Next time you drink a cup of coffee I'd like you to consider its flavour. Rather than slurping it down, take a second or two to allow the coffee sit on your tongue and in your mouth and see what flavours you can pick out before you swallow it. Even after swallowing keep searching. At a typical barista training class we will taste and assess anywhere between 50 and 100 coffees. We look for flavour and mouthfeel. More often than not when you drink a poor coffee you get a taste - not flavour. Usually that taste is bitterness, it is at the back of your mouths or in our throat and is often confused with strength. The more bitter, the stronger it is perceived to be. Wrong.
Coffee has an abundance of flavour. When you taste coffee, the flavours should sit in the middle of your tongue and they should wrap around your mouth. Caramels, dark fruits and chocolate are just an example of flavours that you might be able to identify. The mouthfeel is also known as body. A properly made coffee will be balanced. When you taste it, it will be present in the middle of your mouth, it will be rich in mouthfeel and the flavours should be noticeable on your tongue. Acidity to the front, fruits and sweetness to the middle. It should not be bitter. Think flavour not taste.