2016年6月27日 星期一

SCAA風味輪的科學依據



Four Barrel Coffee describes their Rwanda Simbi as “an old white Mustang convertible covered in bumper stickers with tangerine and nectarine peels under the passenger seat.” Unless every other roaster asks what Four Barrel is smoking and loads a bowl of it, there’s no way to speak the same language.
That’s where the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s Flavor Wheel comes in. Originally developed in rudimentary form in 1995, the SCAA released a new version at the beginning of the year that updates and codifies a lexicon of coffee flavors to help turn the subjective poetry of coffee descriptors into objectively agreeable prose.
Four Barrel Coffee,描述他們的盧安達Simbi咖啡的風味為:「一輛舊的白色野馬敞篷車的保險桿標籤,遺忘在車子乘客座位下的橘子跟油桃皮」,這樣的描述除非每個烘豆師都知道Four Barrel葫蘆賣著什麼藥,不然根本不懂這在說什麼。這就是美國精品咖啡協會SCAA的風味輪誕生的原因。風味輪最初的雛型是在1995年誕生,而2016年SCAA更新及編譯了咖啡風味描述的詞彙,幫助大家把對咖啡主觀的感受,轉換成客觀、大家都能接受的描述。








At this year’s SCAA Event, the association’s coffee science manager Emma Sage and World Coffee Research’s Hanna Neuschwander gave a deep dive into the science behind the new wheel. The end goal of the project is to be able to understand quality in an entirely different way than the cupping process, one that is quantifiable and beyond the palate discrepancies faced by even the most calibrated cuppers.

今年SCAA Event美國咖啡展中,協會的咖啡科學經理Emma Sage,和世界咖啡研究所的Hanna Neuschwander,帶大家深入探討新風味輪背後的科學依據。這個計畫的最終目標,是以截然不同於杯測的方式,來了解咖啡整體的品質。這是可量化的,即使對大部分已做過味覺校正的杯測師來說也不會造成太大差異。


Despite the intense training that goes into cupping certification, an initial round of testing showed that a panel of sensory specialists actually out-tasted a panel of certified cuppers. Tasting a set of 13 Colombian coffees, the cuppers came up with 59 flavor terms, with only four terms universal to more than one cupper. The sensory panel arrived at 92 terms and were in 100% agreement. It proved that however valuable the cupping process, it doesn’t pass scientific muster.

儘管經過密集的杯測認證訓練,在首輪測試中反映出,這些感官專家實際上可以喝出比這些認證過的杯測師更多風味。在品嘗了13支哥倫比亞咖啡後,杯測師這組共使用了59種詞語描述風味,而感官專家這組則使用達92種詞語描述風味,並對這些描述達成100%的共識。這證明了不論杯測流程多嚴謹,也無法勝過科學的輔助。


 




That set the groundwork for starting the real experiment. At Kansas State University, a panel of five trained sensory scientists spent 150 hours analyzing 105 coffee samples from 14 countries. In order to dodge the pitfalls of overly esoteric tasting notes, flavors were paired to specific reference points. 

為了正式開始實驗,我們做了一些基本準備。在堪薩斯州立大學,有五個感官科學家,花了150小時分析從14個產國來的105支咖啡樣本。為避免難以理解的杯測風味描述的干擾,這些風味會配對到具體的味道感知上。


For instance, “blackberry” wasn’t to be associated with berries plucked from the Argentinean hillside and eaten as an appetizer to a steak dinner paired with a reasonably priced Malbec, but rather Smuckers blackberry jam. The specific reference was kept on-hand such that tasters were able to gauge and quantify the comparative intensity of each flavor. They settled on 99 terms, which were confirmed by a second team of sensory scientists.

例如,黑莓不會被形容成它是生長在阿根廷山壁的莓果,並作為奢華晚餐上的開胃菜,黑莓應該是會被形容為Smuckers的黑莓果醬這種貼近現實的描述。這些具體的參考詞語讓杯測師可以衡量並量化各風味的強弱。確認了99種詞語後,再由另一組感官科學家團隊來確認。


In order to find how these 99 terms could be oriented around a wheel, the SCAA and the University of California, Davis enlisted both sensory scientists and industry experts to cluster these terms into like groups. The result were nine overarching group terms (sweet, floral, fruity, etc.) that formed the interior of the wheel. Using a series of complicated graphs, each of these overarching groups was divided into more specific clusters that formed the second and third tiers of the wheel. To Four Barrel’s dismay, neither nectarine peels or bumper stickers made the cut.

為了在風味輪上找出符合這99種風味描述的詞語,SCAA和加州大學Davis分校聚集了感官科學家及咖啡業界的專家,來將這些詞語串聯起來。結果將這些詞語在風味輪內部分成九大類(甜味、花香味、果香味等等…),用了許多複雜的圖形,而每個大類都會延伸出更多描述特定風味的第二層及第三層詞語。就不會出現前面提到Four Barrel描述出的油桃皮,或是汽車保險桿標籤這種不貼近現實的詞語。




Although that seems like it uses a whole lot of science to take much of the fun out of describing coffee, the end game isn’t stifling poetic roasters. Codifying a flavor lexicon is just the first step. The goals of speaking the same language about flavor are to be able to better research coffee varieties and understand where quality comes from. It opens the doors for controlled tests to determine whether the chemistry inside certain varietals is responsible for specific flavors, or if environmental conditions have a more substantial impact.

雖然看似在描述咖啡風味上使用很多科學方法,但這並不會扼殺烘豆師發揮的空間,編譯出風味詞語只是第一步,而目標是可以使用相同語言描述風味,透過更深層針對咖啡品種的研究,並了解造就品質的緣由。這些詞語開了個實驗的頭,找出咖啡中的某些化學成分是否會反應出特定風味,或是受環境影響較多的因素所形成的結果。


Once the question of nature versus nurture is solved, it follows that this science could trickle down to the farm level to help farmers isolate specific flavor traits in their coffee plants, unlocking an entirely new approach to cultivating and sourcing. It has huge implications for the next few decades of the coffee industry, and before too long, roasters will actually be able to isolate the variety best suited for bringing out the subtle cracked leather aromas from the upholstery of a ’72 Mustang.

一旦解決了先天問題,後天問題也會跟著解決,也就是說可以用科學方式到耕種階段幫助農民,在種植時凸顯特定風味,而開啟全新的種植方式。這會對未來數十年的咖啡業界產生巨大影響,也許不久後烘豆師可以針對咖啡品種,烘焙出細微到如72年的野馬車款坐墊皮革的香氣。

Dan Gentile is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. This is Dan Gentile’s first feature for Sprudge.
Photographs courtesy the Specialty Coffee Association of America.
Original source:
http://sprudge.com/the-science-behind-the-scaa-flavor-wheel-98677.html


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