HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR COFFEE PALATE- TASTE COFFEE LIKE A PRO
Coffee is a beverage loved by many. It has a range of fascinating flavors and flavorful compounds that you can enjoy. With a well-developed palate, you’ll be able to identify and appreciate the taste and flavors of coffee. It allows you to feel the depth and unique qualities of each coffee.
Although baristas go through Palate Development courses, you can cup coffee at home and improve your palate. We’ll tell you about ways to improve your palate. If you follow these tips, you’ll develop your palate easily and start enjoying all the interesting and delightful flavors in your favorite drink.
START TASTING THE BASIC FLAVORS
There are over 800 aromatic compounds flavors found in coffee. We understand that you can get overwhelmed with the ways professionals describe the coffee profiles. We advise that you start small, focus more on the known basic tastes- sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and savory.
Start by taking a sip of the coffee and think for a minute, does the coffee have any sweetness, bitterness, or saltiness? Are these tastes present? Once you have been able to identify this, you’ll feel more confident to know the extent of the coffee's sweetness or bitterness.
For instance, you can take a step after tasting a sweet coffee to tasting a chocolatey sweetness or one that has a sour taste.
SNIFF THE COFFEE
Did you know that what you perceive is a large part of what you smell? Before sipping the coffee (even before brewing), sniff it. You should take a big whiff, it will help you sense aromas that are unlocked once the beans are ground and when the coffee blooms. You’ll be priming your olfactory senses to appreciate all the flavors once it gets to your tongue.
As we said earlier, taste doesn't just happen in your tongue. The perception of coffee flavors is a result of your body’s chemo sensation, your olfactory senses, and your palates will in verge. We recommend smelling the whole beans first, smell the grind again and after brewing, tilt your cup over the bridge of your nose and sniff. In the end, these smells will differ, they’ll warm up your brain and you’ll be able to get all of the sensations from the cup of coffee.
KEEP EXPERIMENTING, KEEP TASTING
Imagine coffee tasting is like playing a sport, you have to keep practicing. You need to better at it, and you can keep tasting all the flavorful compounds and the unique taste of different coffees. You can try coffee from Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kenya, and more.
You can also taste coffee blends from our store, they are freshly roasted. Each time you eat or drink something new, you give yourself a chance to develop your palate very well by active tasting. What this means is that as you eat and drink every day, take a moment to focus fully on what you are tasting, think about taking a berry, for example, think about the sweetness, acidity, or texture of the berry.
What flavors did you notice so far that made the berry taste like berry? If you were to describe the berry to someone that has never tried it, how will you do it? When you keep tasting other things, it will help you think in a more flavored way.
Also, you can taste the same coffee brewed by different methods. Coffee brewing methods make a lot of difference. The difference can be subtle or much. Anyways, it's still a great way to put your palate and olfactory senses to a test. You can try brewing methods like- Aeropress or French press. You can also use the pour-over method or cold brew. They all give you different flavor strengths.
KEEP A JOURNAL FOR COFFEE TASTING
We advise that you keep a log of all the coffees you’ve tasted, write down the flavors and tastes you found in each coffee. Although writing won't really improve your palate, it will help you think actively because you’ll be searching for the right terms to define what you’re tasting.
As you develop your palate, you’ll find more words to describe your coffee (more descriptive words of course). Writing also provides you with a history of all the coffees you’ve tasted. When you read the journal again, you’ll be able to see how much progress you’ve made.
HAVE A FLAVOR LIBRARY
Most times, people use non-coffee foods to describe the flavors they taste in coffee. As we mentioned above, we get experiences and knowledge from other foods we have tasted to enjoy the aromas and flavors in coffee. As you taste other foods, you’ll build a flavor library, it will give your palate more experiences to draw while tasting coffee. The more food you taste, the bigger your library will be.
It will help you identify the flavors in the coffee. Let's explain better, if coffee has a blueberry taste, and you've not eaten a blueberry before, you wouldn't be able to identify the taste well. In other words, building a flavor library will give you reference points when drinking different coffees.
PAY ATTENTION TO FLAVOR DESCRIPTIONS
Whenever we roast and taste a new coffee here at Coffee hero, we always use roasting techniques that bring out the most pleasant taste of coffees. Our cuppers write down the flavor characteristics they can identify in the coffee. We also include the descriptors on our coffee bags to give you some ideas of what to taste for. These flavor descriptors will be a good tool that’ll help you develop your palate. It's easier to find these flavors when there’s an idea of what to look out for.
You should read what our brand says about each coffee, challenge yourself to find these flavors too. Did you know you can take a step further to learn the factors that affect the factors you like or dislike most? For example, you may find that you prefer the fruitiness of naturally processed coffees or the complex acidity of Kenyan coffee beans.
Once you become an informed coffee drinker, you’ll enjoy the most out of your cup of coffee. You should note that as your palate becomes more refined, through experimenting, you should try to ignore the flavor descriptors, and it will allow you to discover new flavor notes.
You’ll be able to challenge yourself and find more flavors, and your palate will be more developed. In addition, after discovering your own flavors, you can always check the flavor descriptions on the coffee bags and check if the flavors match. You might be surprised and see the same flavors we discovered.
CUP LOTS OF COFFEE
From what you’ve seen, the more coffees you taste, the more you’ll understand the flavor profiles. You’ll discover what you like and dislike. Try different coffee bags (single-origin and coffee blends) every week to experience new coffee flavors. Also, take different coffees as much as you can. Try to identify the similarities and differences between the coffees.
You can even cup the coffee blindly, this way you can remove any preconceived notion of what you were supposed to taste from each coffee. Start brewing today and taste as many coffees as you can. We recommend checking our coffee collection at Coffee hero to get started on palate development.
Ensure that while doing the above, make sure you’re tasting the coffee black. It should be unadulterated. You shouldn't add sugar or milk or alcohol into your coffee. These additions will affect the aromas, flavors, and body of the coffee. It can distort the actual taste of the coffee.
TASTE THE COFFEES AT DIFFERENT TEMPERATURES
The ideal temperature for brewing coffee is between 90 and 96 degree Celsius. By the time you pour the coffee into your mug, the temperature should have reduced to 75 or 80 degree Celsius. Drinking the coffee too hot can scald your taste buds, making it difficult to taste anything else. Allow the coffee to sit for some minutes before you take the first sip, you’ll taste more flavors in the coffee.
Remember, don't allow the coffee to get too cold, you won't enjoy it. Take some time between sips to enjoy some unfolding layers. It will allow you to taste the ‘finish’- this is the aftertaste of the coffee. Take sips of water between sips of coffee, it will clear your palate very well. After all, this is a general rule in coffee cupping.
So this is where it ends. You should remember that training your palate takes time and experimenting. After all, practice is fun and energizing. Now sip and enjoy your coffee!
Buy freshly roasted coffee beans from Coffee hero .You can get different coffee beans with chocolatey, nutty, fruity, and earthy flavors. What are you waiting for?