The other day my sister told me, “I don’t find those descriptors they use for coffee very useful.”
“What? Like the ‘notes of cocoa, earthy after-finish’ descriptions?”
This was mind-boggling to me. But it explained the way that she asked for “bold” coffee, and I felt that was insufficient information. For her, what she prefers is the bold end of the roast spectrum.
I, on the other hand, read the poetic descriptions, and pretty much go with anything that has “cocoa” in the description. Partly because that’s the layer of flavor I pay attention to. And I know that the bold roasts can tend to suffocate that flavor with bitterness.
Good thing I’ve been buying coffee for my tastes separately from the family’s for some time!
It’s so interesting how differently people communicate, even within the same language, within the same family. My sister’s voice and even word-choice is more similar to mine than anyone else in the world, probably–but our brains process differently.
It reminds me how important it is to listen. We often think we know where people are coming from (“have you even paid attention, can you be more specific than ‘bold’?”) but may instead be narrating our own perspectives.