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What is a Coffee Flight? Discover the Latest Trend in Specialty Coffee Tasting!

cup of coffee with an airplane in the foam

Are you a coffee lover looking to explore new flavors and blends? Have you ever heard of coffee flights? A coffee flight is a tasting experience that allows you to sample different types of coffee in smaller quantities. You can learn about the different types of coffee and their flavor profiles, roast levels, regions, textures, and more. By trying different coffees, you can discover new favorites and broaden your coffee knowledge. Keep reading to learn all about coffee flights.


The Art of Coffee Tasting

The Role of Aroma

The aroma of coffee is what you smell before you taste it and is an essential component of the coffee-tasting experience.


The Importance of Taste

Taste is, of course, the most critical aspect of coffee tasting. When you taste coffee, you’ll notice different flavors and nuances that make each coffee unique. You’ll also notice different levels of acidity and body, which can affect the overall taste.


The Impact of Texture

Texture is another essential aspect of coffee tasting and can be described as the mouthfeel or body. Some coffees have a light and delicate body, while others have a heavier and more robust body.


Coffee Flight Varieties

Espresso Flights

Espresso flights are a great way to taste different espresso shots. They usually consist of three to four different espresso shots from different roasters.


Latte Flights

Latte flights are a great way to try different latte flavors. They usually consist of three to four different latte flavors, such as vanilla, hazelnut, and caramel.


Cold Brew Flights

Cold brew flights are a great way to try different cold brew flavors. They usually consist of three to four different cold brew flavors, such as original, vanilla, and mocha.


Single-Origin Flights

Single-origin flights are a great way to taste three to four types of coffee from the same region.


The Role of Baristas

Baristas are responsible for selecting the coffee beans, brewing methods, and presentation of the flight. They need to have a deep understanding of the coffee beans they are using, including their flavor notes, origin, and roast level.

They also choose the brewing methods for each coffee. A barista may whip up a flight of brewed coffees with distinct flavors, an all-espresso flight, or even serve one kind of coffee brewed via several different methods (think pour-over versus AeroPress versus batch-brew machine).

During the coffee flight, a skilled barista leads tasters through each cup in a manner similar to the way a sommelier might explain the flavor to consumers at a wine bar or winery. This education is crucial in helping customers understand the nuances of each coffee and appreciate the unique flavors and aromas.


Coffee Shops

Starbucks coffee restaurant

Coffee shops and cafes are the perfect places to try a coffee flight. When you visit a coffee shop, ask if they offer a coffee flight on their menu. Some coffee shops even provide a flavor profile guide to help you detect the differences in each cup.


Pairing Coffee Flights

Ovaltine Latte

Pairing coffee flights is an exciting way to explore new flavors and discover your favorite coffee blends. Just like wine tasting, they can be paired with various flavors to enhance your experience. Here are some pairing ideas:

  • Honey: If you have a sweet tooth, try pairing your coffee flight with honey. Honey also adds a unique flavor profile to your coffee, making it a perfect pairing.
  • Vanilla: Vanilla is a classic flavor that pairs well with coffee. Vanilla also complements the natural flavors of coffee beans, making it a perfect pairing.
  • Caramel: Caramel is another popular flavor that pairs well with coffee. You can add caramel syrup or sauce to your coffee to give it a rich and sweet taste. Caramel also adds a smooth texture to your coffee.
  • Wine Tasting: If you enjoy wine tasting, you will love pairing your coffee flights with different types of wines. Just like coffee, wines have unique flavor profiles that can enhance your coffee experience.
  • Sommelier: If you are new to coffee flights, consider consulting a sommelier. A sommelier specializes in pairing food and drinks. They can help you choose the perfect coffee flight and pair it with the right flavors to enhance your experience.




What are some popular coffee flight boards?

Some popular ones include boards with small cups of coffee arranged on a tray, accompanied by notes that describe the origin, flavor profile, and brewing method of each coffee. Other boards may include a flavor wheel or a chart that helps you compare the different types of coffee.


Where can I find the best coffee flights in my area?

You can find the best coffee flights in your area by searching online or asking for recommendations from friends or family. Check out local coffee shops or specialty coffee roasters and/or look for festivals or events in your area that feature coffee tastings.


Are there any unique coffee flavors that are typically included in coffee flights?

Coffee flights can include a wide range of unique and interesting flavors, depending on the types of coffee included. Some popular flavors include chocolate, caramel, citrus, floral, and fruity notes. You may also find some that feature coffee with unique brewing methods, such as cold brew or pour-over.


Ready to fly on your own?

variety coffee pack

Check out the Atlas Coffee Club World of Coffee Sampler, Gourmet Coffee Gift Set, 4-Pack Variety sold on Amazon to get you started!

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  • Laurie Graves

    Laurie is a 50-something wife and boy mom, who loves to share easy recipes, DIY home ideas, and food hacks. She truly believes that with a little inspiration, anyone can make their home and meals feel special.


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