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Coffee and the senses


The sensory experience when consuming a cup of coffee is one of the key aspects of the beverage, providing unique aromas, tastes and flavours

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Coffee and the senses
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Effects of coffee consumption

Aroma is defined as an odour whilst taste is the sense experienced by the tongue and describes sensations of saltiness, sweetness, sourness or bitterness. Flavour is a combination of both aroma and taste1.

  • A large number of volatile compounds are associated with flavour in coffee, a smaller proportion of which are responsible for coffee aroma5-9
  • Experts define and describe the aroma and taste of coffee, generating profiles that differ according to type of coffee bean, geographical location, level of roasting and preparation method10,11
  • Drinking coffee provides a multisensory experience that may be influenced not only by the type of coffee, preparation method and any additions such as milk, sugar and cream, but also by the environment including the drinking vessel14-19

This topic considers the sensory qualities of coffee, the factors that influence these qualities, and the multi-sensory experience that contributes to the  ritual of consuming a cup of coffee.

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