帶您看懂SCA咖啡風味輪 Taking You Through the SCA Coffee Taster's Flavor Wheel
《咖啡風味輪》(Coffee Taster's Flavor Wheel)是由精品咖啡協會(SCA)和世界咖啡研究中心(WCR)共同研究的成果，最初於1995年發布，是咖啡業最具代表性的資源，2016年更新為目前的版本，是由數十位專業感官小組成員、科學家、咖啡買家和烘焙公司透過SCA和WCR合作的成果，這是迄今為止規模最大的咖啡風味研究，為業界專業人士激發了一套新的咖啡詞彙。
The Coffee Taster's Flavor Wheel is the result of a collaborative effort between the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) and the World Coffee Research (WCR). Initially released in 1995, it stands as one of the coffee industry's most representative resources. It was updated in 2016 through a large-scale collaborative effort involving dozens of professionals from sensory panels, scientists, coffee buyers, and roasting companies, all working in partnership with the SCA and WCR. This endeavor represents the most extensive research into coffee flavors to date, introducing a new set of coffee vocabulary for industry professionals.
To harness the power of this invaluable tool, brew yourself a fresh cup of coffee. Start by looking at the central part of the flavor wheel. As you sip your coffee, look at the wheel, and when you start to experience flavors that you can't quite put into words, think of broader categories. Is it a nutty taste? A hint of sweetness? Floral notes? Fruity undertones? Even if you're not confident in your judgment, this approach can help you narrow down your search. As you seek to identify more flavors, you'll naturally move towards the wheel's edges and gain a more specific understanding of flavor characteristics. This is the essence of the Coffee Flavor Wheel—making it possible for anyone to explore coffee flavors without the need for formal training or complex processes.
For example, when drinking Ethiopian coffee, you might commonly perceive a "fruity" flavor. Extending further into this segment, you can specify it as "citrusy fruits," and then delve deeper by deciding if it's "grapefruit," "orange," "lemon," or "lime" flavor. Once you've identified the flavor, you can return to the central point and continue exploring other flavor directions. Repeat these steps until you've thoroughly described the coffee's flavor. This is the fundamental use of the flavor wheel.
How to Use the Coffee Flavor Wheel in Eight Steps
The Coffee Flavor Wheel is a collaborative project between the Specialty Coffee Association and the World Coffee Research, designed to be a tool for coffee tasters. As a tool, it should be intuitive, enjoyable to use, and beneficial for those seeking to analyze and describe coffee. Here are some tips on how to use the flavor wheel effectively.
Step 1: Get an Overview of the Flavor Wheel
The Coffee Flavor Wheel is practical and beautiful, much like a good cup of coffee itself. It presents a comprehensive and ever-evolving chart of coffee flavors. Start by browsing through the vocabulary words on the wheel and immerse yourself in it. You might encounter some unfamiliar terms, but that's alright. Just take a moment to marvel at the complexity of coffee flavors.
Step 2: Taste the Coffee
The Flavor Wheel can be used for casual tasting or professional coffee cupping. In either case, the key is to savor the experience. Prepare your coffee carefully and observe different aspects of the coffee: the aroma after grinding, the scents released when water meets the coffee grounds, and the flavors that fill your palate as you sip. "Flavor" is defined as a combination of taste and aroma, and the Flavor Wheel covers the entire spectrum from tastes (what you perceive with your tongue) to aromas (what you smell). Most flavors are a sensory blend; for instance, a lemony flavor includes elements of acidity, aroma, sweetness, bitterness, and unique fragrances. Taste the coffee and remember its flavors, then refer to the Flavor Wheel.
Step 3: Start from the Center
The design of the Flavor Wheel encourages tasters to begin in the center and then move outward. The most general flavor descriptions are in the central circle, and as you progress outward, they become more specific. Tasters can stop at any point along the way, but the further you look towards the wheel's outer edges, the more specific your descriptions become. For example, when tasting coffee from Ethiopia, a taster might initially detect a "fruity" flavor. Within the "fruity" section, you're faced with a choice: does it remind you of berries, dried fruits, citrus fruits, or other fruits? If you decide it's "citrus fruits," you can go further and describe whether it's "grapefruit," "orange," "lemon," or "lime." Once you've identified that flavor, you can return to the center and start fresh, focusing on another flavor, continuing this process until you feel you've thoroughly described the coffee. This is the fundamental use of the Flavor Wheel, which can be quite simple to employ. However, the Flavor Wheel offers even more utility for professional coffee tasters.
