..if you don t train your palate regularly.
The ability to taste and smell isn't something you can read about in books, it is something you need to learn by doing. You need to actually eat and drink and smell in order to save that experience in your memory.
What sounds logical is really one of the underestimated key factors in being a coffee lover.
Your mind created a data bank with taste memories that you can choose from when you taste things. That way you can compare and detect the pineapple in your white wine or the mango in your coffee. Yes mango in coffee - it's a brown liquid , but it can give you green, orange, red or yellow flavors too.
So how does it work - how do you find that tropical fruit in coffee?
Look at the data you have easy access to and maybe you'll recognize those next time you have a coffee. Easy access are the things in your fridge, groceries that you buy regularly. Whatever that is, and it must be more than chocolate, find it next time in your cup of joe.
Whatever you would like to taste in your coffee or what the barista says he tasted and you can't seem to find, eat it. Get a mango, a truly sweet mango to freshen up that memory and save that experience in sweetness, acidity and mouthfeel. Also, spice up your fridge and buy fruits that aren t available throughout all seasons, like green plums or rhubarb and when travelling, order things you don t know.
Next time you have that same coffee, you ll be able to taste it or you can disagree with your barista.
Step 3 challenge
Once you are at that level you ll want to step into the unknown. Try your tasting ability on drinks and foods you have no access to...until now. How bout a whiskey, spirits, wine or fine chocolates? Whatever you try, remember to dissect the flavor in sweetness, acidity and mouthfeel, and it becomes useful data.
Your tasting ability will grow.
You will be able to talk about taste in coffee or why you dislike or enjoy certain things.
Most of all: everything will taste more intense, the good and the bad, as you shift your focus and your taste buds are able to dissect all kinds of flavors.
Your cup of coffee could taste like a whole fruit salad- plus that chocolate.