Primary Espresso Taste

There Are Far More Flavors and Aromas in Coffee Than in Wine

Espresso is typically made from a blend of beans to bring out a variety of flavor characteristics - much in the same way wine or scotch is blended. By bringing out a complex set of flavor elements, an espresso blend produces a more flavorful cup.

Rather than attempt to identify the hundreds of flavor and aroma elements of each espresso in this guide, I attempted to identify the primary flavor of each. (As I mention elsewhere in this guide, coffee possesses over 1,500 aromatic and flavor compounds compared with approximately 200 for wine.)

Just as wine tasters can reference a flavor wheel to describe and categorize the taste sensations in a glass of wine, the Specialty Coffee Association of America devised a similar flavor wheel for coffee. I largely based my primary flavor classifications on the SCAA model as follows: