How to assess the sensations perceived by the sensory organs.

Sensory analysis is a science that applies objective methods to measure, analyse and interpret the sensations that can be perceived by the senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. It is expressed through tasting sessions and sensory tests carried out in the tasting laboratory by a select and trained panel of tasters.


Tasting is an essential step in the evaluation of espresso coffee and its quality indicators such as the cream, body, smoothness and aroma intensity. All the sense organs are involved in tasting. Smell, taste and touch are involved in particular.


The sense of smell, together with sight, is responsible for our first reaction to food. The olfactory receptors are located in the nasal cavity. The aroma can also reach the olfactory area via the mouth through the retronasal cavity.


Our sense of taste is mainly located on the tongue and is connected to the identification of the five primary tastes, linked to five separate physiological systems.


Our sense of touch is linked to the perception of the strictly physical properties of food or drink. In the case of coffee, it detects the degree of intensity of the body of an espresso and its quality.


The combination perceived on the palate of aromas, tastes and tactile perceptions.

The sum of the simultaneously perceived multi-perception of taste, retronasal aromas and tactile sensations on the palate constitutes the so-called “flavour” of espresso. In their book “Zero Caffè – Il diritto alla felicità”, published by Edizioni Medicea Firenze, Andrej Godina and Sandro Bonacchi coin the term “flavore” from the English word “flavour”, indicating one of the sensory characteristics used to describe the quality of coffee, as precisely defined in the tasting protocol for Specialty Coffee by the Specialty Coffee Association of America.


It consists of the simultaneous evaluation of sensory, aromatic and taste characteristics and is, therefore, a synthesis of all the sensations experienced. In Godina and Bonacchi’s minds, the “flavore” aspires to be the new simple and effective key for an appropriate sensory description of each espresso.

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