"You can derive great enjoyment simply by drinking a good cup o..Read More »
The day starts with coffee ...
At MakeGoodCoffee.com, you can find easy ways to make your coffee better, or if you want to take it to the next level, how to become a true coffee connoisseur.
My name is Marc, and I love coffee.
I've come a long way since brewing ground coffee out of a giant tin can in my cheap brewer. As I've matured, so has this website grown with everything I've learned.
Just starting to learn about coffee? Check out my introduction to making coffee to dive into your love affair with coffee.
”You can derive great enjoyment simply by drinking a good cup of coffee, but your pleasure will be heightened if you can distinguish your impressions, appreciate and gauge the richness and complexity of the coffee.”
A few years ago, David Cook of the Fire Roasted Coffee Company introduced me to a kit of 36 coffee aromas known as Le Nez du Cafe (literally translated from French, “the nose of coffee”).
Its inventor Jean Lenoir had created a similar kit for wines, and followed it up years later with the coffee kit, “a collection of the most typical aromas found in the world’s top coffees”.
I decided that one day, I would invest in this this kit. I’m happy to say I have finally bought it, and started my journey into better understanding coffee flavor. One of the keys of Le Nez du Cafe is that it not only isolates specific aromas of coffee, but it names them so that you can better remember the aroma, and use common language when discussing it with others.
Take Vial #1: Earth. This is literally a vial carrying the distinct aroma of earth (dirt, mud). It is a very distinct aroma found in many coffees. On one hand, it is attributed to poor handling in the case of cheap robustas, or a coveted (and very intentional) flavor found in fine Ethiopian coffees. Combined with other information (and aromas) in a coffee, you could use this information to determine a great deal about the coffee. And, use the common language to discuss it with others.
My palette is admittedly weak. I know what I like and don’t like in a coffee, but am lacking in putting words to it. Also, there are more aromas to coffee that I don’t know, than ones I know. For instance, it is simpler for me to identify Vial #26: Dark Chocolate, because I eat a lot of dark chocolate and know the aroma well. By contrast, Vial #3: Garden Peas will take practice to identify, because I don’t eat them often and don’t know the aroma as well.
Here is my training plan: I pulled vials #1-3 and smelled them over and over until I could correctly identify them blind. Then, as you can see in the picture above, I added vials #4-6, and smelled them over and over until I could correctly identify all six blind. I plan to keep adding three vials at a time. I expect with each new addition of vials, it will take me longer to correctly identify them all, and that’s the point. Eventually, I’ll have all 36 in the mix, and I’ll know I’m a coffee tasting master when I can randomize and correctly identify them all. In fact, the highest certification of coffee taster incorporates Le Nez du Cafe in its testing.
In addition, I’ll be looking for these aromas in the coffee I drink, now that I am able to identify them.