The art of coffee tasting
Coffee tasting is the practice of identifying unique coffee tastes and aromas in the coffee you drink. L'OR blends are created to engage all the senses and draw you in with layers of flavour and aroma, which is why we encourage everyone to explore our flavour universe.
The coffee's origin, the darkness of the roast, the way it's brewed and what is added to it all influence the tasting experience. Each of our blends has its own distinct profile with nuanced flavours, so we provide a guide with tasting notes for each one, to enhance your coffee experience.
Nearly 2000 different elements contribute to the aroma of your coffee
Coffee experts usually identify a good coffee as one which is full-bodied, balanced, velvety and intense
Store your coffee in an airtight container in a cool and dry place
Storing & preparing the coffee
The rich flavours and aromas in L'OR coffee are best preserved by storing your coffee in an airtight container, in a cool dry place. This applies to whole coffee beans as well as ground and instant coffee.
Our coffees also come packed in aluminium capsules as this allows us to lock in the freshness of the ground coffee and to preserve it longer. This means that you get an exquisitely fresh-tasting cup of coffee, every time.
The simplest way to prepare ground coffee or freshly ground beans is in a coffee maker. This allows the aromas of the coffee to be released quickly, for an aromatic cup of coffee. It also allows you to prepare larger quantities of coffee for endless coffee pleasure.
«'If a coffee label says chocolaty, smell a piece of chocolate and see if you can find these taste notes in the coffee' »
- Roland Brouwer, L'OR Coffee Artist
Coffee tips: Hints for enhanced pleasure
Every coffee experience is unique and the way you choose to prepare your coffee is often a reflection of your personality. From quick and intense espresso, to a milky cappuccino. Sweetened or unsweetened. Dairy or oat milk. It's up to you.
If you do prefer your coffee on the sweeter side, we recommend pairing L'OR coffee with white sugar, rather than brown sugar. Brown sugar has a more caramelised taste which can influence the flavour profile of the coffee and may not reveal it's best characteristics.
Our Coffee Artists also recommend using stoneware, earthenware or porcelain cups rather than glass or metal, as this allows for better development of the aromas.
One way to enhance your L'OR experience is to preheat your cups before adding the coffee.
Olfactory tasting in a cup
If you'd like to explore the taste landscape in your cup of L'OR coffee, it's best to do it immediately after it's been prepared because the most subtle aromas are the most volatile and may change or disappear over time.
Brew, then pour straight into your cup. Breathe in deeply two or three times above the cup to get a sense of the aromas.
Did you know?
The sense of smell is one of the most important senses for becoming a coffee expert. In fact, 80% of the aromas are detected by your nose. Nearly 2000 different elements make up the aroma of your coffee.
Coffee experts have succeeded in identifying about 800, which still leaves a number of mysteries to be revealed. That's why the smell of coffee has never been reproduced.
Before we learn to pick up the different aromas in our L’OR coffee, it's important to understand the different kinds of coffee scents. Let's explore.
Coffee scent categories
Enzymatic: Since the coffee bean is actually the seed of a fruit, similar to a cherry, many coffees contain a floral or more fruit-like aroma. These aromas are described as enzymatic properties and they vary widely, from berry-like to citrusy to oniony and melony.
Sugar brewing: When the amino acids and sugars are exposed to heat during roasting, they can remind you of roasted nuts or even cocoa. Depending on the coffee bean, there will be different levels of sugars which will influence these notes in the final cup of coffee.
Dry distillation: During coffee roasting, some parts of the coffee bean are 'burnt' in the roaster. This brings with it unique and distinctive aromas, similar to wood or perhaps pipe tobacco. The darker the roast, the more pronounced the dry distillation tastes become.
Before tasting, stir your coffee so it's evenly distributed throughout. Coffee that is too hot or too bitter can mask certain nuances so let it cool for a moment before tasting it.
For a pure coffee tasting experience, try not to eat spicy food before drinking your coffee. Certain flavours like aniseed, mint and liquorice will influence the taste of the coffee.
Take small sips, so you don't over-saturate your palette. Swill the coffee around in your mouth for 5 to 10 seconds before swallowing it so every part of your tongue and your palate can detect the intensity of the different aromas.
Continue to taste the coffee as it cools, because you will discover aromas that could have been initially masked by the heat. But don't wait longer than 10 to 15 minutes.
A multitude of aromas
By focusing your attention on tasting your coffee, you can detect familiar notes, such as acidity, bitterness or even smoothness. Certain coffees also reveal spicy or floral notes as well as notes of red or dried fruits. On tasting, a good coffee is usually one which is full-bodied, balanced, velvety and intense rather than one that has a burnt flavour, or an aggressive, bitter or gritty taste.
Our Coffee Artists taste each L'OR blend without milk or sugar, so they can get the full tasting experience and detect all the nuance of the profile. Milk and sugar can reduce the intensity of certain aromas, like bitterness.