This is what it says on my current beans:
lots of raisin and candied fruit peel is backed up by a creamy sweetness that makes me think of a Creme Brulee - right down to the little hints of caramel.
I get a couple of these a week, and this one is pretty restrained - it's normally 100 words of fanciful hyperbole which could have been produced by a random word generator. This one is a Central American Bourbon, with no useful information at all - altitude, soil, cleaning, processing, anything. And, more often than not, you have to google the farm to find out what varietal it is.
So what's going on? Do vendors just make this stuff up? Does anyone actually taste any of this stuff and, if they do, is it just Synaesthesia? What about the obvious problem, which is that Humans can taste pretty much nothing, and we only have a small number (48??) of different smell receptors?
Just to be clear, I can smell (and taste, just) lots of different 'notes' in an espresso. The same roaster, for example, can consistently do fantastic El Salvador SL28, and an undrinkable Kenyan SL28. But nowhere in there can I detect anything remotely 'fruity', or 'chocolaty', or 'caramelly', or anything apart from different 'coffee'.