A cool video on tasting coffee

March 05, 2012

I found thisvideo on reddit earlier and thought it was pretty interesting. 


When I review a coffee I usually try to touch on how the coffee fits into my palate. I like to discuss the things that are unique or surprising about a coffee. For example, in my latest review I talk about the surprising difference in sweetness of Olympia’s “Honey” coffee vs. a traditionally prepared coffee.


I also like to do a few comparisons between drip, Aeropress, espresso and  other applications like Mocha. As I’ve recently found out , there’s a huge amount of difference between Aeropress and espresso.  This is a bit of an issue for most people because they don’t have all the gear to test all the differences, for example I don’t have access to a good drip machine, but it’s handy for those that exclusively prepare their coffee one way. One of my recent reviews pointed out that while a certain blend made a good espresso, it wasn’t so great at a standard cup of coffee.


One thing that I’m not so good at is what this video talks about. I usually try to list a few dominant flavors, but I’m not so hot at being able to pck out minor variations between light tastes of “strawberry” vs. light tastes of “raspberry” and would more than likely just go with “fruity.”


The video touches on a few other dimensions that I haven’t really considered. The texture, finish, etc. are all important considerations when you’re choosing a coffee. I generally just try to tell you whether I think it’s great, good, ok or bad. I don’t spend a lot of effort on subtleties. I think the next time I try to review a blend I’ll re-watch the video and see whether I can actually pick out some of these nuances. How do you guys manage it? Can you taste all these subtle differences?

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