Smells like Coffee Spirit

In the lab

Smells like Coffee Spirit

angel barrera | 2019-04-09



Voltaire used to say that rather judging people for their answers, we should judge them by their questions. If we considered this statement as a truth, then we could say this is one of the strongest points we have here at Belco. Our curiosity has no limits. It was this curiosity which moved us to try to go even a bit further than the current known limits of coffee sensory analyze… and the fact of being in France helped us a lot to achieve it. I will explain why.

As you might all know, the sensory analysis in coffee is in a constant development. This development which would probably have no limits when we consider that over 800 components cause the diversity in the coffee aromas… and that by adding every day new coffee processing, new varietals, trying roasting profiles, extraction methods, etc. we are pushing its complexity to infinite! This aromatic complexity in coffee can be decomposed in mainly two phases: an olfaction phase and another of retro-olfaction.

Then, we have very specific parameters that we grade in each phase. But by talking in the office, we discuss how we feel that, we don’t give that much importance to the olfaction phase (talking and staying strictly in the base of “grading a coffee” objectively). I think you’re starting to get the point of why did I say how it helped us the fact of being in France. France and perfume, makes sense, doesn’t it? The idea. Having our own Belco suitcase of coffee aromas… made directly from our coffees. The plan. Find the best partner in the French market, capable of doing it for us. We had the chance to find it, it is Cinquième Sens. So we did it.

We selected 20 coffees (the ones we considered that would be capable of doing a really, really complexity in terms of aromas… from the fruity notes of Ecuador “Las Tolas” until the race and strong woody aromas of a Monsooned Malabar). And then, as we never stop, we said to ourselves “why not trying to isolate the coffee defects?” to have our small coffee defects suitcase, and yes, we asked for it also.

And last week, we met Madame Isabelle Ferrand from Cinquième Sens. We have now our two small suitcases (one with 48 aromas and the other one with a dozen of defects), the complete and extended aromatic profiles of our coffees (sometimes even comparing them with perfumes!). Add a whole day of training in aromas… and our eyes were brighting. More satisfied we couldn’t be with the outstanding work Cinquième Sens did for us.

With this tool, we hope we can still help to contribute as Belco in the infinite quest of coffee sensory analyze!
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