Origins: The Key of Coffee

Origins: The Key of Coffee

As single notes come together, a symphony of sound erupts and a narrative unfolds. Minor keys deepen and major keys lift. A wave of music floods the air. Music has the power to create a mood, to tell a tale, to create a tone and set an environment. Music isn’t just music. It’s a fusion of rhythm, notes, and instruments that can lift the spirit and tell a story. 

Coffee isn’t just coffee. Like music, coffee is composed of a string of notes. These notes tell a story with their various flavors. Each variety of coffee has a particular tone, a particular key in which it was developed. 

According to Jason Scheltus in his book, Liquid Education: Coffee from Bean to the Perfect Brew, “There are a number of factors which make each coffee taste different. The four major ones are variety, processing, growing conditions, and, of course, roasting.”

From the region of origin to the process of removing the coffee bean from the fruit of the coffee cherry, to roasting, your daily grind develops the rich, potent aroma and flavors you enjoy every morning. 

Like a music scale, coffee also has a guide for notes the experts use to describe the rich and varied flavors of your brew. In 1995 the Specialty Coffee Association developed a scale for measuring coffee notes known as the taster’s flavor wheel. The flavors and variation of sensory notes are endless. 

Every single origin coffee and each blend has a different tone. For example, Costa Rica Helsar Magdalena Vega has notes of raw sugar sweetness and highlights of apple and mulling spice. This coffee is balanced, restrained, with a clean finish. Ethiopia Kayon Mountain Farm is also balanced with apple notes but additionally has chocolate and berry flavors with fruity and floral notes. 

Grab a bag of fresh, fearlessly roasted single origin coffee or blend and experience the symphony of rich flavors bursting from the coffee! Want to learn more? Check out the label on the front of your bag of beans and see what flavors you can expect. Compare the notes from similar regions and contrast the difference in flavors. Discover the endless fruity, floral, nutty, delicious flavors of your favorite bean.  

 


Kathy Strauch is a graphic designer, writer, bookworm, printmaker, and coffee lover from Michigan. She is also contributor with Christ Hold Fast, Higher Things, and The Gospel Economist.

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