Paul Jackson defines the circle of coffee

Coffee taster's flavour wheelThis article was published in Beanscene magazine in August 2015.

Spend enough time near cuppers, roasters, or baristas, and you would have undoubtedly seen a wall adorned with the colourful graphic known as the Coffee Taster’s Flavour Wheel.

More than just a pretty picture, the wheel is actually a critical piece of the cupping puzzle, and a part of the foundation of specialty coffee knowledge. Since its creation more than 20 years ago, thousands of coffee professionals around the world have used the wheel as a reference point for coffee communication.

If you’re new to the wheel, the best way to understand it is to think of a visual tool that enables quick and easy access to the vocabulary of coffee tasting. As a long-time coffee professional, I can tell you the value of being able to communicate with others effectively. Whether it be with a front-line customer, fellow barista, café owner, or in a teaching context, using the right terminology is a huge advantage. By using a common language it can help us fine-tune our palate, uncover defects in coffee, identify origins, inform customers, and simply enable us to share the enjoyment of coffee with others.

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Paul Jackson makes scents of coffee

Cafe LeNez kitDanes Specialty Coffee Director Paul Jackson explores why enhancing the sense of smell leads to improved coffee appreciation skills.

This article was published in Beanscene magazine in July 2015.

We may use our mouths to drink coffee, but it’s our nose that does most of the work when it comes to tasting it. While our taste buds can detect the flavours of sweet, sour, bitter, and salty, anything beyond this is detected by our olfactory receptors.

To make great coffee you need to be able to taste great coffee. An integral part of developing a sophisticated palate is through fine-tuning your sense of smell. This is how Le Nez du Café came about. Le Nez du Café is an aroma kit of the most relevant scents in coffee. Its aim is to help others learn to smell coffee, in order to taste it better.

How does our sense of smell work?

When molecules are released by substances around us they stimulate special nerve cells in our nose, mouth, or throat. Odours stimulate olfactory cells, which are found in a tiny patch of tissue high up in the nose, and connect directly to the brain.

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The science of cupping

science-cuppingDanes Specialty Coffee Director Paul Jackson explores the art to cupping and why slurping is completely acceptable.

This article was published in Beanscene magazine in May 2015.

Did you know that there are more than 800 coffee flavour profiles in existence? It’s no wonder it takes a great deal of effort to refine our palates to the extent where we can appreciate all that coffee has to offer.

To attempt to evaluate such extensive depth of the flavours and aromas, coffee cupping is the standardised method of tasting and measurement used.

Cupping has traditionally been carried out by Master Tasters who know which flavour and aromas to look for, in the same way that a sommelier tastes and evaluates wines from different regions and climates.

These Master Tasters cup or taste the coffee with the aim of identifying defects, as the quality of coffee varies from season to season due to climatic changes. Master Tasters have highly developed palates who can even tell which region a coffee is from in a blind tasting.

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Alternative methods of brewing and extraction

alternate-coffee-brewingDanes Specialty Coffee Director Paul Jackson explores alternative methods of brewing and extraction.

This article was published in Beanscene magazine in February 2015.

What’s old is new again. These days we’re all familiar with espresso, and high quality espresso at that. From the time I began in the coffee industry more than 20 years ago, I’ve seen a huge leap in espresso growth and increasingly high standards, resulting in an Australian café culture that is world class.

However, the coffee world has never been one to sit still, and the newest trend to gain momentum is the rise of alternative brew methods.

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Mugshot: Home barista how-to

This article was published on the Good Food website in May 2014.

While the new Australian Barista Champion Craig Simon prepares for the World Barista Championships in Italy this June, Sydney baristas will battle for best home barista in contests around Sydney in August.

Paul Jackson from Danes Specialty Coffee, who runs the competition, has urged home baristas to focus on using fresh, high-quality beans.

''Specialty grade coffees are the highest grade - SCAA ( Specialty Coffee Association of America) rates coffee out of 100; anything above 84 is rated as specialty, 75 to 84 is high commercial and lower than that is just commercial,'' advises Jackson, a home barista trainer for nearly 20 years.

Jackson recommends buying beans from a local specialty roaster rather than the supermarket, and grinding them fresh as you need them.

