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The coffee tasting wheel is an essential tool for coffee enthusiasts, roasters, and professionals, helping them describe and analyze the intricate flavors and aromas found in coffee. Developed by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) in collaboration with World Coffee Research (WCR), the wheel provides a standardized vocabulary for tasting and discussing coffee.


Understanding the Tasting Wheel


The tasting wheel is a colorful, circular chart divided into segments, each representing different flavor and aroma categories. It starts with broad categories at the center, which become more specific as you move outward. Here’s a closer look at its key components:

Primary Categories

· Fruity: Includes a range of fruit flavors such as berry, citrus, and tropical.

· Floral: Covers various floral notes, often found in lighter roasts.

· Spices: Encompasses spice flavors like cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg.

· Nutty/Cocoa: Represents nutty and chocolatey flavors, common in medium to dark roasts.

· Sweet: Includes sugary flavors like honey, caramel, and vanilla.

· Sour/Fermented: Captures sour and fermented notes, often indicating specific processing methods or fermentation issues.

· Green/Vegetative: Describes vegetal flavors like grass or green pepper, usually associated with under-roasted beans.

· Other: Covers a variety of flavors including smokey, savory, and chemical notes.


Using the Tasting Wheel


1. Start with Broad Categories: Begin by identifying broad flavor categories. Is the coffee fruity, nutty, or floral?

2. Narrow Down: Move outward from the center to narrow down the specific flavor. For example, if you identify a fruity note, determine if it’s berry, citrus, or tropical.

3. Compare and Contrast: Use the wheel to compare different coffees and articulate subtle differences in flavor profiles.


Practical Tips


· Cupping Sessions: Use the wheel during cupping sessions to refine your palate and better understand coffee flavors.

· Flavor Journals: Keep a flavor journal to track and compare your tasting notes over time.

· Education: The wheel is an excellent educational tool for baristas, roasters, and coffee enthusiasts, helping to build a common language around coffee flavors.




The coffee tasting wheel is a powerful tool for anyone looking to deepen their appreciation and understanding of coffee. By providing a structured approach to identifying and describing coffee flavors, the wheel helps refine the tasting experience and enhances the enjoyment of this beloved beverage.


Lion’s Head Coffee

At Lion's Head Coffee, we pride ourselves on offering the freshest, highest-quality coffee, roasted daily to perfection. Our beans are shipped directly to your

door, ensuring maximum freshness. We offer flexible, easy-to-manage subscription packages to suit your needs. Choose from a variety of roasts, including light, medium, and dark, each with unique flavor profiles that cater to every palate. Experience the exceptional taste of freshly roasted coffee with Lion's Head Coffee, and enjoy the convenience of a personalized coffee subscription delivered right to you.

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