Does age affect flavor assessment in coffee cupping?
– TASTE THE ORIGIN –
Coffee cupping is a method used to systematically evaluate the flavor characteristics and quantify the quality of coffee beans. It is an important part of classifying and deciding whether a coffee is specialty coffee or not. In it, reviewers will feel and evaluate coffee through categories such as flavor, aftertaste, acidity, richness, balance, uniformity, and sweetness. However, the perception of coffee is affected by many factors including brewing temperature, water quality, etc. Recently, some scientists also believe that age affect flavor assessment in coffee cupping? Let’s explore this with 43 Coffee Roaster!
Age affects the perception of coffee flavor
Coffee has five sensory characteristics that describe different aspects such as acidity, sweetness, bitterness, body, and aftertaste. Additionally, they are evaluated based on taste, texture, and aroma. These aspects are evaluated by people through tasting, smelling, and feeling using the senses. However, research has shown that, as we get older, the body’s senses will decrease in function. Their sensitivity gradually decreases with age, making us less able to fully perceive the flavors in coffee. Furthermore, research also shows that older people tend to love coffees with traditional, delicate flavors.
Meanwhile, between adolescence and adulthood, sensory cells thrive. This is also the time when people are exposed to more diverse flavors and textures, causing taste buds to become familiar and sensitive to taste factors. In addition, the younger generation tends to favor coffees with more unique flavors.
The age of the taster affects the flavor score in cupping coffee
Each age group will have different opinions and abilities to taste coffee. This affects the results in the coffee tasting and scoring process. Usually, the same coffee will have a difference of one or two points between the judges’ scores. Gary and Nick, two coffee experts who attended 2022 Best of Panama Auction, said that, however, all judges at the coffee auction were Q-raders with experience in taste tests. However, each person’s taste assessments and coffee scores have certain differences. They suggested that age created this significant difference in coffee scoring. Furthermore, Nick added that older people prefer traditional Gesha flavors with floral aromas and delicate flavors, so their scores for these types of coffee will be higher. For young people, they seem to love and appreciate coffees with rich and novel flavors.
How to deal with the influence of age in coffee cupping?
Age differences in the perception of coffee flavor can affect the results of evaluating coffee quality. In particular, subjective preferences of generation, culture, and sensory sensitivity will cause the assessment to be biased. Therefore, SCA began developing a Coffee Value Evaluation System to make cupping more objective. Essentially, SCA seeks to eliminate any intentional or unintentional bias when it comes to cupping, as well as work towards greater inclusivity of different cultures and cuisines.
Although age certainly plays a role in how we perceive coffee flavor. Because bias and individuality are an inevitable part of perception. However, each flavor characteristic of coffee has its beauty, created by the origin, the efforts of the producer and expressing the individual personality of the person enjoying it.
XLIII Coffee – The brand developed from its predecessor 43 Factory Coffee is a specialty coffee business operating towards sustainable development. We respect and strive to preserve, portray, and convey intact the unique characteristics of each type of coffee and each growing region to users. If you want to experience unique, unique flavors from each origin, visit XLIII Coffee to enjoy specialty coffee beans and find your flavor!
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