He also advises to check the roast date when buying beans, avoiding any past six weeks away. A roast date within one to four weeks is ideal.

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Barista Basics - The skills of the trade

Barista Basics - The skills of the trade

Keeping your staff trained and up-to-date on the latest coffee innovations is an important part of running a café.

In this article from BeanScene magazine, Paul Jackson, Managing Director of Danes Gourmet Coffee talks about retaining key staff and training them to perform at their best.

 Barista Basics - The skills of the trade 171KB

Barista Basics - Priming Your Palate

Priming your palate

Despite what you may think, anyone can learn to become a better taster and assess coffee like a pro.

In this article from BeanScene magazine, Paul Jackson, Managing Director of Danes Gourmet Coffee talks training your palate to be a more discerning taster.

 BeanScene Barista Basics Priming Your Palate 165KB

Barista Basics - Characterising coffee

barista_basics_june12Paul Jackson, Managing Director of Danes Gourmet Coffee discusses characterising coffee.

The practice of cupping can bring about a greater understanding and appreciation of coffee.

 Download BeanScene Barista Basics June 2012 150 KB

Barista Basics - The mechanics of espresso

barista_basics_apr12Paul Jackson, Managing Director of Danes Gourmet Coffee explains the mechanics of espresso.

Espresso as it’s served today is the product of 100 years of technical development worth familiarising yourself with.

 Download BeanScene Barista Basics April 2012 143 KB

Barista Basics - The language of espresso

barista basics language of espressoPaul Jackson explains that for expert tasters, baristas and cafe owners alike, speaking the language of espresso is an essential skill..

 Download BeanScene Language of Espresso 154 KB

Barista Basics - Building Baristas

barista basics building baristasPaul Jackson discusses the nature of the Australian coffee industry, as it continues to grow at warp speed, with a new wave of roasters and baristas pushing for greater quality and higher standards.

 Download BeanScene Building Baristas 157 KB

Barista Basics - Choosing a Barista Course

select barista courseEnrolling in a barista training course is a great way to lay the foundations of your coffee-making skill base and expand your knowledge. Over the last decade, with the blossoming of espresso culture in Australia, many barista training courses have cropped up, so there are many options available if you’re looking for formal training.

 Download BeanScene Choosing a Barista Course 287.73 KB

Barista Basics - Espresso Engagement

espresso engagementAs a barista and/or café owner, your love for all things espresso is probably what's brought you here.

Having a passion for coffee is wonderful, but you also need the ability to share this with your customers.

Paul Jackson, Managing Director of Danes Gourmet Coffee, talks about perfecting customer service to keep your clients coming back.

 Download BeanScene Barista Basics Customer Service  197KB PDF

Barista Basics - Excellent extraction

barista basics extractionPaul Jackson, Managing Director of Danes Gourmet Coffee talks about achieving the perfect combination of bean selection, blending, and proper grinding to create a beautiful cup of coffee.

Quality raw materials are the natural starting point, so make sure to source your coffee from a specialty supplier who can provide top quality, expertly roasted beans. a medium roast is ideal for espresso. a gourmet coffee supplier should be able to provide advice on blends to suit your taste preferences.

 Download BeanScene Barista Basics - Extraction 165KB

Barista Basics - Beans, blends & grinds

barista basics - beansPaul Jackson, Managing Director of Danes Gourmet Coffee talks about achieving the perfect combination of bean selection, blending, and proper grinding to create a beautiful cup of coffee.

The coffee you make is only as good as your raw materials. Just as a top chef sources the freshest produce and ingredients available to create a fabulous meal, a great barista finds the best quality beans. the same applies at home.

 Download BeanScene Barista Basics - Beans, Blends, Grinds 129KB

Barista Basics - Great Grinding

barista basics great grindingIf you are a home barista looking to improve the quality of your brew, you will need to look at every stage of the coffee making process.

In this article from BeanScene magazine, Paul Jackson, Managing Director of Danes Gourmet Coffee talks about the fundamentals of coffee grinding, and what to look for when selecting a grinder for home..

Download BeanScene Barista Basics Grinding 197 KB PDF


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