Coffee Taster’s Flavor Wheel

Coffee Taster’s Flavor Wheel by SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America) & WCR (World Coffee Research) ]

[ shkenca “komplet” e shijeve të kafesë – infografikë mjaft simpatike, “rrotullake” : ) ]

…kuptohet, grafika s’ka t’bëjë me llojet e pijeve që ne i ujdisim dhe eksperimentojmë, herë ia behim në kafe-bar e herë në terasat e shehrit, herë n’Paris e herë n’Bosfor, herë n’Arabi e herë n’Havanë, herë n’perëndim e herë n’Tiranë, herë na teket “allaturka” herë “allafranga”… çejfet janë çejfe, madje parapresim që dhe miqtë t’i akseptojnë shijet e preferencat tona, përndryshe s’pihet kafeja bashkë, tavolinat drith-e-miell me whisky, me “bakllava” e me “llokume” secilën herë e më të rralla, jo… modernizmi e kërkon sinkronizimin e shijeve po aq sa dhe të pëlqimeve, kemi shpikur lloj-lloj filxhanash, lloj-lloj emrash, tiketash e lloj-lloj markash, kohëve të fundit pothuaj të gjitha tingëllojnë “italisht”, se përse s’e kam idenë, bie fjala kemi shpikur cappuccino, macchiato, senseo, expresso… what else (kjo e fundit sidomos atraktive për femrat post-moderne, aso që i parapëlqejnë vetëm meshkujt e hijshëm, pa përjashtime, në preferencat e tyre s’kanë shans burrecat “mesatarë”, no way… sa për shëmtaraçët e varfanjakët as hiç se hiç, o duhet t’jenë bukurushë filmash o s’bën : ) etj etj – grafika na flet për shijet pakashumë si klasifikim (në kuptimin e ngjashëm siç parfumistët flasin për ëmbëlsinë e fragrancave, për butësinë e aromave) – nga ana tjetër po ashtu, ekspertët në përgjithësi flasin për 4 lloje të kafesë, “arabica” (thonë ata, prodhohet dhe mbulon tregun “përdorues” të botës për rreth 60%), “robusta” (…rreth 30-40%), “liberica (…rreth 2%), dhe “excelsa” (…rreth 7%), natyrisht të gjitha përqindjet që ekspertët na i shpalosin duhet kuptuar në termat e relativizmit, pasi saktësia 100% s’i takon asnjëres, me këto 4 lloje kokrrash dmth. është supozuar se mund t’i ujdisim të gjitha variantet e shijeve, siç na i paraqet diagrami rrotullak…
(sg – ap, t 21)


All About Coffee

Where Coffee Grows

The coffee tree is a tropical evergreen shrub (genus Coffea) and grows between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. The two most commercially important species grown are varieties of Coffea arabica (Arabicas) and Coffea canephora (Robustas).
The average Arabica plant is a large bush with dark-green oval leaves. The fruits, or cherries, are rounded and mature in 7 to 9 months; they usually contain two flat seeds, the coffee beans. When only one bean develops it is called a peaberry.
Robusta is a robust shrub or small tree that grows up to 10 metres high. The fruits are rounded and take up to 11 months to mature; the seeds are oval in shape and smaller than Arabica seeds.
Ideal average temperatures range between 15 to 24ºC for Arabica coffee and 24 to 30ºC for Robusta, which can flourish in hotter, harsher conditions. Coffee needs an annual rainfall of 1500 to 3000 mm, with Arabica needing less than other species. Whereas Robusta coffee can be grown between sea-level and about 800 metres, Arabica does best at higher altitudes and is often grown in hilly areas.


As coffee is often grown in mountainous areas, widespread use of mechanical harvesters is not possible and the ripe coffee cherries are usually picked by hand. The main exception is Brazil, where the relatively flat landscape and immense size of the coffee fields allow for machinery use.
Coffee trees yield an average of 2 to 4 kilos of cherries and a good picker can harvest 45 to 90 kilos of coffee cherry per day; this will produce nine to 18 kilos of coffee beans.
Coffee is harvested in one of two ways:
Strip Picked – all the cherries are stripped off of the branch at one time, either by machine or by hand.
Selectively Picked – only the ripe cherries are harvested and they are picked by hand.
Pickers check the trees every 8 to 10 days and individually pick only the fully ripe cherries. This method is labour intensive and more costly. Selective picking is primarily used for the finer Arabica beans.

