Coffee Strength and Coffee Body - What Does It Mean?

Coffee Strength and Coffee Body - What Does It Mean?

What does it mean that coffee has strength? Is it going to knock me out?

Because there is no standard that provides coffee strength guidance, this term has been widely misunderstood, used in very different contexts and, as a result, it creates confusion amongst many.

For example, most people confuse coffee strength with coffee roast. Contrary to popular belief, coffee strength is determined by the ratio of coffee grinds to water during the brewing process, NOT during the roasting of the coffee. The person behind the coffee pot has the final say in whether the coffee will be strong or weak. It has absolutely nothing to do with the roasting of the coffee beans. Just because a dark roasted coffee may taste bitter, doesn’t mean it’s stronger.

Now, what is the body of the coffee? Body is one of the three things coffee-drinkers are always looking for (along with bright acidity and defined flavours).

Body is a coffee’s texture. It can be described as how big and heavy the coffee feels in your mouth. Therefore, body is not something we taste but rather a sensation we feel. However, it can influence a coffee’s overall flavour. This is because flavour is a combination of many factors – taste, aroma, texture, sound and maybe even sight.

Many factors determine why a specific coffee has more body than another.  Some coffee varieties are just more prone to body. So are specific coffee processing methods, brew methods, and filters. And roast profiles can be manipulated to produce more body.

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