A Breakdown That Will Boggle The Mind.
For most of us judging coffee is a simple as saying “yeah I like that” or “that’s the worst”. There is a whole group of folks though that takes their coffee much more seriously than that. These folks, known as cuppers, have such sophisticated pallets that they are able to identify subtle flavors and aromas that just bypass the rest of us. As matter fact it’s a lot like watching a fine wine connoisseur in action.
In an effort to set up a standard judging practices for different varieties of coffee the SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America) developed the coffee tasters flavor wheel in 1995. Since its introduction this flavor wheel has become a fixture in the coffee industry. This wheel was fully updated again during 2016 in a collaborative effort between the SCAA and WCA (World Coffee Research).
The original flavor wheel consisted of two circular charts that broke down not only what made good coffee on one but what created bad coffee on another. In 2016 though, these two charts were merged into one all-encompassing flavor wheel. We’ve included images of both below for your viewing pleasure. So the next time you take a sip of coffee just give thought to the fact that there is somebody somewhere doing the exact same thing only putting a whole lot more thought into it.
In addition if you would like to see more about what goes into coffee cupping and the numerous standards involved click the link below. Once on their site you will notice the complete breakdown in the column to your right. You can also order your own poster size flavor wheel by clicking the store link in their top navigation bar.