Initial Processing

After harvesting the next step is to remove the coffee seeds from the ripe fruit and dry them. This can be done in two ways: the dry and the wet methods.

The Dry Method
The dry or ‘natural’ method involves drying the whole cherry. It is the oldest, simplest method and requires little machinery. The harvested cherries are sorted and cleaned, by hand, to remove unripe, overripe and damaged cherries as well as any dirt, soil, twigs and leaves. This can also be done by floating the cherries in water.
The coffee cherries are spread out in the sun, either on large concrete or brick patios, or on matting raised to waist height on trestles. If it rains they are covered up. As the cherries dry, they are raked or turned by hand to ensure even drying. It can take up to 4 weeks before the cherries are dried sufficiently. On larger plantations, machine-drying is sometimes used to speed up the process after the coffee has been pre-dried in the sun for a few days.
Dried cherries are brittle with a hard outer shell and should have a maximum moisture content of 12.5%. The dried cherries are stored in silos until they are sent to the mill for hulling, where the outer layers of the dried cherry are removed. The ‘green coffee’ beans are then sorted and graded ready for selling.
Almost all Robustas are processed by this method. The dry method is used for the majority of the Arabica coffee produced in Brazil, most of the coffees produced in Ethiopia, Haiti and Paraguay, and some Arabicas from India and Ecuador.

The Wet Method
The wet method requires the use of special equipment and the availability of water. As with the dry method, the ripe cherries are first cleaned. They are then pulped by a machine that squeezes the cherries so that the flesh and the skin are separated from the beans. The beans are left with a slippery outer skin (the mucilage) and a parchment covering.
The beans are further cleaned to remove lingering bits of pulp and put in large tanks; there the mucilage is broken down by natural enzymes and washed away. This takes between 24 and 36 hours. Then the coffee is thoroughly washed with clean water. At this point the coffee is approximately 57% moisture.
To reduce the moisture to a desirable maximum of 12.5%, the parchment coffee is dried either in the sun, in a mechanical dryer, or by a combination of both. Sun-drying takes from 8 to 10 days. This parchment coffee is then stored.
Just before sale, this coffee is hulled to remove the parchment, and cleaned, screened, sorted and graded. This ‘green coffee’ is now ready for selling.

Roasting & Grinding

During roasting, the characteristic coffee taste aroma components are formed, along with the typical brown colour of the beans. More than 1000 different aroma components of coffee are known. By variation of the roasting conditions it is possible to achieve the specific flavor profile of the final coffee according to the preferences of the consumer. Green coffee beans are heated to between 180ºC and 240ºC for 1.5 to 20 minutes. Stronger roasting will generate darker colour and more intense aroma and flavour.
Coffee is typically roasted in horizontal rotating drums that are heated from below or fluidized bed roast chambers where the coffee is heated and moved by hot air. On an industrial scale, the burners are typically heated with gas or oil. Following roasting, the beans are cooled down to room temperature. They may then be packaged as whole beans ready from sale.
If required, the roasted coffee beans may be ground. This is done in a coffee grinder. Grind size needs to be adapted for each intended use (espresso machine, filter brew, instant coffee) as it will also influence the taste in the cup.

Coffee Production Today

Coffee grows in around eighty countries in South and Central America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia.
Arabica coffee accounts for about three-quarters of coffee cultivated worldwide. It is grown throughout Latin America, Central and East Africa, India and, to some extent, Indonesia.
Robusta coffee is grown in West and Central Africa, throughout South-East Asia and, to some extent in Brazil.
Brazil is the largest coffee exporting nation, but Vietnam tripled its exports between 1995 and 1999, and became a major producer of Robusta beans. Indonesia is the third-largest exporter and the largest producer of washed Arabica coffee.

