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Introducing the New SCAA Flavour Wheel

In our Handpicked booklet last month we introduce you to the new SCAA wheel. This is one of the most iconic resources in the coffee industry and is used every day by experts. 

The Speciality Coffee Association of America (SCAA) is the most prominent body in the coffee industry, setting the standards for everything from green coffee to roasting and cupping. The SCAA Annual Expo is the coffee event of the year. Our roaster Hugo attended its 28th edition last month in Atlanta, where one of the highlights was the launch of the new SCAA Coffee Flavour Wheel

The first SCAA wheel was created 21 years ago to offer a common language for coffee professionals to describe the complex taste profiles. Everyone in the coffee supply chain, from farmers to baristas, uses these terms as a shared point of reference, and posters of the wheel decorate the walls of cupping and roasting rooms around the world. Those who have been with our coffee club for a while may remember the wheel from our Spotlight on cupping coffee in March last year.

Now we are pleased to share with you the revised version of the wheel, its first update in 21 years, developed by the SCAA and World Coffee Research to reflect the latest spectrum of coffee flavours and the vocabulary used to describe them.

Use this wheel to describe the various characteristics of your Handpicked coffee. First, take a minute to breathe in the aroma. Next, take a sip, spreading the coffee over your palate and see what flavours you can identify and how they balance each other.

For example, April’s Kenya sits in the fruity category, with a citrus acidity balanced by soft floral notes, while June's Indian coffee belongs in the top left section i.e. Sweet, Nutty/Cocoa.

To find out how to cup coffee using the flavour wheel, visit the SCAA website at

 * The Coffee Taster's Flavour Wheel by SCAA and WRC (© 2016) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. You may not use this material for commercial purposes.

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