咖啡師口中談論的「口感」是什麼？ What Do Coffee Professionals Refer to When They Mention "Mouthfeel"?
Mouthfeel, body, and texture seem to be describing similar aspects, but they have subtle differences. When discussing mouthfeel, the term "body" is often used to encompass the sensations experienced when the coffee is in the mouth and on the tongue. This sensation can have different textures, such as smooth or creamy. These perceptions vary depending on the type of coffee beans, roast, and brewing method used. In the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) cupping form, "body" is one of the essential criteria used for professionally evaluating a cup of coffee.
Over 98% of a cup of coffee is water, with less than 2% being soluble coffee components, including oils, sugars, fibers, and flavor compounds. This less than 2% of soluble compounds contributes to the different mouthfeel experiences. Generally, coffee with higher sweetness tends to have a better mouthfeel, and coffee grown at higher altitudes tends to have higher sweetness and richer flavors. The most prominent factor affecting mouthfeel is the presence of oils in the coffee. For example, French press brewing retains more oils in the coffee liquid, resulting in a silkier and creamier mouthfeel, while pour-over coffee exhibits a lighter and cleaner mouthfeel. Roast level also impacts mouthfeel since dark roasted coffee produces more oils and has higher extraction rates, making it easier to extract soluble coffee compounds.
Let's explore three types of mouthfeel:
This is typically associated with delicate coffees, which have little weight or presence in the mouth and on the tongue, akin to the sensation of mineral water or light tea. Common mouthfeel descriptors include delicate, juicy, astringent, and tingly. Light mouthfeel coffees often exhibit higher acidity and floral or fruity aromas, and they are usually lightly roasted.
This type is neither too light nor too heavy, representing the mainstream direction of specialty coffee consumption. These coffees have a similar weight sensation to drinking fruit juice. Common descriptors include silky, clean, and smooth. Medium mouthfeel coffees also have good acidity and are accompanied by rich fruit and nutty aromas. They are typically medium-lightly roasted.
This refers to full-bodied coffees that feel substantial on the tongue, easily filling the mouth with a robust coffee experience, similar to drinking hot chocolate. Common descriptors include creamy and thick. Heavy mouthfeel coffees are often low in acidity and have caramel and roasted aromas, typically being dark roasted.
As mentioned earlier, mouthfeel can vary depending on the brewing method. If you try brewing the same coffee using two different methods, such as pour-over and French press, you will likely notice distinct differences in mouthfeel.
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