Understanding the Nuances of Coffee through Mouthfeel

Understanding the Nuances of Coffee through Mouthfeel

In addition to delicious flavours and aromas, a great cup of coffee can have a rich, full mouthfeel. Coffee that is richer and fuller-bodied, for example, will feel thicker and more viscous on the tongue than coffee that is thin and weak.

Plenty of coffee lovers have no idea what mouthfeel is, or that it even matters, much less that it can improve coffee quality. However, if you ask coffee experts they will tell you that they can easily tell the quality or lack of quality in coffee simply by the feeling of it.

What is Mouthfeel?

Mouthfeel is the feeling of something in your mouth, kind of like the tactile sensations that you feel when you chew food. It’s the way that the special parts of your mouth (roof, sides, middle and tongue) feel when you have something in your mouth, and the way the liquids or solids of your food feel on your teeth, throat and tongue as you move them.

The mouthfeel of coffee can be described as its texture, consistency, or even its “weight” when it enters your mouth. The mouthfeel is a crucial part of coffee tasting as it can tell us a lot about coffee quality and how long it’s been brewed.

Describing Different Coffee Mouthfeels

A coffee’s mouthfeel can refer to the way it feels in your mouth as you drink it. However, it’s also very similar to the term “body” that people use when talking about wine.  Coffee experts will talk about a coffee’s body or mouthfeel to describe how it feels in your mouth. With that in mind, here are different mouthfeels to explore when drinking your coffee:

1. Light-Bodied 

A light-bodied coffee has a very light taste and feel. If you’re looking for a light coffee, this is a good choice. It’s easy to drink and won’t leave you feeling heavy or weighed down.

2. Thin-Bodied

Thin-bodied coffees are lighter than medium-bodied coffees but don't pack as much flavour as light-bodied coffees. It lacks acidity, earthiness, or any brightness, plus they don't feel full in the mouth. They are pleasant and easy to drink, but they tend to lack the rich, nutty qualities of darker, richer coffees.

3. Full-Bodied

Full-bodied coffees, conversely, are perfect for those who love deeply rich and complex coffee flavours. This mouthfeel will leave you feeling full and satisfied, without a heavy or milky feeling. You’ll also taste darker and richer flavours with a fuller-bodied coffee.

With complex flavours mixing the coffee's fruitiness, nuttiness, and acidity, as well as a slightly bitter, roasted flavour is lingering in its undertones. Most of the acidity is in the finish—lasting for a short time—then, you’ll get a delicious, creamy texture and mouthfeel.

4. Medium-Bodied

Medium-bodied coffees are the most balanced since they have a good balance of rich, thick flavours and a moderate body. If you want a rich coffee flavour with less acidity, a medium-bodied coffee is your best bet.

5. Silky

A silky mouthfeel has a smooth, slippery feel with a nice, viscous quality. It doesn’t feel oily at all, but it’s also not dry. This is the mouthfeel for coffee lovers who want the full flavour of coffee but aren’t a fan of coffee that feels heavy or thick.

The Bottom Line: Appreciating All Aspects of Quality Coffee

If you want your coffee to taste good, you need to pay attention to a lot more than just roast type, brewing technique, and the coffee’s origin.

You also need to pay attention to the coffee’s mouthfeel. Even though it doesn’t have the same ring to it as taste, the mouthfeel is just as important. It can tell you a lot about how good of a coffee you’re drinking.

By thinking about flavour, mouthfeel, and aroma, you’ll start to develop a deeper appreciation for the quality of your coffee. You’ll also be able to better pick out what tastes good to you, and what you don’t like, so you can make more informed choices.

How Can We Help You?

Lygon Coffee is well-loved by the residents in Adelaide, thanks to its top-notch services and fantastic coffees. With us, you can trust that your event and office space will have the best cup of coffee. Learn more about our mobile coffee van today!

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