Palate Training Recap / by Steve Willingham

We had a great time this afternoon tasting and talking about flowers and coffee at our first Palate Training! This class kicks off a series of events we’re hosting to grow the coffee community in Oklahoma City. We talked about what happens as we taste and how we can better discern levels of the various parts of taste, why we use the Coffee Taster’s Flavor Wheel, and got to put our knowledge to use on some floral notes and some KLLR Coffee!


Here’s a little recap below:

How We Taste

In school we were taught the five parts of taste: sweet, salty, sour, savory, & bitter. Our taste is also affected by aromatics, the smells associated with the drink or food, tactile sensations like body or mouthfeel, and trigeminal sensations like spice or cooling, acidity or astringency. All of these things play a role in determining how we taste what we consume. However, this would be a very in-depth and slightly boring sell to anyone looking to get into coffee. Hello Flavor Wheel.


Coffee Taster’s Flavor Wheel

Thanks to World Coffee Research and the Specialty Coffee Association, we can discuss coffee in terms that are descriptive, quantifiable, and replicable. With over 110 different aromas, flavors, and textures, the flavor wheel makes it easy to categorize tastes by giving a concept like “rose” to a more complex description like “soft, slightly sweet, & aromatic.”

We had a ton of fun getting to compare the flowers like chamomile and jasmine and talk about the way these notes might appear in coffee. Be sure to talk to one of our baristas to learn more about palate training and how to better develop your palate!


We are looking forward to hosting our next class on November 11th. If you’re interested, contact us here to be one of the first to know about our next class!