there, if you go all the way over to Sumatra, you're going to have some times this kind of guava note, you're also going to sometimes have some spiciness. So you've got five origins there that already have some attributes they tend towards.
Scott: I mean, you, you know, that if you're buying wines from a certain region, they're probably going to have certain characteristics to them. And I think that's the, kind of the same with coffee.
Jools: Yeah, so if I'm going to apply wine logic, to coffee logic, and regions, I would end up leaning towards a Brazilian coffee. If I wanted my coffee to taste more like chocolate or more nutty. And then if I did want something a bit more applely, then I'd go to Colombia.
Scott: Yeah, but I mean, and this is something that Deanna spoke to and it is we need to be careful because there are huge variations within each country.
Deanna: So if you look at let's just take one state in Brazil, there's a state called Minas Gerais. And if you look at that state and you take two regions, you take the Cerrado region, which is flatter and hotter, and then you take the Mantiqueira de Minas, Region, which is on slopes and it has altitude you'll notice differences, even between those two Brazilian coffees, where one is going to have more of your chocolate and nuts, which is the Cerrado region, the other, the Mantiqueira region, is going to have a bit more acidity, maybe some stone fruits, and that's coming from that slope, that altitude
Scott: but the next thing that really, really impacts flavor is processing. And I know this is going to sound like really boring, but it's actually one of the most exciting, and it's where a lot of innovation comes in, in coffee. And what I've noticed is that certain countries, which, you know, for me personally, would, I would suggest are quite pedestrian coffees, this is where they can really come alive. When we really start putting in some like these wacky, you know, processing things.
Jools: Whereabouts in the whole chain of your coffee being produced as this, this happened,
Scott: The processing essentially happens on the farm.
Deanna: So what we really want once we've picked those cherries is the seed inside of that cherry, right?
Because the seed is essentially what you know of as the coffee beans. Right? So what we want is to get the seed out so that eventually we can roast it so that you can drink a cup of coffee of it. So what we need to do then is put it through something called processing. Now there's a lot of different types of processing out there.
Actually, it's a minefield. It's pretty amazing, but let's just start with the two. Probably the most common ones that you'll see on a bag before getting into the stuff that's like super geeky, right? So we've got washed and we've got natural.
Jools: So, you know, I'm, I'm thinking like, you know, a sort of washed coffee is, is pure and clean and maybe, you know, smells all, all lovely and coffee, like, and natural is almost like.
You know, like when you've been out jogging and it's that natural smell that oozes from you that kind of like raw naturalness that comes from the body is, is, is that where we're going with washed and natural, Scott?
Scott: I don't think you're probably as far away as you think you are. Let's go first to Deanna discussing what natural is.
Deanna: So you've got these cherries, you've picked some super ripe cherries. They're going to be really sweet. You're going to take those cherries, you're going to select the best of them, right? And you're going to take them out and you're going to put them out to dry; the fruit itself is going to dry around that seed.
Ideally, you're going to put it in like a raised bed. So if you imagine a big rack, almost kind of like a big rack with a little bit of a netting under it that just holds those cherries. So the air can come in and out, we get a nice even drying. I mean, if you imagine you wanted to do some dried apricots at home or something like that, you'd want to basically get as much air flow through that as possible at the same time as the right temperatures, right? And with that, you're literally drying that, until that cherry is nice and dry, and you're going to just remove that cherry all the outside, you're going to end up with the seed and this little casing around it called parchment, and then when you're ready to go, you're going to export that, and that's going to be your seeds without that little shell, right?
That's natural, natural as literally take the coffee, select the best stuff, dry it whole, with the cherry around it, then remove that cherry and you've got your little seed inside.
Scott: So Jools, I like to think of naturally processed coffees, sometimes a little bit like aging. You're essentially letting these coffee, cherries, steep in their own juices.
Scott: So the flavors of natural processing can be really intense. I mean, it can be really super funky and interesting.
Deanna: What you're going to end up with is a coffee that's actually quite often quite sweet, right? Quite fruity. Sometimes you get a little bit of this, like boozy note a little bit, like you can get a little bit of that rum, kirsch. You'll get like more bold, fruity flavors, fruit bombs. They're fruit bombs often. Like if you get a natural Ethiopia, wow!
