It was once again a pleasure and honor for Astoria to host one of the most renowned and top-level courses in the coffee industry. We are in fact referring to the first module of the Coffee Tasting License course, organized by the International Institute of Coffee Tasters (IIAC), in collaboration with the National Institute for Italian Espresso (INEI) and the Tasters Study Centre.

A day full of ideas for the course’s 28 participants, the majority of whom are already professionals operating in the coffee industry, aspiring to expand their know-how starting at the very beginning of the supply chain, in order to assure their clients an increasingly elevated level of product guarantees.

The course, held by Prof. Luigi Odello, was divided into two parts. The first part focused in giving the participants some theoretical basis, and touched topics like coffee from a cultural point of view, coffee cultivation, harvesting, roasting and grinding, and also its final dispensing. The second part on the other hand, followed a more practical approach.

The eight didactical coffee tastings experienced by the participants had two functions. The first four aimed at balancing the parameters of “rookie” tasters with those of people able to judge with more expertise, with the aid of technical sheets (Trialcard) compiled by the latter. The other four on the other hand, were aimed at verifying skills gained during the first stage, and required the taster to make an attempt at describing the sampled beverages from an aesthetic, olfactory and gustatory point of view. Participants were asked to spot characteristics like the presence of fruity, dried, vegetal, toasted, spiced, positive or negative scents and aromas, or even whether other biochemical elements (i.e. smells similar to fermented, decaying, sulfureous or oxidized substances) could be perceived.

The main difficulty encountered by the participants was to translate their sensorial perception of the stimuli at every tasting into verbal language, trying to adopt an objective method to best describe each coffee. The enhancing of the various qualities characterizing each beverage was made possible by the expert professionalism both of the INEI-certified bartender Silvano, who prepared the coffee, as well as by the high quality standards offered by the Astoria Plus 4 You TS coffee machine, which was able to maintain a constant temperature both while serving numerous coffees to the various participants as well as during the lengthy pauses.

Special thanks go to all participants for the enthusiasm shown and, above all, to Prof. Luigi Odello, representing IIAC, for a great day dedicated to training and the quest for coffee excellence.