It's challenging to calibrate taste descriptors that enable a more synchronised communication level - eg, when you say tomato, I say capsicum. Does anyone have any insights, or links to resources that accurately describe the different tastes within coffee, that help match up different perceptions?
How can I calibrate my taste, to accurately describe all these sensations? I'm struggling to understand the differences, and it seems I need someone to put a range of different shots in front of me and tell me how the taste of each one is described accurately... time in the saddle helps obviously...another_jim wrote:Fortunately, these flavors can be grouped into a few large families, so that all the members of a given flavor family extract in similar ways. This work was done by Ted Lingle, who grouped the flavors by molecular weight, with the light weight ones dissolving quickly, and the heavy weight ones dissolving slowly:
This flavor classification provides a road map to a balanced coffee extraction, either for brewing or in espresso. While describing the taste of coffee both accurately and in detail is an art; it is fairly easy to sort the tastes and smells into these four broad groups.
- Fruit acids have fruity or floral aromas and flavors, crisp tastes in sweeter brews, and sour tastes in less sweet ones.
- Maillard compounds have the aromas and flavors of toasted grain, wood, tannins, or nuts; and tastes which are sharply bitter in less sweet brews, and warm, round, and malty in sweeter ones.
- Caramels have caramel, vanilla or chocolate flavors and a sweet taste. Since almost all sugars in green coffee are caramelized during the roast, these are the primary source of sweetness in coffee. Dark caramels, which taste bitter-sweet, dissolve more slowly than light caramels, which taste more sugary.
- Dry distillates are reduced (burnt) caramels and maillard compounds that become dominant in dark roasts. They have the aromas and flavors of clove, tobacco, peat, or turpeny, a dully bitter, ashen taste in less sweet brews, and a bitter-sweet molasses taste in sweeter brews.
From Some Aspects of Espresso Extraction