A coffee tasting is very different from the typical coffee drinking experience. You taste to learn about the coffee, to describe the entire sensory experience that you have when you sip and smell it. We think it’s nice to taste with other people to share your experience and learn from each other.

So, how do you get the most out of a coffee tasting? We’ve got four tips for you:

1. Visit open cuppings

A cupping is a very specific type of coffee tasting, usually they’re help by roasteries and coffee bars. By going to open cuppings, you can learn about coffee from the people who know most about it. Follow your favorite roasteries and bars on social media to learn about events near you, or visit Mindful Coffee Tasting Experience at the Amsterdam Coffee Festival!

2. Compare different coffees.

It’s hard to assess a coffee all on its own. Comparing multiple coffees to each other is much easier, and more fun! Try them all, then list the differences you notice. Is one more acidic? Is another more floral? Maybe two of them are chocolatey, but one slightly more chocolatey than the other! Comparison is the fastest ways to learn how to describe different coffees.

3. Beware of outside influence!

Your environment has a huge influence on your taste experience: smells, colours, sounds, and the opinions of the people around you will affect your perception of the coffees you’re trying. If your neighbor is raving enthusiastically about the banana flavour notes in her coffee, chances are her words will influence your taste buds! So, if you’re tasting with others, try to do it quietly. Write down your thoughts, then share your experiences after you’re all done tasting.

4. The Coffee Taster’s Flavour Wheel

The flavour wheel is a collaboration between the SCA and World Coffee Research. They designed it as a tool to help people analyze and describe coffees. To see the wheel and learn how to use it, check out this article about the Coffee Taster’s Flavour Wheel on SCA news.

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