Sweet. Floral. Nutty. Baristas and coffee enthusiasts often use these words — and many more — to describe the flavour nuances of different coffees. The flavour wheel below from the Specialty Coffee Association of America groups different flavour descriptions into tiers on a wheel.
The wheel is based on three years of scientific research and collaboration among those in the specialty coffee community. Although the graphic doesn't describe each flavour, but rather identifies them in a hierarchy, you can use it to narrow down the flavour notes you taste in a cup of coffee (or, perhaps, other beverages and dishes). For example, does it taste more roasted or sour? If roasted, is it a cereal-like flavour or more burnt? If it's a burnt roasted flavour, is it smoky or ashy? Might be fun to use the wheel while taste-testing coffee as it's described by the roaster.
The wheel will be available for purchase as a poster in February, but you can print out the version below.
Reinventing the (Flavour) Wheel: Industry Collaborates to Identify Coffee Flavour Attributes [The Specialty Coffee Chronicle via [email protected]]