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Did you know that there have been over 850 aroma/flavor compounds discovered in coffee? It’s one of the most complex beverages in this sense (sense, get it?).

Aroma, Body, Acidity and Flavor

With the advent of the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s new and improved Flavor Wheel, comes as many questions as there are tasting notes.

Taste is a complex thing - well, sort of. There are actually only 5 tastes our tongues can detect: Sweetness, Saltiness, Bitterness, Acidity and Umami.

A very logical next question is, “How do we actually taste all of the things we can taste?!”. Incredibly, we smell them. Our nose is the gateway to all of these amazing notes, telling us the difference between everything from strawberries and raspberries to caramel and butterscotch to chocolate milk and regular milk.

Understanding how we taste is not only necessary in the development of the products we serve, but also helps people find the coffees they love. And, as a customer, it can help you find the coffees, wines, foods and drinks you’ll return to time and time again.

To simplify things, we run our classes breaking down the taste of coffee into four key points: Aroma, Body, Acidity and Flavor.

Coffee professionals (like us!) follow these four fundamentals of taste, the guiding principles for recognizing and transcribing a coffee’s flavor profile