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  What Makes A Great Gourmet Coffee?  
 
Tasting coffee is as much a ritual for some as wine tasting is for others.  When a coffee connoisseur tries a new gourmet coffee they are just as focused as the wine aficionado.  So what makes a coffee a great gourmet cup of coffee?  Several things go into determining what good coffee is all about.

It all starts before you start to brew the coffee, with the way the coffee beans smell after youíve ground them.  The first impression of the flavour comes to you as you inhale the aroma.  As the coffee is brewed, the fragrance will come out.  And finally thereís the taste as your tongue comes into contact with the coffee, releasing the coffee aroma within your mouth.

Itís your tongue that is going to decide between an okay cup of coffee and one that is sensational.  There are three basic components that most coffee experts focus on: acidity, balance, and body.

Within the coffee beans are naturally occurring acids.  These acids blend with natural sugars which then produce a slightly sugary taste.  Itís this sweetness that gives the coffee its spiciness or tang.  

A balanced gourmet coffee will have all its flavour characteristics in perfect alignment for that type of variety of coffee.  The expertise comes by knowing what characteristics a certain coffee is supposed to have.

The body of the coffee is determined by the aftertaste in your mouth.  Residues of the coffee will remain in your mouth and on your tongue.  And this aftertaste will vary on the type of characteristics the coffee is supposed to have.  To simplify this, the body of a coffee is all about its consistency, thickness, and texture.

There are many varieties of coffee to choose from that it can become confusing to find one or two that you really like.  Some of the best gourmet coffees come from Costa Rica, having the perfect balance of smoothness and flavour without being at all bitter.  Second in line are gourmet coffees from Columbia and Brazil, though they can be slightly bitter.  Many African coffees will have a hard taste to them, while Asian coffees are often on the sour side.

The key to finding gourmet coffee you like is by focusing on the characteristics that taste best to you.  For instance, if you like a sharp, dry coffee you might want to try a Costa Rican or Kenyan coffee.  Coffees with a great aftertaste are typical of Kenya or Guatemala.  No matter what, gourmet coffee all comes down to personal taste.





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