Tactically tactile

A remarkable aromatic coffee stands out not only for its balanced taste, but also for a well-defined ‘spherical’ quality, in terms of consistency, density, and sweetness.

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If a coffee claims aromatic variety, it does not necessarily mean that it is balanced in its soluble parts, where thickness (given by the particles inside the liquid) characterizes its density. Marco Bazzara, of the homonymous Italian company, rather refers to concentration, which causes an acrid sensation at high perceived levels, that tends to cover the aromatic part pre and post swallowing and to weaken the good-tasting quality.
A coffee that does not ‘weigh’ in the mouth can be an indicator of poor processing, inaccurate storage and extraction, and it is perceived as weak and thin, thus compromising quality and delicacy. Otherwise, a soft and silky coffee causes a feeling in the oral cavity which can be compared to chewing a chocolate with a liqueur filling. The resulting sensation creates an enveloping effect and does not dry out the mouth (after it has dissolved in swallowing).
As it occurs in nature, a coffee’s body can reveal different characteristics compared to another but these features can change after the processing phases. The body of a coffee refers to its palpable component, which gives it a certain density and denotes its personality combined with its quality, i.e. its mouthfeel. This term defines the sensation of fullness that positively distinguishes a coffee and allows a spherical and round perception of the liquid inside the oral cavity. If the product is ‘spherical’, then the sensation remains on the palate for a long time without any asperity.
The ideal test to understand the difference between body and mouthfeel comes from comparing a natural Arabica or Robusta coffee with a thin one. If the processing criteria have been respected, it is possible to notice the heavier and denser structure of a natural compared to a thin one, which will be more delicate with a mouthfeel that tends to last longer on the palate.



Another example to define the type of body can be made through the comparison of water, milk, and honey. The body of milk is softer than that of honey, which is viscous to all intents and purposes, but is qualitatively higher than water. The consistency of honey can be remotely compared to that of an espresso, but even if some products extracted from natural Robusta recall the fullness of honey, unfortunately they do not reveal the same sweetness and amiability. Milk, which is placed in the middle, should give a sensation of enveloping and softness between the tongue and the palate and the longer this state lasts after drinking it, the higher the quality of perception will be.If you try to do the same thing with water and honey, you will autonomously evaluate that the former, in addition to the absence of aromatic qualities, is weak in terms of concentration, unlike honey which completely covers the palate, most likely revealing a certain pungency, sometimes accompanied by a slight trace of bitterness.If you don’t believe that honey can have a somewhat bitter taste, I suggest you buy a jar of strawberry tree honey and taste its contents. In case you manage to recognize its particular aromatic nuance, it means that you are a great coffee lover.

Marco Bazzara

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