In a new effort to document and record the many learning objectives and skills required to complete your SCA Training Certifications - we will post a series of audio and video recordings with documentation to guide you in your path to becoming an SCA Master.
Click Image to Advance > > >
THEORETICAL PRINCIPLES - WHAT IS SENSORY ANALYSIS
A scientific discipline that evokes, measures, analyses and interprets reactions to those characteristics of foods and materials as they are perceived by the senses of sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing
It relies on trained and regular tasters, standardised preparation protocol and test design, decisions, and rules.
To define in basic terms, what sensory analysis is.
To identify the 5 human senses.
To recognise that sensory analysis works like a measurement instrument
Illustrate stimulus and perception: with examples such as: touch fabrics with different hardness/softness - show optical illusions, place fabric samples in non see-through sacks or boxes with a hole cut out on the side and a paper flap taped to cover the hole, have students guess what material they are touching
To show the difference between stimulus and perception
WHY IS SENSORY IMPORTANT IN COFFEE
Cupping seeks to:
Identify potential defects and taints
Identify pleasant flavors and their quality
Record the results
It establishes a general picture of a coffee’s potential that can be refined and adjusted to various roasting, blending and brewing practices.
Sensory analysis is widely used in food industry, but extends to others (car, pharma, ...). Used for various quality control tasks, new product testing, and consumer testing.
To explain, in general terms, how sensory analysis is be used in the coffee industry.
To state 4 purposes for cupping coffee.
To state at least 3 areas in a coffee business where sensory analysis is applied.
Taste specialty vs non-specialty coffees and compare
Taste two specialty coffees and compare
The aim of sensory analysis in coffee is to be able to recognize and distinguish between different attributes, whether we personally like them or not.
To recognise in student's own words differences between a non- specialty coffee and specialty coffee.
To compare own description with that of the coffee expert's objective description and qualitative description of the two coffees
To realize the goal of sensory evaluation and the learning path of a coffee taster
PHYSIOLOGY AND SENSORY ATTRIBUTES, PHYSIOLOGY AND ANATOMY
Olfaction, gustation and taction are the three key sensations used in sensory analysis for coffee.
Olfactory epithelium in the nasal cavity, taste buds on the soft palate, and muscles in the mouth
Not all papillae have taste buds.
Flavor perception is a multi-modal
To state the 3 key sensations out of the five used in sensory analysis for coffee (not focusing on appearance)
To recognize, in general terms, what human sensory organs are used in olfaction, gustation, and taction; and state where each is located.
To define flavor perception experience: integrating gustatory, retronasal olfaction and somatosensory systems.
Distinguish the difference between taste and smell, as they relate to flavor Perception.
Acknowledge that taste exists in the oral cavity and smell is detected by the olfactory bulb in the nasal cavity.
Use flavored chewable sweets/candies (alternatively use a sugar free gum) in a blind test, conduct a "pinch the nose" test, and have students try to describe the flavor while nose is pinched, then again once they have opened their nasal passage.
To explain the difference between taste and smell, and how they work to together to create flavor perception.
There are 5 basic tastes: acidity, bitterness, sweetness, saltiness and umami.
All coffees exhibit to a certain degree acidity, bitterness and have a sweet perception (more than they are physically sweet)
To recognize that there are 5 basic tastes that our tongues are tasting.
To recognize which tastes are most commonly found in coffee
To recognize that when there is a mixture of two or more tastes may interact with one another
In coffee, saltiness and umami can also be perceived although their identification and naming is less spontaneous than acidity, bitterness and sweet perception.
Acknowledge that when eating and drinking we are rarely only tasting one sensation in isolation, coffee is a complex solution of several tastes.
Threshold of detection and identification varies between individual
To recognize perception varies between individuals.
List the 5 basic tastes
Identify the 5 basic tastes in a blind assessment
Solutions should be prepared at highest concentration level in the practical exam
BASIC AROMAS ACTIVITY
Explore the 9 main flavor categories flavor categories of the SCA Flavor Wheel. Use the corresponding Nez Du Café References in the Coffee Lexicon.
These aromas will be present in the dry fragrance
To list the five basic tastes
To distinguish between the 5 basic tastes in a blind assessment of solutions.
To adopt an objective description of the sensations through to the brewed coffee
To list the 9 categories of flavor found on the SCA Flavor Wheel.
To recognize categorial aroma references using the Le Nez du Café kit.
To demonstrate basic use of the Le Nez du Café kit.
Carry out a simple category exploration as a group of the 9 categories. Use picture boards with aroma vials to make stronger cognitive links
To demonstrate basic use of the SCA Coffee Taster's Flavor Wheel and Coffee Lexicon
To demonstrate ability to objectively and accurately describe sensations
IDENTIFYING SENSORIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN COFFEE
TASTES AND BODY IN COFFEE
In coffee, basic tastes and aromas do not exist in isolation and they need to be recognized within the brewed coffee itself
The body of the coffee describes the apparent viscosity, fullness and weight in the mouth ranging from "thin, watery" to "thick, heavy"
Body also refers to the tactile "mouthfeel" or texture of a coffee (e.g., smooth/rough, soft/hard, juicy/astringent, etc).
Different coffees will have different perceived tastes and body
To recognize that coffee is complex solution with many different tastes, aromas, and body sensations present
To define "body" in sensory analysis of coffee
Group example comparing milk and water to show mouthfeel
To distinguish the key attributes of following acidity, bitterness, and body in brewed coffee.
