11th June 2019 | listicles and factfiles | Views:

The Coffee Flavour Wheel: what’s it for?

Flavoured coffee? Leave it out

Let’s be honest. Most of us have dabbled with asking for two pumps of hazelnut syrup, or demanding chocolate sprinkles, or a drizzle of caramel when ordering from any major coffee chain.

We’re not judging. But coffee has so much flavour potential on its own, that typically over-roasted beans just don’t make the most of! Take a look and see what the professional tasters can pick out…

Coffee flavour wheel

Tasting coffee ‘professionally’ is all about memory. You’ll always remember the taste of your favourite penny sweets, or mum’s home-cooked toad in the hole, or that citrusy dessert you had once on holiday.

This wheel acts as a guide to picking out those flavours, so a coffee’s taste can be put down on paper. Pretty useful when you’re working out which coffees are right for your office.

Coffee tasting for the uninitiated

Coffee tasting (called cupping, by industry experts) is a laborious and complex process. Beans are meticulously weighed, temperatures are measured, timings are stringently recorded. It’s a science in itself.

But if you want to have a go at starting to pick out different flavour notes, you can try a ‘beginner’s version’ instead.

  1. Grab your cup of coffee

  2. Scoop out a spoon, and bring near your mouth

  3. Slurp the coffee noisily, to coat your whole tongue

  4. Hold the coffee in your mouth for a moment

  5. Try and focus on the flavours you can pick out

Got a hint of orange, or a whiff of chocolate? You’re coffee tasting, my friend!


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