Coffee UX

identifying your coffee template

discover what pleases you and insist on it whenever you drink coffee


Coffee UX is HelioRoast's campaign to increase your coffee enjoyment — wherever you drink it — by providing standard terms to help to understand and interpret your coffee experiences. Several key ones are included below.

Think about the menus at your favorite restaurants. Under "Entrée," do they have "Meat" and "Fish?" Under "Wine," do they have one entry for "Red" and another for "White?" Hardly! (In fact, many excellent menus include more wines than entrées.)

Now let your mind wander down the page to the "Beverages" or "Desserts" section, and what do you see? A single entry called "Coffee." Seriously? Coffee has twice the flavor-bearing characteristics of wine, and unlike wines can be enjoyed at various temperatures. But despite this greater complexity, the menu still mournfully says: "Coffee."

HelioRoast wants to help you to change this. Identify your "coffee template," and then insist on those tastes and flavors wherever you drink it — home, school, work, restaurants. You can buy coffees for your home
here, of course, so if we can help with your other favorite locations, just let us know. We'll provide samples on request, and taste-testings and staff trainings if at all possible.



BASIC CHARACTERISTICS OF COFFEE FLAVORS

CHARACTERISTIC

Acidity





(Note: acidity is not the same thing as pH)

SPECTRUM

low to high

low (smooth)

high (lively)
EXPERIENCE



soothing

fruity; aggressive


Body

(aka mouthfeel)







light
to heavy

light; feels like normal water


heavy; thick, syrupy like espresso




often associated with breakfast coffees


richly sedimented, like coffee that is french-pressed


Aroma

(aka fragrance, bouquet)













floral / wine-like
to chocolatey

floral / winy





chocolatey (nuf said!)




floral smells like spring; most of the bean's characteristics are still present after roasting; especially associated with north-east African cultivars *


chocolate is present to some degree in most dark-roasted coffees; especially associated with Indonesian cultivars *


Finish
(aka after-taste)











short to long

short



long




short: most flavors quickly disappear from the mouth and throat


long: flavors endure in the mouth and throat; some actually develop further characteristics
* Cultivar is to coffee what varietal is to wine.


ADDITIONAL FLAVOR DESCRIPTORS

DESCRIPTOR
SPECTRUM
EXPERIENCE

Bitter














mild
to harsh

mild




harsh








what you remember as pleasant in the finish of a dark-roasted coffee or espresso



what you remember as unpleasant in the finish of coffee burned in the carafe or left too long in a french press

Buttery




low to high




associated with the amount of residual oil in the cup; feels "slippery" on your tongue



Earthy






low to high






the pleasant mouthfeel that reminds you of working in your favorite garden in the morning; often associated with Indonesian coffees


Floral





low to high





usually descriptive of just-ground dry coffee; a pleasant melange of just-cut flowers from your favorite garden

Harsh



high




too acidic; astringent




Smooth



high




opposite of harsh




Sour




high




often associated with coffees roasted too lightly




Winy
high
the initial taste, but more usually the long finish, reminds you of your favorite red wine; often associated with Kenyan coffees