咖啡盲測,貴的咖啡真的有比較好喝? Coffee Blind Tasting: Does Expensive Coffee Really Taste Better?



When you don't know what coffee you're drinking, you can actually taste it more clearly. The interesting practice of "coffee blind tasting" allows you to fully engage your senses without any preconceived notions. We blind tests expensive and cheap coffee. Does expensive coffee really taste better?



What is Coffee Blind Tasting?



Normally, before brewing coffee, you know what kind of beans you're using. However, in coffee blind tasting, you intentionally keep yourself unaware of the coffee's origin. This enhances your sensory experience and trains your sensory sensitivity. When the answer is revealed, you will remember the sensations you experienced more vividly. The goal is to figure out the coffee's origin, estate, processing method, roast level, etc., solely through the brewing and tasting process.



There are various ways to conduct a blind tasting. For example, in a pour-over blind tasting, you can prepare multiple packages of coffee, each containing 20g of beans, with the backside facing you. Randomly select one package without knowing its contents. In a cupping blind tasting, use two or more different coffees, tape the bottom of the cups with the coffee names written on them, and mix up the order. The key is not to remember which coffee is which. If multiple people are participating in the blind tasting, the process becomes even easier. Another option is to buy two or more half-pound bags of coffee with no label on the opening side (such as Justin Coffee), and randomly choose one for the blind tasting.


咖啡盲測的過程,儘量以一致性沖煮&品嚐各支豆子,如同咖啡杯測的方式,從水溫、粉水比、研磨粗細、聞乾香、浸泡時間、聞溼香、品飲方式及品測項目等,都以相同的標準來品測,包括: 香氣、風味、餘韻、酸質、體脂感、平衡感等,並以分數記錄下來;長期累積下來,夠多的主觀經驗,就會是相對客觀的經驗。過程中儘量以文字記錄各種感受,以利最後比對及與同飲的友人討論。

During the blind tasting process, try to maintain consistency in brewing and tasting each coffee. Following the cupping method, use the same standards for water temperature, coffee-to-water ratio, grind size, dry aroma evaluation, brewing time, wet aroma evaluation, tasting method, and evaluation criteria, including aroma, flavor, aftertaste, acidity, body, balance, etc. Record your observations and ratings to accumulate subjective experiences over time, which will ultimately become a relatively objective reference. Throughout the process, take notes to facilitate comparisons and discussions with fellow tasters.



After practicing this method, you can usually first distinguish the processing method, whether it's washed, natural, or honey-processed. Then, you can differentiate between African countries, Central American countries, or other regions. Through subsequent tasting, you gradually build a profile and enhance your understanding through discussions. Sometimes, tasting with friends who have different preferences can spark interesting perspectives. For example, tea enthusiasts may be sensitive to tea aromas and smooth textures, while wine lovers often have a keen sense of fermentation flavors. Surprisingly, even those who don't usually drink coffee may provide unexpected tasting descriptions, making the experience quite fascinating.



Through coffee blind tasting, does expensive coffee really taste better?



We conducted a blind tasting of two types of beans, priced at NT$550 and NT$1,250 per half pound, from the same country and processed in the same way. Initially, during the dry aroma evaluation, both had the unique plum fragrance of Kenyan coffee. I was a bit worried that I might not be able to taste the differences. However, upon closer inspection, one of them was more fragrant, sweet, and delicate, with a hint of sweet plum. After evaluating the wet aroma, the answer became quite clear. And upon tasting, the difference in flavor profile was very obvious. The coffee from the Handege Factory had a high level of body, but the TOH Champion batch was mellow, smooth, with a refined sweetness, and immediately stood out in the mouth! Here is our cupping evaluation record:


肯亞 奇安布 汗吉處理廠 AA TOP 水洗
喝起來: 烏梅、酸質明亮、Body黏稠、尾韻烏梅香


Bean No. 1, NT$550 per half pound

Kenya Kiambu Handege AA TOP Washed

Tasting Notes: Plum, bright acidity, full-bodied, lingering plum aftertaste


肯亞 恩布 Guchienda AA Plus 水洗 - TOH冠軍批次
喝起來: 烏梅、甜梅、甘蔗甜、酸質明亮圓潤、Body厚實滑順、尾韻甜梅綿長細緻


Bean No.2, NT$1,250 per half pound

Kenya Embu Guchienda AA Plus Washed - TOH No.1

Tasting Notes: Plum, sweet plum, sugarcane sweetness, bright and mellow acidity, full and smooth body, long and delicate plum aftertaste


The key to coffee blind tasting is to fully engage your senses and experience flavors that you may not encounter in your regular coffee consumption. Through blind tasting, you can train and enhance your sensory sensitivity. You'll realize that familiar tastes can only be truly perceived among a multitude of aromas, and the taste you experience is your most genuine flavor experience. Each coffee blind tasting session adds depth to your tasting skills. Give coffee blind tasting a try and see if expensive coffee really tastes better. Can you guess the differences during the brewing and tasting process?




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