Coffee represents a universe as exciting as it is sublime, especially when you realise that months of hard work, effort and countless elaborations along the entire supply chain condense the essence and purity of a product into a few moments of pleasure.
In those few seconds when we smell, taste and drink our coffee, a whirlwind of emotions unfolds, most of which are linked to the aromatic component of the product.
The magic of scents released by a substance can transport us back in time as if giving us the feeling of reliving moments and enjoying their uniqueness and transience for another time.
Moreover, the evolution of these fragrant notes varies during the tasting, offering us increasingly complex aromatic scenarios once perception takes place at the level of the mouth, where a mixture of several sensations takes place. The evaluation of all these nuances takes place following a procedure that defines them according to their intensity and quality.
In fact, when we think of the innumerable notes contained in it, we quickly realise that it is practically impossible to find an aromatic balance in the truest sense of the word, or rather a presence of the main olfactory families with equal intensity and quality. What is reported could be imagined in our minds as a potentially full vase containing all sorts of delicacies, ranging from ripe and fresh fruits to baked goods with floral and spicy side dishes, including the major noteworthy olfactory groups and establishing a concept of olfactory fullness and abundance.
Here, then, we should consider it appropriate to opt for both a proper amount of “odorant” that lasts a reasonable time and the finest possible.
All this may be incomprehensible to many, partly because in order to evaluate the olfactory footprint if we can initially define it in this way, we must equip ourselves with state-of-the-art instruments that enable us to recognise not so much the subtleties of scents as their presence in a substance.
Thanks to instruments such as the gas chromatograph, which allows us to assess the distribution of molecules present in a mixture, we can now solve this problem, but for us mere mortals, it is, of course, easier and cheaper to proceed with some sensory exercises that stimulate our perception rather than our wallets.
The first thing to remember is that evaluations and comparisons can be made using a numerical reference scale. More specifically, if we are to evaluate the acidity and thus the intensity between two products, such as an apple and a lemon, we will easily find that the lemon receives a higher value than the apple, showing that it has a more intense and pronounced acidity than the apple, which could be rather finer in terms of quality.
The same applies to the sense of smell, which defines a basket of different scents in terms of both intensity and aromatic quality.
So without much hesitation, take a resealable jar and fill it halfway with a few pieces of fruit. Once the filling process is complete, all you have to do is smell it and judge how the olfactory notes are released.
The quality and intensity of a product are also directly related to the time it is administered. So, if you have not put too many products in your container, you can keep it in your kitchen so as not to waste it, regardless of the fact that it can oxidise and basically denature.
Leave the jar open for a few days; that is enough, and repeat the process by filling another jar with the same products as the previous one you just took out of the original packaging. In the meantime, take back the original container and seal both.
So take a deep breath, open the jars and smell. If you notice that the older of the two is not very fragrant and is a bit “dull” from an aromatic point of view, this means that you have become acquainted with the concept of intensity, which does nothing but emphasises the concept of the strength with which a smell penetrates the nose before you get used to it.
To underline the concept of quality, even though I think the picture is starting to be clear enough, in this case, we can take the last jar and fill another with the same contents, to which we can add other products that we like best, such as dried fruits, some pepper, or you can prepare a concoction that you know you will need for later preparation and do the same by filling another glass with only two varieties of your choice.
You will find that the glass with more varieties has a very broad aromatic overview and is altogether more complex than the first glass with just a few pieces of fruit.