Cuprajake If anyone has ever said that, I’d be surprised and just as skeptical as you.
Have you never detected a flavour note in coffee that made you think of another food, or drink?
Generally, when I see more than 3 references for a coffee, I start to wonder if the roaster is playing ‘pin the tail on the donkey’ & hoping one of the sugestions sticks. Similarly if I see references to obscure fruits, cultivated vs wild fruit & foods that almost no one can relate to.
If the note isn’t evident in ball park brews, as opposed to the odd outstanding brew, then it isn’t real.
If there is a distinctive overriding note, then great. Same for bracketing the acidity (citric/green apple/red berry), or sweetness (treacle/toffee/white sugar). But if the nectarine note reminds me more of mango, or the grapefruit more of passionfruit, I don’t sweat it…I just expect slightly tangy yellow fleshy fruit, or tart fruit accordingly.
Let’s not forget that the references people attribute to coffees, themselves taste different to other things in the same category (e.g. Galaxy vs Hersheys chocolate, or a Granny Smith vs French Golden Delicious).
I think roasters get a little over-obsessed with playing ‘what other food/drink coffee tastes like’, I’d rather it was tasty & didn’t necessarily taste like anything else/specific. Sweet (in the context of coffee), balanced, clean for example, are of more interest than me,
That said, I have had coffees that had certain stated notes in spades. It’s only a good thing if you like that thing, from which the note is derived, in the first place.
What I really find odd is when the most tangible notes never appear on the bag, like farmyard, cowpat, wood, dried fig (rather than fig which is a very different thing when fresh & ripe).