Cup of beans with text "On The Grind Series: What are coffee tasting notes" overlay

On the Grind Series: What Are Coffee Tasting Notes?

Malu might make your coffee routine simpler than ever, but if you know coffee, you know that coffee is complex. There is an entire process between when the fruit (yes, fruit) is harvested and your first sip of your favorite Malu pour over. In addition to the many steps involved in roasting coffee, there are also different notes, roasts, washes, regions, and fermentation methods, each one affecting the taste and quality of the bean. 

To help you deepen your appreciation for Malu's delicious pour over coffee, we are starting a new series, On the Grind. We will break down the basics of coffee, from the roasting process to best practices to coffee farms to how beans are ground. We know it’ll make every sip even more meaningful.

So, what are coffee tasting notes?

On the face of a single serve packet of Malu pour over coffee, you will see a few pieces of key information about the coffee you’re about to drink:

Infographic of a single serve pour over packet of Malu's The Classic house blend

You can usually find similar details on most coffee bags. Tasting notes are usually what most people look out for, although the other bits of information can be just as telling. 

Coffee tasting notes are descriptors of subtle flavors found in a particular coffee.  

That is to say, they are not added flavors or ingredients. When we list “Apple” on The Classic’s packaging, for example, we are saying that the flavor of the particular coffee inside each packet has subtle hints of apple. It does not taste outright like an apple, nor is it made from apples, but the aroma and taste – what we often refer to as flavor—is reminiscent of the aroma and taste of an apple.

Words like “sweet” or “acidic” are too vague and without context, can be interpreted differently from person to person, and so tasting notes are used to help customers better choose a profile that might work for their palette.

Coffee fruit on a branch, prior to being processed and harvested for Malu delicious specialty coffee

Photo by Rodrigo Flores


As we mentioned previously, every aspect of the coffee-making process can affect taste, including where the coffee fruit is grown. This is why different regions are known for producing certain flavor profiles. For example, South American beans tend to be more fruity, Ethiopian beans more floral, and Asian beans more nutty.

If you think coffee is complex, try learning about flavor.

There is an art and a science to taste. Studies have found that humans have the ability to discern over 100,000 flavors. Taste has been categorized into five different sensations, or types: sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and savory. However, taste also involves aroma, along with texture and temperature. Just imagine eating a piece of chocolate without smelling it. The experience would be totally different!

When it comes to coffee, tasting notes matter.

We like to think of tasting notes like blurbs on a dating profile. They may not help you find the one, but it’ll help you weed out the ones who definitely aren’t.

Lucky for all of us, Malu offers different flavor profiles so that everyone can find their special cup.

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Of course– we won’t judge if you love them all!

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