6) Sonic Seasoning

54 minutes

Imagine you’ve got a cup of coffee in front of you. You haven’t tasted it yet. You therefore don’t know what it tastes like, right?

Wrong. Some scientists argue that you actually do know what it will taste like (more or less), and the act of tasting simply confirms what you have already imagined it will taste like. And that’s because a growing body of research is revealing that sight, sound and touch all affect your expectation of a coffee’s flavours.

In this episode, I explore how certain sounds might make your coffee taste sweeter, while other sounds translate to bitterness. And I expose how some cafe owners might be ruining the flavours of the high-end specialty coffee you paid for without even realising it.

In the second half, I show you why so many of our scientific questions about coffee are going unanswered. I take you deep into the future of coffee science by explaining who’s doing research into coffee science, why they’re doing it, how much it costs and how you can get involved.


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Explore the technology behind Fiorenzato’s AllGround home coffee grinder

Get more involved in coffee science!

Buy Brita Folmer’s The Craft & Science of Coffee

Read the Specialty Coffee Association's 25 Magazine for cutting edge insights into coffee science, business and sustainability, including Charles Spence’s article on sonic seasoning

Partner with the Coffee Science Foundation

Explore Felipe Reinoso Carvalho’s sonic research, including Diego Campos’ winning World Barista Championship routine

Apply to study at the UC Davis Coffee Centre
Do an online course with ZHAW’s Coffee Excellence Centre
Subscribe to Barista Hustle and complete their online coffee courses

Become a member of the Barista Guild, Coffee Roaster’s Guild, Coffee Technicians Guild and attend their events!

Connect with my very knowledgeable guests

Charles Spence - Academic profile
Fabiana Carvalho - Instagram
Janice Wang - LinkedIn
Felipe Reinoso Carvalho - LinkedIn
Chahan Yeretzian - LinkedIn
Bill Ristenpart - Academic profile
Peter Giuliano - LinkedIn
Jenn Rugolo - LinkedIn
Giulia Bagato - LinkedIn
Denis Girardi - LinkedIn

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