What Are the Thresholds of Reliable Tasting? - Page 3

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.

#21: Post by KScarfeBeckett »


Thinking about it, the Kimmel clip is about conscious expectations, not the unconscious priming that Kahneman describes. But both seem relevant contributors to unreliable perceptions. And funny.
Bought me a coffee grinder that's the best one I could find

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#22: Post by peacecup »

I recently posted a a paraphrase from Sir Peter Medawar on Dennis' temperature stability thread. It applies to tasting.

Medawar was a Nobel prize winning medical researcher. In one passage he notes how the mind is capable of controlling physical reactions, and he uses blushing as a well-known example. A simple mental stimulus (embarrassment) causes a strong physical reaction (redness).

I used this example to illustrate the importance of blind taste testing. I'm personally convinced that prior knowledge of the equipment, coffee, etc. makes it very likely that taste comparisons will not be objective.

Jim poked fun at the subjective theory of taste, and of course he is correct within broad limits. But within the subtle bounds of differentiating between two well-prepared espressos, I believe subjectivity is a real concern.

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#23: Post by another_jim »

I'm poking fun at any theory of reliable tasting that doesn't emphasize user control and repetition of the tasting process. If the experience is not repeatable, it is not within the purview of science or statistics; and the concept of reliability doesn't even apply.

People's subjective preferences, which are according to every result of market research, quite ephemeral and situational, are a poor candidate for training, or anything else that requires reliability. People's tasting capacities are more permanent, more reliable, and can be trained.

Therefore, it follows, when a professional cupper says a coffee is good, it is not a statement about her preference, but about the coffee. It's more like a farmer saying this plant is healthy, rather than saying it's pretty.
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#24: Post by Marshall »

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#25: Post by yakster »

I ran across this interesting doctoral thesis while searching on astringent, unripe flavors in coffee after a disappointing experience with a batch of coffee I brewed this morning that I picked up at Whole Foods, one week off roast.

Astringency and other oral sensations: biological sources of individual variation and association with food and beverage behaviour. Philosophy Doctoral thesis of Martha R. Bajec, B.Sc., M.Sc. Department of Biological Sciences Faculty of Math and Science, Brock University St. Catharines, Ontario ©2010

The article discusses taste perception of 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) non-tasters versus tasters and Thermal Tasters (TT) who perceive phantom tastes such as sweetness, saltiness, and sourness based on the warming or cooling of regions of the tongue versus non-thermal tasters.

It's pretty dense and I haven't had a chance to digest much, but as further enticement, a red wine mouth-feel wheel illustration is included in the document.

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