Aroma vs. Geschmack

Aroma vs. taste

We try to describe each coffee accurately with flavour notes. This should help you to decide whether you like a coffee or not. The coffee plant can develop up to 1200 different flavours. While in English it is always called "flavour", in German the word summarises the terms Aroma and Geschmack. But they are not the same - they describe impressions from two different senses, but of course they work closely together:

What is aroma?

In German, the term aroma is often equated with the term taste; for example, we speak of vanilla aroma and mean vanilla taste. However, this is not quite correct. After all, aroma only refers to the smell of something. Even people who don't drink coffee often enjoy the aromas that a freshly brewed cup gives off. Especially with coffee, "the nose drinks along", because aromas contribute strongly to the formation of flavour. If you brew your coffee with a hand filter, the next time you can take a sniff especially during blooming - because this is when a particularly large number of aromas are released. Fun Fact: A wide variety of aromas are also released during the coffee roasting process itself. But not the typical coffee smell. It smells more like someone is toasting bread, hay and popcorn in a pan; the fine coffee aromas only develop after roasting.

What is taste?

The actual taste of coffee is described in terms of familiar foods, so we all know coffee that tastes of chocolate or blueberries, for example. Of course, there is neither chocolate nor berries in the cup, but the flavour profile of the coffee is reminiscent of them - this is what we call flavour notes. Besides these two typical flavours, there are about 1200 others. The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) has developed a coffee flavour circle for this purpose, which helps to better classify the taste experience.

You want to learn more about how to describe a coffee in terms of taste? Then take a look at our blog article "Coffee Tasting Terminology".

But if you want to learn hand-on how to improve your senses, sign up for a sensory training.