Step 4: Consult the Dictionary
The Coffee Flavor Wheel is built on the foundation of the "World Coffee Research Sensory Lexicon," a tool used by trained sensory panelists to evaluate coffee scientifically. While most users of the Flavor Wheel won't employ it for sensory training, the Sensory Lexicon can still be used to define the flavor attributes on the Flavor Wheel. Each flavor attribute has a definition and reference point, which can be used to calibrate what you're perceiving. The Flavor Wheel and Sensory Lexicon work best together. Tasters can also refer to the Sensory Lexicon for flavor descriptions and references, providing rich information sources for professional coffee tasters. Many individuals may encounter unfamiliar chemical or technical terms, but the Sensory Lexicon provides clear explanations for all flavor attributes and sensory references.
Step 5: Refer to Flavor Sources
Each flavor attribute in the Sensory Lexicon has reference sources that can be found in everyday life, such as in supermarkets or online searches. Remember that flavor references are not just observed; after referring to a flavor, it's important to taste and smell those flavors in coffee personally. We recommend using a cup for smelling, as it concentrates the aroma, and take notes to sharpen your sensory memory.
Step 6: Return to the Wheel and Note Gap Sizes
Using your knowledge from the lexicon, taste a cup of coffee and then return to the center of the Flavor Wheel to describe the coffee in terms of one flavor term. Look at neighboring flavor terms and notice that the distances between two terms seem to differ. If two flavor terms are connected, it means that professional tasters find these two characteristics closely related. If there's a gap, it suggests that their relationship is not as close. This can be helpful when fine-tuning your taste description, or it helps most people understand the described flavor attributes.
Step 7: Use Your Own Descriptions
The beauty of these tools is that they form a common language for coffee tasters. The existence of the Coffee Flavor Wheel means that all coffee professionals can study universal vocabulary, use it in our professional cupping sessions and daily coffee shops, and communicate. While imaginative descriptions and creative thoughts are great, sometimes they make communication more challenging. Therefore, for those seeking to communicate about coffee, having a shared language (like the vocabulary on the Coffee Flavor Wheel) is a fantastic way.
Step 8: Study Color
Our vision is closely linked to our other senses, and the appearance of food provides crucial clues to its taste. Therefore, we often use visual terms to describe flavors: a coffee's taste can be "bright," "red," or "green." With this awareness, we pay special attention to the colors on the Flavor Wheel, striving to connect vocabulary with colors that clearly represent their characteristics. This can be particularly helpful for a struggling taster trying to find a description; if they can only express "it tastes like some kind of red fruit," the taster can look for red color terms on the Flavor Wheel. "Brown things" might lead the taster to the left side of the wheel, where brown region attributes like stimulating spices or grain flavors might be.
As coffee cuppers, educators, sensory scientists, and coffee industry professionals continue to use this tool, more methods for the Flavor Wheel are likely to emerge. We are excited to explore new techniques and ideas!
With the Coffee Flavor Wheel as a coffee tasting tool, we can further enhance our flavor identification skills. It is recommended to use coffee blind tasting to taste coffee while using the Coffee Flavor Wheel. Start by identifying broad flavor categories from the center of the Flavor Wheel and then proceed to distinguish specific flavor attributes. Colleagues at Justin Coffee Shop do this daily for each other. They prepare pour-over coffee without informing each other about which coffee they are brewing. Even though there are over a hundred single-estate coffee beans available in the shop, they have accumulated enough experience in blind tasting to find the answer in just a few attempts. For instance, this morning, after a colleague brewed coffee, Justin said, "It's the Ethiopia Gesha Village Bangi Gesha Natural Green Label," and the colleague responded in amazement, "How did you guess so accurately?" Justin explained that he could taste the fruity notes, a distinct berry flavor, and upon closer tasting, it resembled the taste of strawberries. Additionally, this is the character of the Yirgacheffe Geisha beans, but it's not as floral as the Gold Label and lacks the distinct flavor profile of the Red Label, so it's the Green Label. Among the three Green Label coffees, only the Bench Maji Geisha from Bench Maji District has a strawberry flavor, so it must be that one.
✔ 堅持新鮮烘焙 ✔ 堅持篩豆 再烘焙 ✔ 堅持使用莊園咖啡
➤ CQI Q Grader咖啡品質鑑定師，親自杯測品鑑，為您把關每一杯咖啡
➤ 單一莊園咖啡 具風味、層次佳
✔ Stick to fresh roasting ✔ Stick to sieving and roasting ✔ Stick to estate coffee
➤ Professional roasting brings out the diverse and rich personality of coffee
➤ CQI Q Grader coffee quality appraisers, personally cupping and evaluate, check every cup of coffee for you
➤ Single-origin coffee with good flavor and structures