All coffees can be differentiated based on four key characteristics: aroma, acidity, body and flavor. You might not be able to differentiate all of these right away, but soon enough you’ll be tasting (and sounding) like a pro.
The way a coffee smells. Sometimes subtle, aromas can be earthy, spicy, floral, nutty, etc., and are directly related to the coffee’s flavor.
The palate-cleansing sensation you’ll feel on the sides and tip of your tongue. High-acidity coffees are described as lively, tangy and crisp.
The weight of a coffee on your tongue, described as light, medium or full. Light-bodied coffees feel lighter on the tongue and have a clean finish. Full-bodied coffees feel heavier and have lingering flavors.
The way a coffee tastes. Sometimes obvious, sometimes subtle, flavors can vary greatly between coffees—from citrus to cocoa to berry, to name a few—and register in different parts of your mouth.