Ask The Coffee Lab: Does Coffee Really Have More Sensory Notes Than Wine?

By Winston

Does coffee really have more sensory notes than wine? What does that do?

Did you know Oenophilia is the love of wine and an oenophile is someone who loves wine? You would  think there would be an equivalent word for coffee lovers, but there isn’t. I mentioned this to one of my co-workers at cupping this morning and she said maybe we should just be called jittery.

While there are the known pharmacological effects of coffee, does it have more sensory notes than wine? It’s definitely cheaper. One bottle of $10 wine has 4 servings, whereas $10 worth of coffee might have 30 servings and even after 4 or 5 servings of coffee, you can still operate heavy machinery or drive home legally. Try that on wine.

Supposedly coffee has 500 taste and aromatic components and wine ‘only’ has 300-400. It’s rare to see a list of all the components in either of them, and sadly, I’m not much of oenophile (it’s the driving home thing!) Coffee is a little different in that the raw product, the already complex green bean, is subjected to 400+ degree heat and greatly altered (for the better). For further reading, check out the Maillard Reaction.

It’s easy for me to say that having more complexity and more sensory notes would mean more taste, flavor and enjoyment, but that’s crazy talk. Wine is amazing too. They’re both remarkable beverages that start on farms all over the world. We humans have been growing coffee and grapes for wine for thousands of years, and its been strictly for enjoyment. My advice? Drink coffee every morning and during the day and have some wine with a nice cheese plate and crackers.

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