The language of coffee tasting
Expert coffee tasters need to understand the subtle differences between coffees. How has the way the coffee was grown, milled and roasted affected the final flavour? Did the type of soil the tree was planted in make a difference? Or maybe the way it was watered and fed? Even the type of bags the beans have been stored in could change that final flavour.
In fact, many experts in the coffee-tasting profession use a book called the Sensory Lexicon. It’s a bit like an insider’s guide to the strength of the different flavours in coffee. It lists more than 100 different flavours, and they’re organised into groups such as:
Floral, spices, sweet, cocoa
Roasted, cereal, nutty
There can be many flavours in each group. For example, the ‘sweet’ group of flavours includes molasses, maple syrup, brown sugar, caramelised, honey and vanilla.