Have you ever looked at the tasting notes on a label and wondered how can coffee taste like strawberries or chocolate, or blueberries? While you might think that all your favourite coffees "taste like coffee," there's a symphony of flavours in there that makes each one unique. Don't be alarmed - No one is sneaking chocolate powder or strawberry syrup into your coffee beans, we promise!
What is the Coffee Taster's Flavour Wheel?
The coffee taster's flavour wheel is a tool designed to explore your brew's complexities at a more intimate level. It is like a guide to help you analyze and describe the coffee you enjoy.
Understanding Flavour Profiles
The various flavours that the wheel lists and your favourite coffee roaster mention on their packaging are not additives but inherent to the coffee beans themselves. Many variables create unique coffee flavours, including country of origin, harvest quality, processing methods, roasting style, and more.
For instance, flavour profiles in Central American coffees range from nutty and citrus to floral and spicy, whereas coffees from the Asian region are earthy and even smoky. Natural process coffee beans are like stewed strawberries or blueberries, while washed process coffees might be stone-fruity and crisp.
How to Use the Coffee Taster's Flavour Wheel?
'Flavour' is defined as a combination of taste and smell, and the flavour wheel contains attributes from basic taste to pure aromas. To use this tool, brew some fresh coffee and start at the center of the wheel, slowly moving outward.
Take a sip of your brew and think about the broad flavours you are tasting – is it earthy and nutty, floral and sweet?
Now slurp a bit of your coffee (that's right!) and try to identify more intimate flavours in your cup moving closer to the outer rings.
The second ring in the coffee taster's flavour wheel breaks the broader flavours into specific categories. For instance, 'fuity' is classified into berry, citrus, dried fruits, or other fruits. Once you are here, you can easily navigate to the outermost ring to find a specific derscriptor. For example, 'Citus fruit' contains grapefruits, orange, lemon, and lime.
Explore Your Favourite Brew
Whether it's your morning cup or a special vist to the coffee shop, being minful of the aromas and tastes can help you explore your new favourite brew. You can try the same coffee multiple times using different brew methods to identify those subtle flavours in your cup. We recommend choosing specialty coffees as their quality allows you to notice nuanced flavours.
Start by exploring our wide selection of coffees from some of the best roasters in Canada. Let us know what flavour profiles you like the most!