Use this handy, descriptive graphic—the Counter Culture Coffee Taster’s Flavor Wheel—to identify the various flavor notes in your coffee-tasting adventures. Interactive Coffee Taster’s Flavor Wheel, based on Coffee Taster’s Flavor Wheel ( ) and World Coffee Research Sensory Lexicon (first edt. ). from SCAA Defects. Handbook: (p. 4). FULL BLACK. Effect on cup quality: Ferment or stinker taste, dirty, moldy, sour, phenolic taste. Causes: Agricultural.

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Study the Colors Our visual sense is strongly connected with our other senses, and the way foods look give us important cues to how they are likely to taste. Taste some Coffee The flavor wheel can be used either in casual tasting or professional coffee cupping.

For example, the Smoky attribute has three references: The wheel is meant to be beautiful, like the greatest coffees can be. The most general taste descriptors are near the center, and they get more specific as the tiers work outward.

Sometime the same reference is used for more than one attribute. The Coffee Tasters Flavor Wheel is based on the World Coffee Research Sensory Lexicona standard set whel attributes designed to allow trained sensory panels evaluate coffees for scientific research purposes. Use your Words The great thing about these tools is that they form a foundational common language for coffee tasters.

It represents a comprehensive, kaleidoscopic picture of coffee flavor. Although the vast majority of flavor wheel users will not be trained in this methodology, the lexicon can still be used to define the attributes represented on the wheel.

Start at the Center Again With a knowledge of the Lexicon Attributes in mind perhaps even having referenced an attribute or two taste a coffee and start in the center again, working your way out to a specific attribute. If two attribute cells are connected, it means that the professional tasters in our research hasters of these attributes as being closely related, and if there is a gap, that means the tasters thought of them as being slightly less closely related.


For now, just marvel at the possible complexity of coffee. For each attribute, references cfofee provided that serve as the standard against which that attribute is measured.

Keeping in mind that aromatic references noted tassters such should never be ingested, though flavor references can be, you can taste and smell the references to orient yourself to those flavors in coffee.

The flavor wheel and lexicon therefore work best in tandem, the taster referencing the lexicon for attribute descriptors and references if needed. The intensity score is the critical factor that makes the World Coffee Research Sensory Lexicon not just a descriptive tool but a measurement one—it allows evaluators to measure the amount of a given flavor or aroma attribute in a coffee sample.

In either situation, the key is to taste mindfully.

Coffee Taster’s Flavor Wheel

We are eager to explore new techniques and ideas! In certain contexts, therefore, focusing on common language—illustrated in the wheel—is just the thing for whefl who seek to communicate about coffee. Each reference is given an intensity score on a scale of 1 to 15, and is labeled as either an aroma or a flavor reference. Ferment or stinker taste, dirtymoldysourphenolic taste. Now, look to the neighboring attributes.

How to Use the Coffee Taster’s Flavor Wheel in 8 Steps – Specialty Coffee Association News

How to use it? This might help a struggling taster find a descriptor: There will be unfamiliar words to many- technical and chemical descriptions of flavors- but the lexicon explains them clearly and provides sensory references for all of its attributes.


Many references are suggested to be smelled from snifters, which concentrate the aromatics. You can cick it. Every attribute in the WCR lexicon has a reference, and many of these references are readily available in supermarkets and from online sources. Read the Lexicon The Coffee Tasters Flavor Wheel is based on the World Coffee Research Sensory Lexicona standard set of attributes designed to allow trained sensory panels evaluate tasfers for scientific research purposes.

Take it All In The wheel is meant to be beautiful, like the greatest coffees can be. This is the descriptive name given to the sensory attribute taste, smell, or mouthfeel that sensory scientists determined are present in coffee over the course of developing the lexicon.

The further the gap extends to the center of the wheel, the less closely related the tasters found the attribute descriptors to each other. Each tasers has a definition that clarifies and describes what the attribute name means.

Child category located closer to the edge. Each reference includes instructions for preparation, including serving instructions. Most flavors, however, are a mixture of the senses: The existence of an industry-standard wheel means that all coffee professionals can study a common document, have it in our tasting labs and shops, and base our communication on a shared set of terms. Full screen click the wheel.