Sensory map of coffee: what is it?

Sensory map of coffee: what is it?

Sensory map of coffee

For a coffee lover, having a cup goes far beyond just drinking. Cold coffee, a cappuccino or an American coffee … It is not about drinking-and-go on: you must also enjoy each of the sensations that it leaves in your mouth. Describing everything you feel when trying this delicious drink would be complicated if the sensory map of coffee did not exist. Do you know it? Our experts tell you everything you need to know!

What is?

The sensory map is the organization and graphic representation of a set of elements perceived by the five senses. It is possible to have a sensory map for wine, cheeses, perfumes and other objects that can be perceived with the human senses.

In the specific case of the coffee sensory map, it gathers and graphically reflects the attributes perceived by the expert and experienced senses. The characteristic elements are: aroma, color, texture and flavor. By identifying these elements, it will be possible to recognize specific characteristics such as acidity, water hardness, degree of grinding, and more.

The distribution of the sensory map of coffee

Once the aforementioned characteristics are identified, they are compiled in a graph. In it, there are three main categories:

Appearance – Eyesight

It consists of perceiving the coffee on a physical level, evaluating the characteristics of color and apparent texture of the drink and the cream that covers it. For an experienced taster, these characteristics are enough to know what type of coffee they are about to drink.

You can also see the body of the coffee with your eyes. This is determined by the density of the drink, which is produced by oily emulsions and substances called colloids, which are not soluble and are located in the extracts. As a whole, emulsions and colloids are responsible for giving viscosity, while increasing the aroma and body.

Aroma – Smell

This factor depends on some variants, such as the quality of the coffee and the preparation process. Each person can have a different perception of the aroma. The latter will depend a lot on the acuity developed in the sense of smell. However, there is a margin for perception, where perceptions such as:

  • Caramel
  • Butter or vanilla
  • Chocolate cocoa aroma
  • Fresh or dry citrus tones
  • Floral fragrances

The sensory map also includes the coffee cream, considering aromas:

  • Nuts
  • Hazelnut
  • Woody
  • Tobacco

As you can see, it is considered a good amount of sensations. The most important thing is to develop the sense of smell in its entirety.

Acidity – Taste

This element is perceptible with the sense of taste, which resides in the taste buds. Acidity is divided into three aspects for a better understanding of it:


Coffee is characterized by having a bitter taste, but it should not be too strong because it would be impossible to enjoy it.


Also known as the «false freshness.» It is about the pleasant sensation reflected in the tingling that the coffee leaves once it is taken.


The taste of coffee, with its light and natural sweetness, is characteristic of this drink. Perhaps this is the big «why» of the coffee as a popular drink, as it combines the bitter and sweet notes of the same element in perfect harmony.

An additional characteristic measured by the sense of taste is density, which goes hand in hand with the analysis of the body.

Enjoying a coffee is a complete experience, whether you choose to drink cold coffee, cappuccino or American. In addition to spicing up all your special moments, it creates extraordinary sensations in your body. But, for your sensory map to be complete, always choose the best coffee. Every time you go to the supermarket, take Café 1820 to your home and taste the unique and genuine flavor that we have for you.