To adopt an evaluation of the sensations
Acidity (low vs high)
Bitterness (low vs objective high)
Body (low vs intensity of the high)
Acknowledge that acidity, bitterness and body in green coffee are origin and process dependent
AROMAS IN COFFEE
Key positive aromas from coffee (reference aromas from previous exercises)
Specialty Coffee Association 'Coffee Taster's Flavor Wheel'
Identify simple category differences in aroma groups in a practical blind test, tasting brewed coffees.
Recall Flavor Wheel Categories categories in a written test
Recognize out of 4 categories of flavor on the flavor wheel, 3 of them are flavors that are associated with positive attributes, 1 with negative attribute.
To recognize the difference between an objective descriptive sensory evaluation of sensations and a qualitative categorization of those same sensations
To state the 9 main categories of flavor found on 'Coffee Taster's the SCA inner Flavor Wheel' Flavor Wheel
To distinguish positive aromas from negative (non desirable) aromas in coffee
To categorize positive and negative (non Green/Vegetative, Sour/Fermented categorize flavors often associated with processing, storage, roasting, and brewing defect. TBD in more depth in professional level.
COMMUNICATING & LANGUAGE
Standard terminology is used to aid clear communication
Key terms used in cupping, such as acidity and body. Mention astringency and balance (TBD in intermediate)
To recognise some standard terminology used by cuppers, which are listed in the WCR Sensory Lexicon and SCA Flavor Wheel
To distinguish between positive and negative key terms
To acknowledge that coffee professionals use a consistent standardized language to aid communication between themselves and others in the coffee value chain.
Specialty Coffee Association 'Coffee Taster's Flavor Wheel'
CUPPING PROTOCOL - WHAT IS CUPPING? THE SCA CUPPING METHODOLOGY
“Coffee cupping is a method used to systematically evaluate the aroma and taste quality characteristics of a sample of coffee beans” – (Ted Lingle 2001)
It is a sensory analysis process specific to coffee
Cupping focuses on the coffee sensory
To define coffee cupping characteristics eg aroma, taste, texture, ... but considered in a qualitative way
To name SCA cupping and Cup of Excellence cupping
To acknowledge cupping is a SCA Cupping Protocol
Different methods exists. Ex: SCA cupping, Cup of Excellence cupping, ...classification of quality by experts
To acknowledge cupping is a different exercise from the objective description of the sensory characteristics
To acknowledge that when cupping coffee, we use our eyes, nose, and mouth to assess visual, aromatic, taste, and tactile qualities.
To acknowledge it evaluates how qualitative is the aroma, taste and texture
CORE CUPPING PROTOCOL
Have students recognize the official SCA Cupping Form, use a simplified version for activity below
To define the key terms used in SCA Cupping Protocol
To be aware of the terminology for the qualitative cupping evaluation
To refer to the 8 steps of the SCA cupping methodology
To recognize the official SCA Cupping Form.
State the importance of a standard protocol and learn its procedure for cupping
Set out the standard steps preparing and brewing a cupping session
To refer to SCA standards for cupping, roasting and water brew ratio
Memorize and repeat the standard process of setting up a cupping session, through practice
Re-Define key terms used in a cupping session
Recall standard measurements and protocol in a written test
Each student to set up one sample of coffee, to SCA standard, compare at least 3 distinct coffees amongst the group.
To set up a SCA cupping table using correct tools, measurements, and protocol.
To practice the tasting protocol
CORE SENSORY EQUIPMENT/ THE CUPPING ROOM
A hygienic odor- free work space for cupping
To understand the environment has an influence on the evaluation and therefore should be controlled
Equipment that is necessary to a cupping session - To list core equipment needed for SCA cupping
Acidity: A basic taste characterized by the solution of an organic acid. A desirable sharp and pleasing taste ... as opposed to an over-fermented sour taste
Aftertaste: The sensation produced by the lingering taste and aroma
Aroma: The sensation of the gases released from brewed coffee, as they are inhaled through the nose by sniffing
Astringent: An aftertaste sensation consistent with a dry feeling in the mouth, undesirable in coffee
Balance: A pleasing combination of two or more primary taste sensations
Basic Tastes: The five basic tastes of sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami
Body: The physical properties of the beverage. A strong, but pleasant, full mouthfeel characteristic
Break: Aromatic assessment of the crust as it is broken three times
Clean: Free from flavor taints or faults
Crust Aromatic assessment of the crust of wet coffee
grounds that forms on the top of the brew surface immediately after brewing
Cupping A method used to systematically evaluate the
aroma and taste characteristics of a sample of coffee beans
Cupping Glasses/Bowls: All cups or glasses used should be of the same volume, dimensions and material of manufacture:
Cupping Glasses: 5 to 6 oz tempered glass of Porcelain bouillon bowls of 175-225ml clean cups should be clean with no apparent fragrance and at room temperature
Cupping Grind: Coarser than filter grind with 70% to 75% passing through a 850mμ or US Size 20 sieve
Cupping Roast: "Sample roast targets: Time: 8 – 12 minutes depending on roaster size… Color: Agtron 60 – 65 (M-Basic)/Probat 105– 125 (Colorette)... Coffees cupped 8 - 24 hours after roasting"
Dry Assessment of the fragrance of the dry coffee grounds after grinding and prior to brewing
Flavor: The sensation in mouth the coffee gives by the combination of Tastes and Aromas in the liquid phase
Fragrance / Aroma: The sensation of the gases released from roasted and ground coffee beans, as the aromatic compounds are inhaled through the nose by sniffing
Gustation: “The detection of stimuli dissolved in water, oil, or saliva, by the taste buds”
Mouthfeel: The tactile sense derived from physical sensations in the mouth during and after ingestion
Olfaction: The sense of smell allowing the perception of aroma, fragrance, scents in gas / air using the nose