Aroma, Taste and Flavour

Describing different aroma’s, tastes and flavours when sipping a cup of coffee is not easy. But what are you actually describing?


Aroma is an odour and is often referred to as a smell and is sensed by receptors in the nose.

Example: Put your description together. Begin with the acidity, followed by the aroma and close with the coffee’s flavour.
You might describe coffee as follows: “The coffee has a crisp, bright flavour, with subtle hints of citrus and rich chocolates.”


Taste or the faculty of tasting, is the sensation of saltiness, sweetness, sourness, bitterness and what they call umami (savoriness).


Flavour is the sense of taste and smell combined.

The taste map is considered a misconception of results from a study in the 1800’s. However, people still use it often to describe where you taste certain sensations on the tongue. Scientist are saying that it’s a myth however.

The Difference Between Taste and Flavour. Taste refers to our five sensitivities — sweet, sour, salt, bitter, and umami (umami is a taste other than sweet or sour) — while flavour is a “hedonic” (relating to) sense involving smell, texture, and expectation.

Another good way to describe the flavour of a coffee, is by body and aftertaste. The body can be light, like a dry light wine or it can be heavy, like a red wine. The aftertaste is the lasting impression left in your mouth when you have finished your cup of coffee.