The New Sensory Lexicon and Flavor Wheel


The SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America) in conjunction with World Coffee Research, have recently redesigned the coffee tasters’ flavor wheel and included alongside it an all new Sensory Lexicon. The idea behind the Lexicon is to provide the means to replicate the flavors and tastes that you see on the new wheel.

From the introduction to the Sensory Lexicon:

Coffee is one of the most chemically complex things we consume, with subtleties of aroma, texture, and flavor rivaled by almost no other food, and it can seem as if its flavors are infinite. But they are not. Coffee, like anything else we eat or drink, tastes, smells, and feels the way it does because locked inside the coffee bean is a complex molecular and genetic code that determines what we experience. Every flavor, every aroma, every texture originates in a set of chemicals, which in turn are determined by the seed’s genes, by how and where the coffee was grown, and by everything it has experienced since leaving the tree (processing, drying, milling, storage, transport, roasting, brewing and so on).

The goal of the World Coffee Research Sensory Lexicon is to use for the first time the tools and technologies of sensory science to understand and name coffee’s primary sensory qualities, and to create a replicable way of measuring those qualities.

Just like a dictionary reflects broad, expert agreement about the words that make up a given language, the lexicon contains the tastes, aromas, and textures that exist in coffee as determined by sensory experts and coffee industry leaders.

Read more from the SCAA on the new flavor wheel
Read more from World Coffee Research on the Lexicon

Download the Sensory Lexicon here
Download the new Flavor Wheel here

Hey, like this post? Why not share it with a buddy?