At Nordic Approach HQ in Oslo we regularly hold sensory training events for our staff. This month we ran a workshop to help the team detect mouth feel. 

I learned this exercise from Ida at CoffeeMind. It’s great for training yourself to discern body and mouthfeel when cupping coffee, and best of all, it’s easy to set up and do yourself. 

Here’s how:

Objective:

Range and sort four different liquids from low to high in mouthfeel. 

Equipment: 

  • Four large jugs
  • Coloured glasses or anything that obscures the colour (not essential but it does eliminate the colour of the liquid on your sensory perception.) 

Ingredients: 

Four types of milk products with differing fat content. We used the following: 

  1. Cream
  2. Whole Milk
  3. Semi Skimmed Milk 
  4. Skimmed Milk

Chocolate powder. We used O’boy, a common brand in Norway. 

The fat content of the dairy products we used ranged from 0.1% to 18.5%. The higher the fat content the higher the mouthfeel. 

In Norway there is a distinct difference in flavour between milk and cream which is why we made chocolate milk to mask the milk product’s flavour.

Method: 

In individual jugs, combine 1 litre of the milk product with 70 grams of chocolate powder. Stir until the powder has dissolved. You will now have four jugs of chocolate milk with different fat content. 

Give each attendee 1 glass of each liquid. Each attendee shall now have 4 glasses. 

Have them range and sort from low to high.  For us that meant: 

  • Cream – 18.5 % fat
  • Whole Milk – 3.9
  • Semi Skimmed Milk – 1 %
  • Skimmed Milk – 0.1%

It’s not as easy as you think, especially when the fat content differs by a few percentage points. Try it with your team and let us know how it goes. 

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