...But first, Coffee!

Part of what makes coffee so fascinating is the endless possibilities when it comes to flavour and character you can get out of a bean based on so many different variables. Whether it be the origin of the bean itself, the roasting profile, the brewing method, etc., there always seems to be a new roaster that has come out with yet another great offering with flavour profiles and descriptions that sound like they are describing the latest carnival concession snack. Something like cotton candy, rosebud, chocolate dipped cherry wouldn't be a shock to see on a bag of coffee nowadays. 

At the end of the day, taste is subjective and everyone has a different palate so the best we can do is use common flavours that most people can easily recognize to associate with what they might be smelling and tasting in the particular coffee they are enjoying. 

The Specialty Coffee Association produced the coffee tasters flavour wheel to help narrow down the various tasting notes and associations that you might notice when testing a specific type of roast.  Starting from the middle of the wheel would be the basic characteristics with the more refined specific notes on the outer circumference of the wheel. It's quite obvious that there are certain characteristics that would be undesirable as a roaster; how does "Chemical smell with a petroleum finish" sound to you? Doesn't sound very enticing does it....

For the expert roaster or the uninitiated novice, the flavour wheel is a valuable resource that can be referenced to guide your taste buds to what you might not be able to naturally associate. Have a look and perhaps the next time you are sipping on that cup of Joe, you'll notice a few new hints of raspberry or pomegranate or a dark chocolate. Enjoy.

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