Training the palate: Triangulations

Picture of Estela Lopez

Estela Lopez

May 10, 2023

Specialty Coffee Triangulations 1

Through tasting, cuppers determine and evaluate each of the characteristics that define a coffee; cupping is the practice used to know and distinguish and distinguish its virtues and defects.

Developing the palate and improving tasting skills is something that can be worked on to help tasters perform their job more effectively. For this reason one of the most common practices used by tasters is triangulation.a very useful method to improve sensory analysis. Triangulation tests increase the sensitivity of tasters to small differences in coffee characteristics.

How is triangulation performed?

To practice this tasting, it is advisable to do so by following the SCA tasting protocol . To do this, we will place on the table several cup triangles (groups of three cups). In these, two identical coffees and one different one will be placed.

First, the coffee beans should be examined and smelled. Then, with a spoon, small sips of coffee are taken with a powerful suction, so that the ingested coffee can be distributed throughout the palate. This suction should be done the stronger the better, the reason is none other than to aerate the coffee and thus spread it better so that the receptors of the tongue capture all the flavor.

Tasters must be able to find the distinct cup and set it apart from the rest. For this purpose, both the aroma and the flavor of each cup must be taken into account.

The best way to carry out this test is to adapt the conditions of the room environment so that it is carried out in the most balanced way possible. Ideally, it should be done in a darkened room under red lights. The lack of light eliminates any visual difference between the different coffee samples, making it even more difficult to recognize the discordant cup.

The degree of difficulty will also depend on the coffee samples used.multiple from one origin or different batches. During the exercise, there will be clues to indicate which cup is different: aroma, flavor, acidity, body or aftertaste which will help us identify the differences.

Due to its versatility, the triangulation is one of the tests that make up our

Tasting Open

, a coffee tasting competition with prizes of up to 6.000€.

If you want to test yourself, you can’t miss it!


Estela Lopez

Mare Terra Coffee

”Communication and Marketing Director”.

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