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5 Steps to Outsmarting Coffee Snobs

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Can’t We Just Enjoy Coffee?

Can a coffee snob really tell the difference between a cup of Ethiopian Harrar and a Papua New Guinea Village Premium Morobe? Wine Snobs can’t. Robert Hodgson, a winemaker from California, conducted an eight year experiment at the California State Fair’s wine competition.

Hodgson had this to say about the results,  “The results are disturbing. Only about 10% of judges are consistent and those judges who were consistent one year were ordinary the next year. Chance has a great deal to do with the awards that wines win.”

The fact is, Coffee tasting like wine tasting is subjective. We all have our own opinions. So in this blog post we’re going to poke a little fun at the “coffee snobs” of the world. Here are the 5 steps to outsmarting even the most seasoned coffee snob. You’re going to blow them away!

Step 1: Breathe.

Take a deep whiff of the cup of coffee before you sip it. Try to pinpoint the aroma. What does it remind you of. Note: if it just smells like coffee say something like, “Hmmm. This one seems to have a nutty-like base, with a hint of walnuts.” Look at the amazement on their faces. And you haven’t even tasted it yet.

Step 2: Take a Sip.

Just like the coffee sniffing, take a quick sip. What flavors can you identify? Note: if it just tastes like coffee say something like, “Oh that’s really interesting. Very interesting. It has a piquant and nippy acidity with a hint of cardamom.”

Step 3: Now Get Slurping!

I know this might sound funny, but just slurp the coffee. This is a real coffee tasting technique! Slurping allows you to spread the coffee evenly across your tongue and palate, enabling you to take in a greater variety of flavors. Now, what flavors can you identify? Note: if it still tastes like coffee then say, “I can really taste the lemon and apricot notes. They’re so delicate. It’s a delight!”

Step 4: Really think about your palate.

With each subsequent taste just ponder the multitude of flavors washing over your palate. It’s like a sea of flavor, rainbows, and unicorns. Note: if it still tastes like coffee just say, “Hmmmm.”

Step 5: Sit Back, Relax, and Watch.

Now is the time to sit back, relax and receive all of the coffee snob accolades you deserve. Watch the other coffee snobs try to match you in coffee snobbery. Look at ‘em try! You’ve really stumped them.

I have a confession.

I’m a wannabe coffee snob. I know, I know. I love to try and determine the flavors, undertones, aromas, body, and finish of espresso, pour-over, and drip. But really, I think it’s fun to just drink coffee. I leave the coffee snobbery to our experienced coffee roasters.

I think it’s fun to be “hoity toity” about coffee. And obviously, I think it’s fun to make fun of coffee snobbery.

Can’t we all just have a little fun?  

For all you Wannabe Coffee Snobs

If you’d like to be a wannabe coffee snob like me, check out these awesome diagrams below!

Use this tongue diagram when you’re slurping your coffee. Try to determine the types of flavors that come to mind.


Use the flavor wheel to attach familiar flavors to these coffee sensations!



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