Acidity is a desirable characteristic in coffee. Without sufficient acidity coffee tends to taste flat. Don’t confuse acidity with sourness. Acidity is dry whereas sour is unpleasant.
Aroma is the sense of smell contributing to our sense of taste which includes: sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. Aroma is the heady quality experienced in the vapors and oils of the beans.
Body is the richness and fullness that you feel on the tongue. A heavier bodied coffee will maintain more flavor when milk is added than a lighter bodied one.
Where coffee comes from makes a difference
There are four regional areas regarded for growing Arabica coffee: mountains of Eastern Africa, mountains of Central American, Brazil, and islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans
The African region includes Ethiopia, Harrar, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. These countries typically produce coffees that tend toward fruity notes, acidic, and medium-bodied mixed with hints of various berries.
From Mexico down through Central America - Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama – and into Colombia and Peru there are distinct differences in taste from one climate zone to the next and generally tend toward being medium-bodied and acidic. Also included in this area would be the Jamaican Blue mountains and Puerto Rico.
Brazilian coffees are distinctive, and full-bodied. They are sold straight or frequently blended with other less characteristic coffees.
The Indian and Pacific Oceans include coffees from India, Java, New Guinea, and Sumatra. These coffees are overall full-bodied, smooth and creamy; low acid and somewhat spicy. Hawaiian coffees tend to be in this group though milder.
Things to consider when using coffee
Never grind more coffee than you will immediately need for brewing. Different brewing methods require different grind consistencies. Typically, drip brew coffee should be ground slightly coarse. Use a filter designed to fit your filter basket, bleached white or unbleached brown filter papers are usually available. Permanent gold-plated wire mesh filters are environmentally friendly and also work well. Consider using 2 to 2 1/2 level tablespoons for each 6 ounces of water. The complete drip cycle should take four to six minutes. If the drip cycle is completed in less than four minutes, grind your coffee finer; if longer than six minutes, grind it coarser. French press coffee requires an extremely coarse grind. If the grind is too fine, the coffee will be over extracted and have a bitter flavor. If the grind is too fine it will be difficult to push the plunger down in the pot. For espresso an extremely fine grind is required. For espresso, extraction time is the factor determining the proper grind. After selecting the dose - allow 7 to 8 grams for a single shot, and 14 to 16 grams for a double shot - and tamp, one ounce of espresso should be extracted in approximately 25 to 30 seconds; if it takes less than 25 seconds, grind coffee finer, if longer than 30 seconds, grind coffee coarser.
Coffee should not be stored in the refrigerator. It will likely absorb flavors and aromas from other foods in the refrigerator. Also avoid freezing coffee unless you will not be using it over a prolonged period of time [two weeks or more]. Generally, store it in a cool, dark place it in a dry, airtight container.