What You Should Know About Coffee Acidity

What You Should Know About Coffee Acidity

In discussing coffee, one term that often causes confusion or discomfort among consumers is acidity. It is understandable; the word itself does not immediately evoke the flavour perception that the general public typically attach with coffee. Therefore, when engaging with our customers, we opt for terms like “bright,” “lively,” and “fruity” to describe the essence of acidity in coffee beans to convey its positive attributes and shift the focus away from any negative connotations. 

In this week’s Gateway article, we will explore the concept of coffee acidity – what it is, why it is important, and how it shapes your coffee drinking experience. Understanding this concept can help coffee enthusiasts improve their understanding and enjoyment of different coffee varieties.

Exploring Coffee Acidity

Many coffee enthusiasts often overlook the fact that coffee beans originate from a fruit known as the coffee cherry. Hence, it is natural for coffee to possess fruity qualities. When we refer to the acidity in coffee, we are essentially discussing the presence of acids within the coffee beans. These acids mainly come from chlorogenic acids found in raw coffee beans. However, acidity in coffee is not just a chemical attribute; it is also a sensory experience that contributes to the overall flavour profile. 

Acidity in coffee is considered positive when it introduces characteristics such as liveliness, sweetness, and balanced fruit notes. Such acidity enhances the enjoyment of the coffee by contributing depth and complexity to its flavour profile. Conversely, acidity is deemed negative when it exhibits sharpness or a sourness akin to under-ripe fruit, potentially overpowering the palate and compromising overall satisfaction.

Factors influencing Coffee Acidity

There are various factors that contribute to the acidity levels found in coffee, including the type of coffee, roasting process, and brewing method. For instance, certain types of coffee, such as Arabica, generally exhibit higher acidity compared to Robusta. 

The degree of roasting also significantly impacts acidity. Lighter roasts typically preserve higher acidity levels while darker roasts often result in reduced acidity. Moreover, brewing methods can also influence the perceived acidity of the coffee. 

Beyond Acidity

It is important to recognize that acidity represents only a fraction of coffee’s flavour spectrum. Coffee’s aroma and taste complexity are made up of numerous compounds, each contributing to its unique profile. 

At Terminal 3 Coffee, our focus lies in how acidity blends into the coffee experience. Our approach to coffee acidity is not about categorizing it as inherently good or bad; rather, we see it as a dynamic component that contributes to the complexity and depth of coffee flavour. It is about finding that delicate balance where acidity elevates the overall sensory experience, inviting individuals to better appreciate the diverse world of coffee flavour. Whether it is the bright tang of acidity or the rich complexity of other flavour compounds, there's a coffee flavour profile to suit every palate.