Jools: Yeah, this, this all sounds quite delicious.
Scott: Okay. So we're now going to talk about the other really common type of processing, which is washed. So if you think of natural coffee as some like aged, you know, really old cheese, which has been kind of like going mouldy for a few years…what we’re talking about here, the washed element, is something super young, super fresh, like really, really clean tasting.
Deanna: So washed it's named washed because you're essentially washing the coffee. So what you've got is you've got that cherry, you've got your nice red cherries and what you want to do on the washed process is you're going to try to remove all that cherry. Around that, you're still gonna have this little layer and it's kind of like a gooey layer and it's called mucilage right. So what you do is you put those mucilage covered seeds. In like a tank so that the layers kind of slowly but surely fall off over time, because basically, it's fermentation basically, that's what happens; and then you're going to rinse it with water. You're gonna wash the coffee so that all the rest of that kind of mucilage and any cherry in anything else around it, comes off and you've got this nice seed with the parchment on the outside, right? And then you're going to dry it instead of drying in the whole cherry like you did before, you're going to actually dry it just in the parchment with a seed.
Scott: So Jools, let me just recap the natural process, you're baking that cherry on, and then the wash process, you're essentially stripping it and washing it off. Just think about the cherry or the juice from that cherry gets baked into the seed and the other one, you strip it all off, you wash it all off and it's as clean as possible.
Jools: So what does the washed one tastes like then?
Deanna: What you get more of is like really lively complexity actually, but a very, what we call a clean cup, it's not going to have crazy kind of funky flavors of boozy flavors. It's going to have more like pronounced acidity, for example, it's going to have more balance.
It's a bit more mild. So if you're not a person who likes, you know, big, crazy fruity, like what's going on in my cup, this is going to taste like Kirsch Royal or something like that. You might prefer a washed coffee. If you're more like, you know what? I like a coffee to taste nice and balanced, a little bit of caramel, be a little bit of orange, you know, maybe some peach there, you know, nice, delicate, mild flavors, you're probably going to more likely like the washed.
Scott: Jools, we got one thing left. One thing that's really going to affect coffee's flavor.
Jools: Okay. You need to tell me what this is, cause I'm salivating. Going through all of these flavor notes that we've been discussing. And I'd quite like to go to my kitchen and make coffee at this point.
Scott: Okay. It's the roast, basically green coffee, that, we get from the farm, from the importer that is pre roasted coffee. They call it a green coffee is, is sort of a gray green, but essentially if you try to drink this, it's awful. If you roast it too lightly, it really tastes vegetal and almost like grass like, but the real brilliance, is in this roast, it's these chemical reactions, the Malliard reaction, which essentially is the caramelizing effect is the same thing as we know why toasts tastes so bloody great. It's that sort of slight caramelization that you're effectively doing in the sugars here now, and the longer you do this, the longer you roast this, the darker the coffee gets, and the coffee flavors change again.
And then if you go too dark, you obviously just get burnt flavors, but there's a sweet spot. There’s this beautiful, sweet spot that all coffees are in. Which is effectively between that grassy stage and this sort of burnt stage, and you know, those flavors that you really, really love those chocolaty nutty flavors, a lot of this stuff is done in the roasting stage
Deanna: Chocolate and caramel flavors. Those are the most notable things that people perceive within a cup of coffee. And I would say that every coffee I taste in a lab, regardless of if it's a very fruity coffee, or a more nutty coffee. It still has some very base things which are chocolate and caramel in them. And that's coming from the roasting process.
Jools: If that's the case, how does roasting lighter versus roasting darker affects?
Scott: I am glad you asked Jools. Now I spoke to Deanna and we use the example of an Ethiopian natural coffee
Jools: From that, I would be expecting it to be quite fruity and quite floral, right?
Jools: And then if it's a natural Ethiopian, it's going to be, I guess, less, not less smooth, but it's, it's going to be a bit of a funkier taste to it.
Scott: Yeah, absolutely. Well done student Jools,
Scott and Jools: Gold Star
Now, if we roast this coffee very lightly.
Deanna: So, if you’re going to roast light, imagine just this fresh, blueberries and forced fruit sitting in that cup, right? And you can imagine that crunchiness, even when you bite them, that kind of, that feeling of freshness there, right? And at the same time, he's quite big, quite punchy, like punch, right? Like, imagine you take all of them and you, you, you turn them into a juice.
