Aroma, Taste, Flavour – What is it really?

Desribing different flavours when sipping a cup of coffee is not easy. But what are you actually describing?

Aroma is an odour and is often referred to as a smell and is sensed by receptors in the nose.

Taste, or gustation, is the sensation of saltiness, sweetness, sourness, bitterness and umami (savoriness).

Flavour is the sense of taste and smell combined.

The taste map is considered a misconception of results from a study in the 1800’s. However, people still use it often to describe where you taste certain sensations on the tongue. Scientist are saying that it’s a myth however.

Another good way to describe the flavour of a coffee is by body and aftertaste. The body can be light, like a dry light wine, or it can be heavy, like a red wine. The aftertaste can be described relatively easy.

25% Of people are so called supertasters. This means that they have a higher density of taste papillae and are better at defining taste.

Many things can affect the ability to taste such as aging, hormonal influences, genetic variation, drugs and more.

More info: The Physiology of Taste 


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