One of the most important things when moving into the amazing world of coffee is the many flavours that unfold – and that you have to find your way around if you want to practice brewing a tasty cup of coffee. Luckily, there’s a map to help you find your way around. It’s a taste wheel you use when you cup coffee.
What is a taste wheel?
A flavour wheel is a tool that helps you zoom in and identify the many flavours in the different coffees you taste when cupping.
The flavour wheel is a circle divided into different colours and with adjectives describing different flavours. It is for example “sweet”, “floral”, “nuts”, “spices” and “toasted”.
Developed by the Special Coffee Association (SCA) and World Coffee Research (WCR), the wheel is the result of the largest and most comprehensive research in coffee and is designed to help map the taste and aroma of coffee.
How to use the wheel
Start in the innermost circle of the wheel and identify the key coffee flavour. Here, don’t think about undertones, but the first flavour that comes to mind. Take another sip of your coffee, and now judge by your first taste experience, the key taste. What undertones do you experience in your mouth? And so you continue, using your wheel as a tool to identify the flavour of the coffee in question.