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EC: A Beginner’s Guide to Coffee Flavor Profiles of the World

One of the biggest coffee trends to emerge over the last few years has been the move toward single-origin coffee. These days, it seems that every cafe, from independently owned craft roasters like Blue Bottle Coffee to major chains like Starbucks and Peet’s, has a single-origin option on the menu. You can even find single-origin coffee at 7-Eleven. Single-origin coffee is generally more expensive than blends, but the use of the phrase isn’t just part of some elaborate marketing ploy. “Single-origin” actually refers to the geographic origin of coffee beans. Knowing where your coffee comes from matters because where coffee is grown can have a major impact on the flavor of your brew.

Coffee that’s grown and harvested in Guatemala, for example, has a different flavor profile than coffee from Java or Yemen, due to differences in climate, soil, and other miscellaneous factors. And though each batch of beans will taste slightly differently, even if they come from the same farm, there are some generalizations you can make about these coffee flavor profiles from different regions.

So if you’re ready to learn a thing or two about where you coffee comes from and feel less intimidated the next time a barista asks you if you’d prefer a cup of drip coffee from Colombia or Sumatra, here’s Extra Crispy’s guide to coffee flavor profiles of the world.

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Credit: infographic by lauren kolm
By Maxine Builder and Lauren Kolm,Maxine Builder