04 September 2017

Evaluation of different training strategies on the sensory performance of professional coffee tasters

Standardized sensory methods are not yet widely used in the specialty coffee industry. Different industry standards and protocols exist, but these are based on pragmatic methods and are not scientifically documented. Since every step in the production of specialty coffee is about creating the best flavour of the coffee beans, any professional in the coffee industry relies on his/her sensory skills. Therefore, knowledge of sensory methodology and how a professional in the coffee industry can enhance his/hers sensory capabilities are essential.

This industrial PhD project is a collaboration between CoffeeMind Aps and the University of Copenhagen. The industry goal of the project is to provide professionals in the coffee industry with an evidence-based sensory training program that guaranties an increase in sensory performance within three months of training.

The overall scientific objective of the project is to investigate how and to what extend individual sensory performance of professional coffee tasters can be improved with the application of different training strategies. This will be investigated trough an on-site screening test followed by an online (offsite) training program as a crossover intervention study.

The objective of the intervention-training program is to evaluate the effect of cognitive training, including memory and attention training, on the improvement of sensory performance. The training program is a structured and partly self-generated online-based training. Additionally feedback-oriented training with the aim of increasing the participants’ self-efficacy towards coffee tasting is included in the intervention-training program.

Original title: Exploring the potential of enhancing sensory performance using different learning strategies

Start date: November 2016

End date: November 2019

Grant donor: Innovation Fund Denmark

Food grant: 360.000 DKK

Total grant: 1.110.000 DKK

Total budget: 1.860.000 DKK