Jools: Okay. So if you're going to roast it light, you're going to get much fresher flavor. Oh, you know, more bites with them. Right? So in this example, that you and Deanna were talking about the coffee tastes like you're eating a bowl of really fresh fruit.
Scott: Yep. Exactly. Jools. And then if you roast these coffees a bit longer and a bit darker
Deanna: Get a little bit more of that chocolate, a little bit of that clove, still some fruit there, so forest fruit gateau, like a little bit more like the deep dark chocolate cake with like, you know, with some fruit there, you know, cake it's like it's a bit heavier.
And then, then, then sorbet or then juice, right? Still have some fruit, but definitely your kind of star there are more on the sides of the chocolate and the clover, okay? kind of darker fruits
Scott: Sounds. Black forest gateau
Deanna: Yes! That’s it.
Jools: All right, and now one, a really, really lovely cup of coffee. And I want a slice of black forest gateau with it Scott. I'm hungry. I'm not even joking!
Jools: This has been quite the journey to go on. I mean, initially, you know, starting off with your dad, and your dad, very much being like coffee tastes like coffee, coffee is coffee. And now just all of these different intricacies about flavor and the processing. If it's washed, if it's natural, the difference that roasting will make things like that, it's just all of these things, makes such a difference to the very humble coffee bean and all of these different flavors that can pop out of it, as per that color wheel. But we were looking at as well, it's just, there's a lot going on with it. And it's, it's, you know, some people may find it borderline, geeky? but it's actually geeky, cool, interesting. And I've enjoyed this. I've really, really enjoyed this. And I genuinely feel like I want to sit down and study the flavor wheel.
Scott: So Jools, if we rewind to the start of this episode, I remember you discussed a situation where you felt a little bit out of your depth in terms of the coffee bants, what was kind of going on at the time? Do you feel now that that might be a slightly different situation if it happened again?
Jools: Maybe the, you would see Jools unclipping from the turbo trainer and taking my sweaty self over to my beloved boyfriend and the camera man, and actually getting involved in that conversation, taking a sip of that coffee and just be able to have the confidence to say that I am tasting notes of peach or I'm tasting notes of black forest gateau or something like that. Do you know what I mean?
Scott: And you wouldn't feel stupid about it or you won't feel like you're winging it.
Scott: It's yours. It's your palate
Jools: It’s my palate. So I'll get the, the film crew to come back just so that I can get hot and sweaty again. And then, then we'll revisit the situation. I'll let you know how it goes.
Scott: Jools it’s been another great adventure
Jools: It has indeed.
Scott: I think we should really roll the credits.
Scott: This podcast was produced by James Harper, creator of the coffee podcast, Filter Stories.
Jools: And James also writes and plays the piano music that you hear in the background. Now, if you liked the show, which I'm sure you do, please subscribe on your podcast app and you can also help others out there. Find the show by leaving a review on Apple Podcast.
Scott: You can follow me on Instagram @caffeinemag, Jools @ladyvelo and James Harper @filterstoriespodcast.
Jools: Now, please get on your social media and answer us this question. What is the most interesting cup of coffee you've ever drank?
Scott: Now, if you want to really nerd out on some coffee flavors, you can pick up free Deanna’s book, Sip and Slurp, A Guide to Expert Coffee Tasting, and 5% of the book's profit will go to mental health foundation.
Jools: And you can also follow Deanna on Instagram @baristasaurus13 and there is also a link in the show notes to that too.
Scott: I wish I had that.
Jools: It's good. Isn't it? It's quite clever
Scott: Now in our next episode, we're bringing you the second in our mini series adventures in your kitchen.
And in adventures in your kitchen, we are going to help you master the world of cow juice, or oat juice, basically all the steamable juices that are out there.
Scott: And we're speaking to two world experts in this topic.
Jools: I'm very excited about this because we are going to be speaking to Morgan Eckroth, also known as Morgan Drinks Coffee, to help you steam great milk at home, even if you are on a budget
Scott: And we're also going to be speaking to the lovely Heidi Phillips Smith on how to begin your journey as a World Latte Art Champion.
Jools: But until then take care and we will speak to you again in a couple of weeks.