For the Love of Coffee, Cigars, Wine, & Great Food!

Does My Coffee Smell Like Raisins?

This is a follow up to the last blog post “Making Coffee Tasting Fun!”

Some coffee aficionados might ring my neck for this, but…you don’t have to be a master at coffee to recognize its intricacies. If you’ve got taste buds and your nose works, you can properly describe the taste qualities of coffee as well as experiencing its simple pleasure.


  1. Start with a bag of whole bean fresh roasted coffee. If you don’t have fresh roasted, purchase a bag of whole beans from your local grocery store or from your fave coffee shop.
  2. Using a course grind setting, grind the proper amount of beans for your brew.
  3. Brew the coffee using your preferred brewing method (French press is my fave!) Make sure to use fresh, cold water.
  4. Pour into your fave coffee mug.

The Taste Test:

Once I prepare my coffee, I usually take it black, and if I am tasting it for the first time, I most definitely take it black. All coffee producing countries have certain taste characteristics and identifiable qualities, but sometimes you have to approach tasting without any expectations but with an open mind. Many coffee connoisseurs can identify what region a coffee is from just by smell alone. But we’re going to approach it a little differently. Soooo, Let’s Start! Today we are tasting a coffee from Peru.

  1. Dive head first into the mug and SMEELLLLL the coffee’s aroma. Do any memories come to mind? The aroma of your coffee is going to trigger certain scents that you’ve smelt before. This coffee from Peru smells like raisins, pear, and a little bit of a soft cream.
  2. Slowly taste the coffee, first letting it touch the tip of your tongue, of course letting it cool to a temperature that is acceptable enough to drink.
  3. As the coffee begins to wet your palate, let it roll from the tip of your tongue to the base of your tongue, again inviting personal memories of combinations of smell and taste. A lot of aficionados are very cultured and well travelled, and sometimes they tend to apply “high-end” terminology to describe a coffee’s taste. But on a personal level, use the tastes that you’re used to and that you identify with the most to describe your coffee. My coffee tastes like pear, a bit of cocoa – very balanced.

If you’ve ever heard the phrase “taste is 80% smell and 20% taste” – it’s true. When we combine the wonderful aroma of the coffee with what our taste buds are telling us about the coffee, we get the awesome opportunity to experience the world of coffee on a much deeper level. And that is the simple pleasure you can have each morning in your cup!


2 responses

  1. Great blog post, thank you for writing for those of us who just drink coffee to enjoy it and don’t have the aficionados language to use when describing each cup. Sometimes it is enough to say, “Dang that was good!”



    July 25, 2010 at 8:00 PM

    • Thanks for reading! It’s great to be able to pick your favorite coffee and say “I like it, and it actually reminds me of something I know well!” I always say that great coffee mornings start at home

      September 18, 2010 at 12:19 AM

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