San Juan Bautista Coffee Roaster
The question is asked sometimes about our taste descriptions. Some people are unable to taste what I am tasting in that same coffee. There are two points I would like to address:
1. Cupping, or tasting coffees for different attributes, requires focus and concentration. It is a completely different endeavor than just drinking and enjoying a cup of coffee, and it has to be approached as such. You have to put yourself in a certain mental state. There is inherit bitterness present in any coffee and you have to account for that, sort of cancel it out mentally or look beyond it and taste what is there in the background.
2. Like anything else, practice makes perfect (well, better). The more you do it, the more you taste, very much as with fine vines.
“But I’ve been drinking coffee all my life” you say. Well... that guy passed out on the park bench with an empty bottle next to him has been drinking all his life as well, but I doubt he can tell you much about the bouquet.
Where you drinking specialty grade coffee? Was it fresh? I don’t mean when a bag or a jar was opened. Rather, do you know when it was roasted? Was it a light roast? Dark roast will mask flavors. Have you ever tried to truly taste the coffee to distinguish the flavors, or you are mostly drinking it for the caffeine boost.
You have to train your palate - that takes a little time and repetition. And even than you might experience different flavors than I or someone else. Taste associations are such a subjective and personal thing. So much depends on our experiences and taste memories, the papillae count on our tongue. If you never tasted black currant than obviously, you won't be reminded of it when you drinking coffee, but you will taste something and will describe it in a way that makes sense to you.