Sensory Experience

Wednesday Morning

Extraction Fractions: Understanding Batch Brew Parameters

Mackenzie Batali, a PhD student at UC Davis, has adapted her research project for the symposium setting. You will taste portions of a batch brew, fractionated by time, and gain insight into what flavors are contributed at each stage of extraction. 

Chocolate: Bean to Treat

Partnering with a local chocolate maker and baking supply store, the Fine Cacao and Chocolate Institute will guide us through the flavor development process in cacao. For two single origin cacaos, we will experience every step of the chocolate-making process: raw cacao beans, roasted cacao nibs, chocolate liquor, chocolate bars, and brownies. Learn about the many challenges and critical control points chocolate professionals, from the chocolate maker to the pastry chef, face when working around the particular flavor profiles chocolate has to offer. This experience will also touch on genetic influences on flavor and diversity in the chocolate and baking industry.

The Coffee Sensorium: Somatosensory Influences on Flavor Perception - Part 1: Texture

We are familiar with taste and smell, but the senses of vision, audition, and somatosensation (haptic cues) that are stimulated before a food/drink is placed into the mouth also contribute to the flavor experience. They are called anticipatory senses. The anticipatory senses integrate not only properties of the fooxad/drink itself but also from the servingware – or even from the environment – where the food/drink happens to be served. In this way, elements such as color, texture, and shape of vessels can impact flavor perception. Dr. Fabiana Carvalho has adapted her research project, "The Coffee Sensorium" to showcase how texture and weight can influence flavor perception. 

Wednesday Afternoon

Vanilla: More than Plain

Vanilla, like coffee, is aromatically complex and depends on multiple processes for flavor development. Synergy Flavors has provided aroma references and pure vanilla extracts to showcase the intricacies of vanilla flavor. You will smell references for several aroma attributes found in vanilla, then try to identify them in extracts of different origins. Learn how origin and processing contribute to vanilla flavor and how to describe the nuances found in pure vanilla extracts. 

Pu'er Vertical Vintage Flight

Taste the complexities within a single tea type that can be imparted by aging. Rishi will walk us through a series of Pu'er teas of different vintages. Prepare to have your expectations shattered as you discover the diverse flavor profiles possible from a single tea type.

The Coffee Sensorium: Somatosensory Influences on Flavor Perception - Part 1: Weight

We are familiar with taste and smell, but the senses of vision, audition, and somatosensation (haptic cues) that are stimulated before a food/drink is placed into the mouth also contribute to the flavor experience. They are called anticipatory senses. The anticipatory senses integrate not only properties of the fooxad/drink itself but also from the servingware – or even from the environment – where the food/drink happens to be served. In this way, elements such as color, texture, and shape of vessels can impact flavor perception. Dr. Fabiana Carvalho has adapted her research project, "The Coffee Sensorium" to showcase how texture and weight can influence flavor perception. 

Thursday Morning

Genetics x Environment: A Geographical Exploration of Coffee Flavor

Linked to Hanna Neuschwander's Re;co talk, "Unlocking Coffee's Flavor Code," you will experience firsthand the genetics x environment interaction. You will taste two varieties of coffee, each grown in two different locations: Geisha and Pacamara grown in California and in Guatemala. Understanding the variables that affect coffee flavor is crucial to the future of coffee, and this tasting is a unique window into the important work of World Coffee Research.

Aromatic Oolongs & Darjeelings: Comparisons between Cultivars, Regions, and Processes

Highlighting genetics and environment in another important crop, we will have the opportunity to taste several teas to isolate the effects of cultivar, growing region, and processing. Rishi Tea will be here with 4 tea flights, each keeping one variable the same and altering the third. Taste Pheonix Dancong teas from the same region and process but different cultivars, Shan Cha teas with identical cultivar and processing but grown in different regions, and Eastern Beauty teas of the same region and cultivar but processed differently.

Citrus: Separating Flavor and Acidity

It is common to hear that coffee has a "citric" acidity or that a coffee's acidity is "bright" or "tangy". This sensory experience is laid out to have participants focus their efforts on identifying the flavors and acidity of a particular citrus separately. Participants will be encouraged to dive into all the senses they are experiencing while eating each citrus and note the intensities and descriptions of each. Discover the personalities of familiar and exotic citrus varieties and how similar flavors might appear in coffee. 

Thursday Afternoon

Developing Sensory Profiles in Bread Using Single Variety Grains

Tartine Manufactory has designed an experience to highlight bread makers' decisions when selecting the perfect grain for particular baking applications. Taste a variety of rye products and learn how craft and science interact to produce the most delicious loaves.

Citrus: Separating Flavor and Acidity

It is common to hear that coffee has a "citric" acidity or that a coffee's acidity is "bright" or "tangy". This sensory experience is laid out to have participants focus their efforts on identifying the flavors and acidity of a particular citrus separately. Participants will be encouraged to dive into all the senses they are experiencing while eating each citrus and note the intensities and descriptions of each. Discover the personalities of familiar and exotic citrus varieties and how similar flavors might appear in coffee. 

Genetics x Environment: A Geographical Exploration of Coffee Flavor

Linked to Hanna Neuschwander's Re;co talk, "Unlocking Coffee's Flavor Code," you will experience firsthand the genetics x environment interaction. You will taste two varieties of coffee, each grown in two different locations: Geisha and Pacamara grown in California and in Guatemala. Understanding the variables that affect coffee flavor is crucial to the future of coffee, and this tasting is a unique window into the important work of World Coffee Research.