Industries like beer and wine have flavor wheels which serve as a way to identify certain characteristics in those beverages. Coffee too as a flavor wheel, in fact the flavor wheel just got updated for the first time in more than 20 years after a long study by the World Coffee Research Sensory Lexicon.
Using the flavor wheel to talk about flavors that are in coffee and also associate them with the coffees gives the end user an idea of what they might experience in a given cup. The flavor wheel goes from more generic flavor concepts like fruity to more specific like berry, and then down to a specific berry like blackberry.
New to the new flavor wheel is that for each specific flavor, they provide a specific and widely available example of that flavor. For example to understand what blackberry tastes like at an intensity of 5.5, they recommend tasting Smucker’s Blackberry Jam.
When you read the coffee flavor descriptions on our coffees, now you know where those flavor descriptors come from!
Photo from the SCAA website on the release of the new flavor wheel!