TheCoffeeSessions: Taste, Aroma & Flavour in Sensory Performance
Last Thursday night the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe UK Chapter (SCAE UK) and the International Coffee Organization (ICO) hosted a fascinating evening of investigation into the mechanisms of taste and smell.
As baristas and coffee enthusiasts we use these senses to dial in and enjoy our brews.
Emma Sage, Coffee Science Manager at the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), presented the new Coffee Tasters Flavour Wheel developed by SCAA and World Coffee Research (WCR) and the WCR Sensory Lexicon.
Emma's talk also covered how we use all our senses to taste and led into a brilliant in depth presentation by Dr Simon Gane, surgeon and leading researcher into the science and mechanism of olfaction, who discussed the latest theories of smell and talked about genetic variance, threshold and difference in humans.
This was an extremely rare opportunity to hear a fantastic speaker and leading scientist on this little understood subject.
The World Coffee Research Lexicon - a tool for understanding and measuring coffee's flavors and aromas - is the largest collaborative research project on coffee's flavors and aromas ever done.
Created at the Sensory Analysis Center at Kansas State University, the lexicon identifies 110 flavor, aroma, and texture attributes present in coffee, and provides references for measuring their intensity. The purpose of the lexicon is to advance our understanding of coffee quality and how it is created, so that we may continue to increase it.
The WCR Sensory Lexicon is the basis for a new Coffee Flavor Taster's Wheel, the first redesign of this standard reference tool in 20 years.
The Lexicon is free to download (for personal use) and can be obtained here
The new Coffee Flavor Taster's Wheel is discussed in detail here
and can be purchased here