- We divide the sensory elements of coffee into three categories: olfactory, gustatory and tactile.
- Each of these categories each have three subsections relevant to coffee cupping.
- The olfactory elements are aroma, flavour, and aftertaste.
- The gustatory elements are acidity, sweetness, and bitterness.
- The tactile elements are weight, texture, and afterfeel.
- When scoring coffee, a balance score describes the aggregate of all the scoring elements — i.e., how they interact.
- We do consider salt and umami properties important to coffee appreciation.
- Cuppers can be objective when it comes to identifying positive and negative qualities in coffee if they have experience working with a library of sensory references.
- An example of a reference library for coffee is the World Coffee Research Sensory Lexicon.
- Sensory scientists use differentiation tests like the triangulation tests we see in the World Cup Tasters championships to ascertain if products are appreciably different from one another.
Afterfeel The combined effect of coffee residues left on the palate after consuming a beverage.
Differentiation ( sensory test) a set of various sensory tests used in sensory science that are designed to ascertain if two or more products are appreciably different from each other.
Gustation The sense of taste.
Olfaction The sense of smell.
Reference (flavour) In sensory training, references are used to help cuppers become more accurate and responsive to identifying aromatic the sensory characteristics of certain substances.
Tactile To do with our sense of touch