Sensory Analysis in the Northwoods: A 2015 Roasters Guild Retreat Recap
Presentations and cuppings led by SCAA Coffee Science Manager Emma Sage and Texas A&M sensory science expert Rhonda Miller, respectively, led tasters through the results of qualitative coffee analysis — that is to say, purely scientific analysis of flavor attributes of various brewed coffees, with none of the control or quality-concerned cupping forms or protocols traditionally used by coffee professionals. As one example, cuppers were given small water samples with added solutions to create various levels of bitterness or sourness, then subsequently given brewed coffees and asked to compare the coffee’s traits to the levels found in the controlled water solution. In short, the cuppings measured the intensity of primary and other flavor traits, with no interest paid to quality or desirability. Coffees were not scored; they were simply measured against non-coffee controls.