The Real Reason Some Coffee Beans Taste Like Chocolate

Sipping on a fresh cup of coffee is one of life's simplest pleasures. Whether you've stuck with the same brand, type, roast, and brewing method for years or like to switch things up every once in a while, it's safe to say that no two coffees are prepared exactly the same. While some javas possess a bright, citrusy aroma and tart, fruity flavor, others are richer, sweeter, more bitter, or bolder. Aside from actual taste, there is also a broad spectrum of caffeine levels when it comes to the energizing properties of the beloved beverage consumed around the globe.

Coffee comes in a variety of styles, all of which have unique flavor profiles. One of the more pleasant characteristics of coffee is that some kinds can strongly resemble the quality of chocolate. Full-bodied, fragrant, and soul-soothing, naturally chocolate-flavored coffee is a favorite of many. Coffee beans that originate in some South American countries tend to have more of a chocolaty character, according to Espresso & Coffee Guide. But how is it that some coffee beans can genuinely taste so similar to the crave-worthy confection? The true answer lies within how the coffee is roasted.

Coffee beans are roasted to create different flavor notes

If you're a coffee drinker who prefers your morning cup o' joe to give off indulgent candy bar vibes, then it's a smart idea to invest in blends that satisfy your sweet tooth. So, how exactly do some coffees suggest notes of chocolate? According to Bean & Bean Coffee Roasters in New York City, a coffee's taste has quite a bit to do with where in the world the beans are grown and, more importantly, the process by which they are roasted. Roast levels, which are essentially dictated by the amount of time the beans are exposed to intense heat, typically fall within three main categories: light, medium, and dark. Simple enough, right? Bean & Bean explains that chocolaty coffees are typically roasted between the medium and dark levels. This allows the sugars in the beans to caramelize, resulting in a not-too-acidic, not-too-sweet flavor — like chocolate.

Furthermore, Hugo Coffee Roasters out of Park City, Utah clarifies that a coffee's flavor and aroma are largely dependent on the region and conditions in which the beans were grown. For example, several French, Ethiopian, and Columbian roasts often remind people of dark chocolate due to their bittersweet undertones.