The Art of Coffee Tasting
20 May 2020
TRY THIS TECHNIQUE TO EVALUATE COFFEE LIKE AN EXPERT.
Tasting is a vital part of making exceptional coffee. It’s the way we assess our hallmarks of quality: crema, body, smoothness and aroma intensity.
Working to a precise process of slurping and sniffing, Nespresso’s experts can quickly judge a coffee’s characteristics to see whether it reaches our high standards.
It’s both science and art, but you don’t need decades of experience to become a pro at distinguishing good from bad.
If you want to learn how to judge your cup of coffee, try our simple three-step coffee tasting guide below.
Coffee tasting is both science and art.
01 STUDY THE CREMA
Is the crema, the layer of foam on the surface of your coffee, uniform and smooth? The bubbles should be small and numerous, making a fine, dense crema. If the bubbles are large, and there’s only a few of them, it indicates that the coffee has been brewed too quickly. If bubbles are dense, the coffee has probably been brewed too slowly and may be burned.
02 INHALE DEEPLY
Sniff the aromas released above the cup. How do they smell? Note the fragrances, then stir your coffee gently and sniff again. Breathe in deeply for a few seconds so that the aromatics reach your nasal cavity. Smell and taste are very closely interlinked, so your first general understanding of the smell sensations helps you decide how pleasant the coffee is.
03 EVALUATE THE TASTE
Now for the fun part — take a big spoonful of coffee and really slurp it. Don’t be shy about it. Slurp strongly from the spoon to draw the coffee into your mouth. If you’re making loud and weird noses, you’re doing it right. When you slurp deeply, you help pump aromatics into the back of your nose where it connects with your mouth, so you’ll also be smelling the coffee. Consider everything from the coffee’s texture and flavour to its acidity and aftertaste. And let’s not forget its marvellous flavour.
While this isn’t the only coffee tasting method, it’s an approachable one to get you started. Now sit back and enjoy your cup.
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