Different drinks

The coffee we drink is made from roast and ground coffee prepared in different ways:
Filter or drip coffee is made by putting finely-ground coffee in a paper or reusable cone-shaped unit. Nearly-boiling water is then poured on top. The brew filters through the unit into a pot or mug and is ready to drink. The coffee grounds remain in the cone. These days, this is mostly done by electric filter coffee machines.

The plunger or cafetiereTM method is made from coarsely ground coffee placed in a pot and hot water added to the grounds. The brew is stirred and left to steep for three to five minutes. The plunger is then pushed down to separate the coffee grounds from the coffee infusion.

Espresso machines force hot water under pressure through very finely ground and compacted coffee into the cups below. This enables significant aroma and flavour to be extracted with low quantities of water. Espresso coffee also usually has a top layer of crema, which is a fine and creamy foam.

Swedish/Scandinavian brewed coffee, as its name suggests, is used in Sweden, as well as other parts of the Nordic region, such as Finland. It is made by boiling ground coffee in water and serving, often without filtering. It tends to be very strong. The coffee is often kept hot for consumption throughout the day.

Turkish coffee is made in an ibriq, a small copper pot with a long handle. Two teaspoons of finely-ground coffee plus one of sugar are added to a cup of water and the mixture is brought to the boil. The ibriq is taken off the heat as it comes to the boil, usually three times. It is then poured out and drunk. A cardamom seed is sometimes added for flavour.
Coffee may then be elaborated to suit individual tastes, for example by adding milk and sugar, frothed milk, flavouring syrups, spices etc.

Instant coffee
Instant – or soluble – coffee is made from coffee beans that have been roasted and ground. The ground beans are then extracted with hot water to recover the coffee flavour and aroma. The process is similar to using a coffee percolator at home. The coffee extract is then dried in one of two ways:

In spray-drying the coffee extract is sprayed into a stream of hot air at the top of a tall cylindrical tower. As the droplets fall, they dry, becoming a fine powder by the time they reach the bottom. The powder may then be texturised into granules to facilitate dosage and dissolution. The quality of the aroma and flavour are preserved thank to the very fast drying occurring during this process. Spray-drying is the most commonly used drying process.

In freeze-drying, the coffee extract is frozen to about – 40°C and cut into granules. The frozen granules are then dried at low temperature and under vacuum. The quality of the aroma and flavour are protected by the very low temperature and gentle drying conditions.
Finally, the soluble coffee is packaged into either glass jars or sachets.


Caffeine is naturally occurring in over 60 types of plant species; the most common being coffee Arabica and coffee Robusta, tea and cocoa beans.
Cup sizes vary considerably across Europe. As a guideline a 150 ml sized cup from ground roasted coffee Arabica contains around 85 mg, instant coffee 60 mg, decaffeinated coffee 3 mg, leaf or bag tea 30 mg, instant tea 20 mg and cocoa or hot chocolate 4 mg caffeine.
Robusta coffees have about twice as much caffeine as Arabica coffees.
Decaffeinated green coffee must contain less than 0.1% caffeine (dry weight) to comply with EU regulations. This corresponds to about 3 mg caffeine in a cup of decaffeinated coffee.


Decaffeination removes nearly all the caffeine from the beans. It is carried out while the beans are still ‘green’, before they are roasted.
Under European law decaffeinated coffee must contain 0.1%, or less, caffeine in roasted coffee beans, and up to 0.3%, or less, in soluble/instant coffee.
Decaffeination takes place in food manufacturing facilities. The process involves:
Swelling the green coffee beans with water or steam so the caffeine can be extracted
Extracting the caffeine from the beans.This is done with water, a solvent or activated carbon.
Drying the decaffeinated coffee beans back to their normal moisture level.

Besides water,thesolvents typically used during decaffeination are ethyl acetate,methylene chloride (Dichloromethane, or DCM) or supercritical CO2.
Although manufacturing processes may slightly differ from one factory to another, generally where solvents are used, the water or the solvent is circulated around the water soaked beans and this causes the caffeine to be released. Then the mixture is drained from the extracting vessel and the process is repeated several times, until only a tiny amount of caffeine is left in the bean. All processes are carefully controlled so that any possible solvent residues remain below the strict limits fixed by law.

