As coffee lovers, we typically judge good coffee based on how we like its taste and how good it smells. However, connoisseurs would probably tell you that there are more tasting components out there than just taste and aroma.
And these aren’t just ideas that coffee experts purported to show off their expertise. In fact, scientific studies have proven that coffee drinkers actually experience a physical sensation that can measure the goodness of their brews called “coffee mouthfeel.” In this article, we'll tell you all about coffee mouthfeel, what it is, and why it’s one of the most underrated factors in measuring the quality of good coffee.What is Mouthfeel?
The main characteristics of coffee are flavor, aroma, body, and acidity, but there’s also mouthfeel. From its word of origin, the mouthfeel is the feeling we experience in our palate when we put food or drinks in our mouths. It’s one of the ways we can tell how splendid a meal or a beverage is.
Judging through mouthfeel is not that easy. In a way, mouthfeel can be considered a learned perception. At the first sip of coffee, some people may already know that it feels and tastes different from other brands you’ve previously tried. For others, it might take two or more sips before they realize that not all coffee tastes the same. Because the food and drinks we intake have different ingredients, our bodies sometimes cannot easily compare the varying tastes and textures our mouths experience.What is Mouthfeel in Terms of Coffee?
Coffee mouthfeel details the physicality we experience when we drink coffee. It can be felt in our mouths and tongue, making every taste distinct. Being familiar with coffee mouthfeel enhances the way we taste our cups of joe.
According to scientists, the chemical analysis of a coffee's mouthfeel is found in its soluble components, such as fats, proteins, sugars, acids, caffeine, carbs, and fibers that dissolve once the coffee grounds come into contact with hot water. Coffee also contains natural oils that affect how you taste the various layers of coffee.
When you take a sip of your coffee, you may sometimes feel that it needs more sugar to get that savory flavor you're looking for. Other times, you may think your coffee is too creamy, watery, or just plain bitter. We all have our own preferences when it comes to coffee palates, so to further give you insight about mouthfeel, here are some elements that describe coffee mouthfeel.
Light Mouthfeel – Coffee with this body has a weightless texture. It’s easier to drink, and you will feel its flavor fully develop on your palate.
Thin Mouthfeel – Light and thin coffee mouthfeel are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are totally different. The thin mouthfeel lacks flavor and texture. Most of the time, coffee drinkers do not associate with this mouthfeel.
Moderate Mouthfeel – Moderate or medium mouthfeel falls between light and full. Its texture can sometimes be described as smooth and clean. Most coffee types fall under this element.
Full Mouthfeel – Full or heavy coffee mouthfeel will make you feel like there’s weight on your tongue. Lots of coffee types are also associated with this type. Coffees with this mouthfeel have many flavors bursting out of each sip and have lots of texture in it.
Astringent Mouthfeel – This type of mouthfeel is mainly associated with the acidity content of coffee, which typically brings in a dry sensation in your mouth.How Does Your Brewing Method Affect Coffee Chemistry and Mouthfeel?
Whether you’re brewing your coffee in a personal coffee machine or you enjoy buying freshly-brewed ones at coffee shops, how you make your coffee also influences mouthfeel.
Whether you prefer brewing your coffee in drip cups, French presses, or coffee percolators, brewing methods also affect how your coffee feels in your mouth. Drip brews mostly have thinner and juicier coffee mouthfeels because the water drains the coffee grounds quickly. On the other hand, press brews often have a heavier mouthfeel because the water and the coffee grounds sit together for a long time before being filtered manually.
So you see, even if you like your coffee instant, the mouthfeel is still an underlying factor in deciding the goodness of your coffee.Brewing Coffee Perfect for Your Palate
How you brew your coffee depends on you. Coffee lovers rate their favorite coffee based on how they like it; most of the time, it’s subjective. Mouthfeel may be novel to you, but consider it one of your components for identifying the best brews out there.
The way you feel coffee in your tastebuds will never be the same once you apply what you’ve learned here about the chemistry of coffee brewing. You can simply begin experiencing mouthfeel when you sip your coffee and ask yourself, what does this taste remind me of? So, get weaving, and start your rainy days with a brew that’s perfect for your palate.