Coffee 101: The Body

When people describe coffee we often hear the word “body” thrown around. In addition to the roast, the body of a coffee can be one of its main descriptors. But what does the “coffee’s body” actually mean?

What is Body?

The term “body” refers to the mouthfeel of the coffee, or the weight/viscosity of the coffee on the tongue.

A coffee’s body can be described by many characteristics, but some of the most common include “thin,” “watery,” “syrupy,” “heavy,” or “buttery.” Just think of your favorite milk type and how you would describe it—skim milk tends to be “watery” while 2% milk tends to be heavier or “buttery.”

The bean, where it was grown, roast levels and the brew method can all affect the body of a coffee. While there are variations in body based on the bean and its growing altitude, the brew method can cause the biggest change to body.

A stove-top coffee maker will give you the fullest-bodied coffee, whereas coffee makers that use a paper filter typically strain out the oils that add to the body and flavor of the coffee, resulting in a lighter body.

Types of Body

Here at Community Coffee Company, our experts test, taste, rate and discuss our coffee on every step of its journey. All of our coffee beans go through a rigorous scoring system for body, balance, flavor and aroma.

The “body” of a coffee is typically divided into three categories: light, medium or full-bodied. Heavy, full-bodied coffees retain more of their flavor and have a thicker mouthfeel. These coffees are usually grown in higher altitudes or in volcanic soils. Our Signature Blend Dark Roast, Coffee & Chicory and Café Special® blends are all great examples of full-bodied coffees.

A light body coffee has a thinner consistency with little residue or texture on the tongue. Most coffee beans that are grown at a lower altitude and in soils with fewer nutrients will have a lighter body.

A medium body coffee falls in-between light and full-bodied, and tends to have a balanced, smooth mouthfeel, like our House Blend or Amber Sunrise™ Blend.

Now that you know what a coffee’s body is all about, try guessing what your next cup of Community® coffee is. Unsure or need confirmation? Just check the packaging of your blend or look it up on our website!