Coffee characteristics are sometimes thought to be something only coffee connoisseur would be concerned with. However, following definitions of coffee characteristics will enable you to have a better understanding of what flavors, aromas and colors are beneficial and not so beneficial to your coffee drinking pleasure.
Acidity: is a pleasant quality that points out a coffees flavor and provides a liveliness, sparkle, or snap to drink. The acidity of a coffee may be assessed as lively, moderate, flat, or dull.
Aged: is a coffee bean that's been stored for at least a year or more before roasting. The coffee bean has then lost it's acidic coffee characteristics, becoming richly sweet and heavily bodied.
Aftertaste: is sensation of brewed coffee vapors, ranging from carbon to chocolate and spicy to turpentine as they are released from residue remaining in mouth after swallowing.
Alkaline: is a clawing sensation at back of tongue caused by alkaline and phenolic compounds that have bitter but not necessarily displeasing tastes; coffee characteristics of dark coffees roasts and some Indonesian coffees.
Aroma: is an odor or fragrance of brewed coffees.
Bouquet: is a frequently used term, often used when referring to smell of coffee grounds. Aroma is often distinctive and complex. Some terms used to describe it include: caramel (candy or syrup-like), carbon (for a dark roast), chocolate, fruity, floral, malty (cereal-like), rich, round, and spicy.
Astringent: is a puckering, salty sensation felt on front side of tongue when a cup of coffee is first sipped.
Baked: is a taste and odor contaminant that gives coffee a flat distinct and uninteresting taste. The corruption is caused by not enough heat over too long of a period during roasting "specifically, when roasts take longer than approx. 18 min.."
Balance: is term to describe coffee flavor when one coffee characteristic doesn't intrude on another. Also when coffees taste is not plain so that it's flavor is still playful.
Bitter: a coffee characteristic of over-extracted brews as well as over-roasted coffees, and those with various taste defects. It's a harsh, unpleasant taste detected towards back of tongue and normally found only in Dark Roast's.
Bland: pale flavor often found in low grown robusta coffees. Also caused by under-extracted coffees.
Blend: is a mixture of two or more individual varieties of coffees.
Body: is an impression of weight of coffee in mouth. May range from thin to medium to full, buttery, or syrupy.
Bright: is a tangy acidity, often described as bright.
Briny: is salty sensation caused by excessive heat after brewing is complete.
Buttery: Is rich and oily flavor and texture, qualities of some Indonesian varieties, for example: Sulawesi.
Caramelized: Is a sweet, almost-burnt, syrupy flavor not unlike taste of caramelized sugar.
Creme: is tan foam that forms when you brew espresso. The creme makes a "cap" which helps retain smells and flavors of espresso within cup.
Earthy: Is positive coffee characteristic when applied to dry processing; herbal, musty, mushroom-like range of flavors, characteristics of Indonesian coffees. For washed coffees, tasting "earthy" is a defect.
Exotic: is a characteristic of coffees from East Africal Exotic refers to unusual flavor notes, such as floral and berry-like (containing black currant or blueberry notes, for example). Contrary to Latin American coffees, whose coffee bean characteristic is clean, acidic flavors provide standard, and are generally not exotic.