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How to Taste Coffee

Posted by Nathaniel Fleming on

Coffee is one of the most cherished drinks after water itself. At Barty Single Origin it’s our responsibility to be good at what we love. That’s why we make delightful and tasty coffee. To do this, we have to practice a lot of coffee tasting, and build up our knowledge on taste, and smell.

So can you. It’s actually way easier than you’d expect. The next coffee you taste, treat each sip sacredly, and inspire your senses with what you’re tasting.

Here’s a general tasting compass to help you begin your journey. Think of where the coffee’s taste leans on this map. Taste Compass DiagramWhat are you feeling? Tasting?

Taste includes independent savoury or umami flavours too. Now, what flavours can you taste?

Remember there are limitless flavours out there so anything can be the “right answer”. Oftentimes, it’s easy to associate with familiar flavours, distinct flavourful memories, or really pungent flavours. Comparing tastes and flavours through experience is the only way we learn and know what taste is.

Here’s an industry flavour navigation tool, which uses the most common and appropriate flavours in coffee: The Coffee Taster’s Flavour WheelSCAA Coffee Taster's Flavour WheelCoffee Taster’s Flavour Wheel (SCAA, 2021)

Use this diagram to help distinguish your tastes by starting in the centre, and work your way out to a distinguished flavour. If you don’t have immediate access to this flavour wheel, try to consciously verbalise what you are experiencing, and compare flavours to things you have recently tasted. This is why people with diverse diets may have a more conscious sense of taste.

All Barty Single Origin coffees are profiled by our head roaster Bart Jawien, who dictates our roast profiles, which highly affect the flavour of our coffee. This is only after it has traveled to your cup.

Talking about taste and flavour with others can help unlock the missing descriptors of a coffee. Ask me what I think about any of our coffees, and you might discover a new flavour.

At Barty Single Origin, we strive for the best-tasting coffee you can get. As coffee professionals, we like to think we have experienced opinions on how great coffee can taste. That being said, the most beautiful thing about taste is that it’s subjective to the taster, and you should enjoy your coffee however you like it. Maybe opt for a new coffee origin over your usual one next time you order a Barty Single Origin coffee, and start a conversation about what you experience.


About Nathaniel Fleming

Write ✍️ Design 📐 Brew ☕ Barty Single Origin's resident Coffee Expert & Coffee Quality Assurance Officer. Nathaniel's understanding of coffee and culture comes from his international background of the United States, Australia, Europe, and Asia. His approach to sustainable design in the specialty coffee industry is driven by a biocentric perspective and a passion for excellent coffee. He is currently based in Sydney, Australia.


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