The Coffee Taster's Flavor Wheel

The Coffee Taster's Flavor Wheel

Posted by Chris Newsom on Aug 20th 2018

What Is It?

The Coffee Tasters Flavor Wheel was designed by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) and World Coffee Research as a tool for the coffee taster. Whether a casual taster or seasoned professional cupper the flavor wheel will help you analyze and describe coffee.

Download the Coffee Flavor Wheel

Brew Some Coffee

Select and carefully prepare some coffee. A manual brewing method is suggested to give you maximum opportunity to observe the coffee: the fragrance after grinding, the aromas released as the brew water activates the grounds, and the flavors you experience on your palate while sipping.

How To Use It?

The wheel’s design places the most general taste descriptors near the center, getting more specific as we work outward. As you taste a coffee and discover a flavor begin by locating it in the center ring. Next, continue to further refine its description by moving outward to the adjacent sectors. Notice the colors associated with the wheel descriptors, they are designed to assist with fixing a particular description.

Here's an example: The Ethiopian coffee you brewed presents a general fruitiness which you locate as "Fruity" on the inner ring. Moving outward you decide it is more "Berry" than "Citrus." And then further, quite like "Blueberry."

That's how you do it. Move back to the center and start again with another flavor continuing the cycle until you feel the description of the coffee is complete.

Run With The Wheel

We've illustrated the basic use of the Coffee Taster's Flavor Wheel in this article. If you're interested in the science behind, and scientific use of, the flavor wheel, search for related articles on scanews.coffee.