Coffee palates and flavour profiles

Understanding the palate is an essential part of understanding quality coffee in general.

Commonly across the specialty coffee sector, evaluating and tasting coffees are of important interest for both professional and recreational coffee lovers. The way we perceive coffee varies from person to person yet the way we evaluate coffees is set to be objective, not subjective. By understanding the palate and how the palate is used to taste coffees is critical to getting a high-level understanding of coffee flavours. Read on to learn more about coffee palates and how to taste coffees with your different senses.

A Coffee Palate

A coffee palate is a palate that can taste the nuanced flavours, aromas, and fragrances of a variety of coffees. Understanding the palate is an essential part of understanding coffees in general. Through the different ways of coffee processing post-harvest, storage, roast profiles, and brewing methods, coffees have many different variables that create different flavour experiences.

A coffee palate is usually of true delicacy and takes tasting lots of different coffees to understand how delicate and sensitive your taste buds are to different coffee profiles. The palate contains different areas where you perceive bitterness, sweetness, saltiness, and sourness. With the understanding of the palate, we can then go on to understand how to taste coffees with a coffee palate.

How To Taste Coffee

Tasting coffees has lots of different variables and, as mentioned, different ways to obtain different flavours. Coffee be can be professionally evaluated through cuppings or recreationally evaluated through tastings. Cupping is a professional process of evaluating coffee quality through the fragrance, aroma, and flavours that are done through steeping coffee grounds. A tasting is a recreational process of tasting coffee by way of different brew methods such as a pour-over or espresso.

Understanding these tastings goes down to the understanding of the coffee palate. As mentioned, the palate has different taste buds that perceive each aspect of coffee differently. Bitterness is usually perceived at the back of your tongue whereas acidity is usually perceived on the sides of the tongue. On the other hand, sweetness is perceived at the front end of the tongue, which can also be complemented with brightness and its relation to acidity.

The art and understanding of tasting coffee is a delicate process. To understand your palate for coffee with our coffees, check out our current offerings here.