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Specialty coffee sensory experience

Mitigating biases in sensory evaluation..


In order for us to be able to conduct meaningful sensory analysis of coffee, we need to dedicate time, effort and intentionality to accomplish so. In the Specialty Coffee World the concept "calibration " describes the action of a diverse group of people, who through different cultures, experiences, backgrounds and preferences, can come to an agreement about the taste and quality, in this case of specialty coffee. The goal of coffee professionals is for people who are evaluating a coffee, to agree on a objective qualitative score within two points of one another. Though much work still needs to be carried out in order to unify cupping protocols, the work that has been carried out by the Coffee Quality Institute and the Specialty Coffee Association is improving the abilities of tasters around the world. People are more aware, better trained and more aligned than ever before. There are numerous types of psychological issues that have been identified in relation to sensory evaluation. The psychological errors most frequently seen in coffee evaluation are: expectation error,the halo effect, stimulus error, logical error, central tendency and contrast error. Becoming aware of this issues is one of the first steps in trying to minimize their impact on our qualitative evaluation of coffee. ** Based on article "A Game of the Mind" by Rob Hoos. For full article go to Roast Magazine May/June 2017 Edition