All three qualities - body, aroma and acidity - are very subjective and will be perceived differently from person to person. However, indicators on our product pages are there as a guide to help you make your decision, based on our teams’ opinions.
- Body = the coffee’s mouthfeel, i.e. how ‘gao’ it is (not in strength, but in ‘thickness’ – compare drinking regular black tea vs milk tea)
- Aroma = how ‘pleasant’ (i.e. like a chocolate-y smell vs a burnt ‘chao-ta’ smell) and intense (i.e. faint or strong smells)
- Acidity = how 'sour' it is, BUT acidity is not always bad! E.g. compare a red apple and a green apple – while the red apple is less sour, sometimes the sourness in a green apple brings out the ‘flavours’ in it better, a non-sour green apple is not a green apple; same as a red apple, some ‘sourness’ or ‘tartness’ to it is unavoidable, but it adds to the ‘apple taste’
Let’s focus on acidity for now because most people are concerned with their coffee being too sour/bitter. Acidity not only comes from the beans itself, but it is also affected by other factors.
e.g. The grind size of your coffee: All things being equal, the finer your grind size, the more bitter, and less acidic your resulting brew will be. This is because there will be more surface area for extraction to take place, and flavours will more likely be over-extracted, thus giving you a more bitter cup.
e.g. The brewing time: All things being equal again, the longer your brewing time, the more bitter and less acidic your resulting brew will be. This is because again, over-extraction occurs the longer you leave your coffee grounds to brew.
Therefore, should you find that your cup of coffee is too acidic, or too bitter, you may want to try adjusting these two variables first to find the perfect balance.
If all fails and you still find that your coffee is too acidic for your liking, you may then wish to opt for darker roasted beans. If it is too bitter, then vice versa, opt for lighter roasted beans for more acidity and flavour.
These are also just the simplest of ways that you could adjust the taste of your coffee! There are many other factors including temperature and purity of the water, brewing methods, etc, that could affect the taste and extraction of your coffee (trust me, it’s a whole 10 other blog posts on its own).