If you're serious about coffee, you need to be Serious about taking tasting notes. Not only will this help you remember the coffees you've liked (and didn't like), but it will also help you identify what flavors and characteristics you enjoy. That way, when you're out looking for new coffees to try, you can seek out similar tastes. In addition, this guide will show you how to use a tasting notebook to make the most of your coffee-drinking experience.
What is a Tasting Notebook?
A tasting notebook is simply a place where you write down your thoughts on the coffee you're drinking. It can be as simple as a lined piece of paper or as fancy as a unique journal explicitly made for coffee-tasting notes. What's important is that it's something you can easily carry with you and has enough space to write down all the information you want to remember.
How to Use a Tasting Notebook
There's no right or wrong way to take tasting notes, but there are some key things you'll want to include in order to make the most of your experience. So here are a few things we recommend having in your notebook:
The name of the coffee: This might seem like a no-brainer, but it can be easy to forget what coffee you're drinking if you don't write it down right away.
Where it's from: Knowing the origin of your coffee can give you some valuable context. Where was it grown? What kind of climate does that region have? All of these factors can affect the flavor of the coffee.
The roaster: Like wine, different roasters can have different styles. Some might focus on light and bright coffees, while others prefer rich and dark blends. If you find a roaster whose style you enjoy, taking note of their name can help you seek out similar coffees in the future.
The brew method: How you brew your coffee will also affect its flavor. Be sure to include any pertinent information like grind size, brew time, water temperature, etc., so you can replicate the results if desired.
Tasting notes: This is where you'll get creative. When it comes down to it, there are no wrong answers here—just taste the coffee and write down whatever comes to mind. Some people prefer to use a formal flavor wheel, while others simply list out adjectives they would use to describe the taste. But, again, there's no wrong way to do it, so just go with whatever feels natural for you.
Taking great tasting notes is an essential part of becoming a true coffee lover. By using a notebook dedicated solely to your coffee tastings, you'll be able to keep track of all the different coffees you've tried and quickly reference back to ones that caught your fancy. And who knows—maybe someday somebody will be writing tasting notes on one of your unique blends!
Your Coffee, Your World
Central and South America
Coffee was first discovered in Ethiopia, but it didn't become popular until it reached Central and South America.
Most of the world's coffee is grown in these regions, with Brazil being the largest producer.
Coffees from these regions are typically lighter and have more acidity than coffees from other regions.
Africa is the birthplace of coffee, and it remains an essential region for production.
Coffees from Africa are often described as fruity or floral, with bright acidity.
Ethiopia is the largest producer of coffee on the continent, followed by Uganda and Tanzania.
Southeast Asia is a relatively new region for coffee production, but it has quickly become an important one.
The majority of coffees from this region are grown in Indonesia, with Sumatra being the most well-known origin.
Coffees from Southeast Asia tend to be heavy-bodied with low acidity.
Oceania is a small region in terms of coffee production, but it produces some of the most sought-after coffees in the world.
Australia and Papua New Guinea are the two primary producers in the region.
Coffees from Oceania are typically delightful with intense fruit flavors.
North America is not typically considered a central coffee-producing region, but it is home to some excellent coffees.
Most North American coffee is produced in Hawaii, with Kona being the most famous origin.
Coffees from North America tend to be milder in flavor with balanced acidity.
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