While sitting at my workstation trying to get a project finished by the 5 pm deadline and familiar smell caught my senses and my attention. It was the familiar and tantalizing aroma of a fresh pot of coffee wafting across the office. It’s not just the smell of brewed coffee that I love, but the rich aroma of freshly ground beans, too.
I might love the way coffee smells even more than its taste!
And I’m not alone. Many people I speak to have yet to discover their love for the taste of coffee (give it time) and admit that they still love the smell. If you can make coffee taste as good as it smells, then maybe you’ve arrived at #bettercoffee!
So with this blog, I decided to put my science hat back on and find out why coffee smells so darn good?!
What Creates the Coffee Smell?
Forgive me if I wade too deep into the chemistry in this column. I’ll try to explain the science as concisely and simply as possible. Still, the fact is that the answer to the question, ‘Why does coffee smell so good?’ is far from straightforward, with a complex collection of (at last count) almost 800 compounds responsible for the aroma of coffee!
Small, light, and volatile organic compounds that quickly evaporate at room temperature and pressure are responsible for the airborne aromas of freshly brewed coffee. The reactions between proteins and sugars and the degradation and decomposition of other compounds during the roasting process typically produce them.
You don’t need to know all 800 compounds to understand why coffee smells so great. They can be broken down into a few classes. Pyrazines, for example, are the aromatic compounds that contribute most to the roasted, walnutty, toast-like aromas in coffee. At the same time, the pyrroles can be credited with their sweet, caramel, and mushroom-like smells.
That’s about as simple as I can make what is quite complex chemistry, but I think the most important thing to know in the context of your better office coffee is that coffee aroma is directly linked to the quality of the coffee beans:
“Coffee aroma is an essential attribute to organic specialty coffee… instant coffee lacks most volatile aromatic compounds causing a decrease in the overall coffee flavor.”
That’s why you must be selective about the coffee beans, roasting, and brewing processes you use if you want better-smelling and better-tasting coffee!
Why do you like the aroma of coffee? | Blog Article | Bowers Lake Coffee, Wisconsin | All Rights Reserved | Nov 18, 2022