What Does Coffee Smell Like (5 Tips Must-Have Reads)

Last Updated on April 25, 2021 by Paul E Nicholson

What does coffee smell like is a controversial question among coffee lovers? The best part when drinking coffee is the rich aroma mostly from the freshly roasted coffee beans. Coffee offers a chain of complex blends of different flavors which produces a range of sensory experiences.  This experience varies depending on several factors such as coffee type, geographical source, roasting method, and preparation method. As the aroma releases the coffee compounds into the air, fresh coffee will have a stronger aroma than stale coffee. Even as the roast becomes darker it is expected generally that a much stronger aroma will be released.

What does coffee smell like (Identifying the smell)

One of the most aspects of tasting coffee is using smell. If you are naive on how to exercise your nose then the whole process may be futile. When talking about coffee aroma, the smell is put into three categories: Enzymatic, sugar browning, and dry distillation. 

On the coffee cuppers, they are not included as tastes because one cannot smell sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and savory. However, one can smell chocolate or anything that triggers a scent or scent.

What does coffee smell like (Enzymatic)

The coffee bean that is roasted, grind and the brew is the seed of a cherry-like fruit. The fruit-like qualities that are retained in the coffee are described as the enzymatic properties.

Some coffees have these aromas more than others. For instance, the Latin American coffee has a sweet red berry smell, from Ethiopia coffee display lemongrass and Kenyan coffee has some little tomatoey tartness.

Sugar browning

This term is used to describe alchemy that makes bread into toast and sugar into caramel. The reaction of the amino acids and sugar, when exposed to heat, is part of the roasting process. The aroma that arises from such a reaction is directly related to the sweetness in the cup.

Dry distillation

Coffee roasting is a volatile and traumatic process for the beans just as cooking is for a raw ingredient. A darker roasted bean presents more dry distillation characteristics. As a drinker try to relate them as pleasant experiences rather than burnt smelling.

What is the smell of freshly brewed coffee

What does coffee smell like

It can range from light and fruity to burnt coffee depends on the coffee roast. Most coffee will smell lightly caramelized and almost nutty. A stale coffee smells musty and cardboard-like. Arabica coffee has a rich aroma though has a slightly tangy taste that lingers on the tongue. The steam of a freshly brewed coffee will fill the nostrils with its sweetness.  Robusta has a great taste As Good and aroma which is not dense.

As explained above a coffee’s area is of a different range. It is caused by different volatile components such as vapor and gas which are released from coffee. It is then inhaled through the nose coming into contact with the nasal membranes. Retronasal is crucial as it is detected when one swallow coffee as the aromatic compounds drifts up to the nasal passage.

What is the smell of freshly brewed coffee

Freshly brewed coffee is sweet is usually either fruity (bright and acidic in a good way) or chocolatey which is sweet in a darker and a complex way than the fruity sweetness. Bitterness is always present in coffee but it does not overwhelm its taste. A freshly roasted coffee has a rich natural flavor. Fewer smell results from fewer flavors. If you want to get the best smell, you will need to buy it from a coffee roaster directly.

Why Coffee Beans Smell Like Fish

The fish like smell is caused by a chemical reaction that takes place when roasting. Darker roast refers to when the beans are subjected to extensive heat is prone to smell fishy. It has been speculated that it is a result of ethylmethlaine which has a fishy odor. These reasons may vary from one batch to the other. Like, it could be how coffee is dried or its roasting process.

Does coffee smell bad

There is a difference between smelling and tasting. Coffee may smell bad but tastes sweet but why? The oil in the beans is a major contributing factor. It happens often with the ground beans. Examples of bad aroma from coffee are vinegar, sour apple, grass, burnt wood, and mold. Your nose can smell a bad smell from a coffee drink. Do not drink it.

What makes coffee smell so good

Caffeine is the component that is responsible for the brain to release dopamine. Dopamine gives you a happy feeling. The flavors used to contribute to a large extent a good flavor whether natural or artificial. Furthermore, aromatic compounds are responsible for the fragrant properties of coffee. These components are brought out when roasted.

What does a coffee bean candle smell like

The coffee bean candle has a very sweet scent that can fill up the room nicely. Important to note is that different types of candles come with different smells. But pure candlelight during dinner will enhance your experience. Some candles have some smoke which will dirty your room.

What does bad coffee smell like

There are many reasons why coffee smells bad. The beans could have been rotten or stale, water quality is worst, and or the equipment used is faulty. When beans are not fresh be sure to get an awkward smell. Low-quality beans and wrong roasting are some contributing factors. Water temperature and a big or small grind add up to the awful smell.


We all agree coffee is one amazing thing ever invented but what does coffee smell like is the question. How coffee smells will either turn off someone or bring them closer. Furthermore, there are two types of smiles. The first comes just before you drink it and the other is after you have swallowed. All these two ways must be catered for closely. Without a doubt, the most satisfying way to make an awesome smelling coffee is to brew it yourself.  With the chance to bring out the best aroma, lies a deliberate individual effort on this.

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