Do you ever find yourself struggling to describe the flavours in your coffee? Fear not, coffee lover, because the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) and World Coffee research have got your back with the coffee tasting wheel!
This wheel is a comprehensive tool that categorises different flavours found in coffee. From fruity to nutty and even chemically and everything in between, the wheel has got you covered! And don't worry, just because a coffee is described with a certain flavour doesn't mean it actually contains traces of that material. It's just a guide used by experts and coffee connoisseurs to describe and explain flavours! To get the most out of your experience make sure that your coffee beans are fresh! How fresh should your coffee beans be read on in our blog post.
So how can you use this wheel to improve your coffee experience?
First things first, you need to taste your coffee mindfully. This means taking note of the fragrances and appearance of the coffee at all stages in the process. Once you're ready to taste, be sure to do so with an awareness of all your senses - taste, smell, and sight.
When looking at the wheel to determine the flavours in your coffee, start at the centre and the larger categories.
By simplifying the process, you will find it easier to determine the family of flavours that the notes belong to. Once you have established this, you can start to move outwards, looking at all the possible flavours to try and find the best match. Is it lemon or lime? Hazelnut or almond? Thinking through these questions will help narrow down the flavors.
But wait, there's more! The designers of the coffee tasting wheel carefully chose the colours to reflect different tastes.
Bright, subtle, warm, or cool - these flavours are all reflected in the colours on the wheel. So not only can you use your taste buds, but also your visual senses to get a better idea of what different notes should taste like.