What is Body?

If you are new to the world of coffee, then you might have heard at some point the term “body” being thrown around to describe the drink. While most people have no idea what this means, it is one of the defining aspects of any cup of coffee. That is why we must delve deeper into this matter.

This guide will tackle the question: what is body? This guide will focus on this aspect of coffee and how it affects your coffee drinking experience. So, be sure to keep reading.

In a nutshell, the term “body” refers to how the coffee feels in your mouth. To be more specific, it is the coffee’s weight and viscosity against the tongue. Remember that this will ultimately affect your drinking experience. After all, the body of the coffee is directly related to its richness, aroma, and flavor.

That said, the body of your coffee can be affected by several factors. For instance, the origin of the bean as well as the growing conditions and altitude in the specific region it was grown can have a profound effect on the coffee itself.

The same can also be said for the kind of roast that you have. However, if there is one thing that can drastically affect the body of your coffee, then it has to be the brewing method. This is because the coffee body is made up of the coffee beans’ oils and acids. Different brewing methods mean different means of extracting these oils.

This is because not all brewing methods produce the same results. For instance, a drip brew coffee is known to have a lighter body because its filters effectively remove much of the bean’s aromatics and flavor oils. Compare this to a French Press brew which is known to have a full body. Again, this is because of the metal filter that lets all the oils get through the filtration process.

That said, the body of your coffee can fall into three categories: light, medium, or full-bodied. We’ve highlighted some of the defining features of each type so you can better differentiate between them the next time you have a cup. 

  • Light Body – A light-bodied coffee is notably thinner in its consistency. It also has very little texture. Typically, coffee beans grown in lower altitudes produce this sort of consistency as the soil has lower levels of nutrients. In addition to this, brewing methods that use paper filters will also typically produce this kind of coffee.
  • Medium Body – Located somewhere between a light and a heavy coffee, medium-bodied coffee gives drinkers a good compromise between the two. Neither too light nor too heavy, they offer an easy-going drink that anyone can enjoy.
  • Full Body – Full-bodied coffee, also referred to as heavy-bodied coffee, has a distinctive texture and feel on the tongue. This is because it has high levels of aromatics and oils mixed into the drink. Typically, beans grown in rich soils produce this kind of texture. At the same time, brewing methods like the espresso, French press, and Moka Pot are known to produce drinks with this level of richness.

There you have it. An overview of body and how it relates to your coffee-drinking experience. Like with everything else, it is all a matter of preference. So, be sure to remember this guide the next time you prepare your cup of coffee.

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