Intermission: Palate training: Citrus

Every now and again, I see things that seem a little crazy, but help me understand coffee and food a lot better. For example, when baristas and roasters go palate training and sample various fruits and acids to help them pick out flavours in coffee. It can be as tame as eating fruit salad, or as crazy as drinking vinegar and other acids.

A barista from Workshop Espresso in Sydney kept recommending wine tasting to assist with identifying coffee flavours, but alas, I believe I am alcohol intolerant! But alcohol sampling I did, where I could, small sips at a time. It’s how I ended up with a very small but pricey wine collection, and a smaller and less pricey whisky collection. Oh, and a bottle of gin.

Anyway, what really sparked me to start testing this out for myself, was when I found that people were describing tasting notes as “meyer lemon acidity” – how on earth can you tell a meyer lemon from any other lemon? Was it even a valid flavour descriptor?! It was time to put all this to the test. I had a lucky week at my local farmers markets, where I could obtain two types of lemon and three types of limes. Time to undergo palate training of the citrus variety!

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