Coffee in society

After water, coffee is the most popular drink worldwide with over 400 billion cups being consumed each year1. It is enjoyed as part of a healthy, balanced diet and the pleasurable experience from coffee drinking plays a key role in many cultures around the world, providing an occasion for friends, family and colleagues to connect.

Coffee and socialising

Coffee was first cultivated and traded in Arabia. By the 15th century, coffee was being grown in the Yemeni district of Arabia and by the 16th century it was known in Persia, Egypt, Syria and Turkey.
During this time, public coffee houses were particularly popular in the Middle East, where people could listen to music, watch performers, play chess and discuss the news of the day over a cup of coffee. They became such an important centre for the exchange of information that the coffee houses were often referred to as ‘Schools of the Wise’1.
In the 17th century, coffee appeared in Europe. The first European coffee was sold in pharmacies as a medicinal remedy. However coffee houses were soon established and quickly became popular. The first European coffee house opened in Venice in 1683.
Historically, coffee houses have been an important social gathering point in Europe and their appearance encouraged several cultural and political transformations during the 17th and 18th centuries2. They provided a forum for exchanging views and nurturing public opinion across the social spectrum. Furthermore, the coffee houses were popular with natural philosophers, antiquarians and historians, as places for like-minded scholars to congregate, read, learn from and debate with each other3.
Coffee houses were – and continue to be – venues where people gather to talk, write, read, entertain one another, or pass the time. Some research suggests that we use light hearted conversation to establish and maintain our connection within a group, as well as for mere information transfer. So, by providing a space for regular, but unplanned, interaction with members of the community, coffee houses may play a role in creating social networks, and therefore encouraging community values4.
Coffee houses, as meeting places, help facilitate the spread of information. This occurs informally, as a result of socialising, and, in some cases, through the availability of notice boards. As information passes through a social network, individuals within the community influence each other. The behaviours and norms that come to be adopted are the reflection of this ongoing interaction and collective cognition4.
In many countries, the social aspects of the coffee house have evolved to include the home, where individuals will host coffee mornings for friends and family to gather and converse. One study has suggested that over time, social isolation may be associated with poorer cognitive function in older adults5, and another found that offering coffee in the lounge area of a nursing home encouraged increased social interaction6, therefore some may stand to benefit from such social occasions.

Coffee in the workplace

Coffee is a commonly consumed beverage in the workplace and can be considered an integral part of workplace culture. At work, as well as in other social arenas, the phrase “let’s have a cup of coffee” is often synonymous with “let’s have a conversation”7.
Furthermore, coffee breaks offer a moment of ‘downtime’ in the workplace. Although further research is needed, one study of public workers in Denmark undergoing a large-scale merger found that the workers’ stress was relieved by forming “communities of coping” during coffee breaks with co-workers8. These communities allowed for social interaction with fellow employees, allowing them to share both professional opinions and personal frustrations with their work8.


1 National Coffee Association, ‘The History of Coffee’. Available at:
2 Ellis M. (ed.), Eighteenth-Century Coffee-House Culture. London, Pickering & Chatto, 2006.
3 Habermas J., The structural transformation of the public sphere, The MIT Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, 1991.
4 Stafford T. (2003) Psychology in the coffee shop.The Psychologist, 16(7):358-359.
5 Cacioppo J.T and Cacioppo S. (2014) Older adults reporting social isolation or loneliness show poorer cognitive function 4 years later. Evidence Based Nursing, 17:59-60.
6 Quattrochi-Tubin S. and Jason L.A. (1981) Enhancing social interactions and activity among the elderly through stimulus control. Journal of Applied Behaviour Analysis, 131:159-163.
7 Topik S. (2009) Coffee as a Social Drug.Project MUSE, 71:81-106.
8 Stroebaek P. (2013) Let’s Have a Cup of Coffee! Coffee and Coping Communities at Work. Symbolic Interaction, 36(4):381-39.

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