Coming back from the long Memorial Day Weekend, you might have noticed a new colorful addition adorning one of the primary walls at the coffee shop. Lauren and I had commissioned our good friend Travis Harvey (owner of Village Green Records) to create a 5' replication of Counter Culture Coffee's 2013 interpretation of the Specialty Coffee Association of America's flavor wheel. Confused yet? Don't worry, I'll explain a bit.
First of all, we should start at the beginning... What's this flavor wheel all about? To try and make a long story short (the whole story can be read here) the flavor wheel serves as a sort of lexicon of agreed upon terminology to communicate flavors, aromas, and textures present in coffee. The SCAA had developed the initial flavor wheel in collaboration with World Coffee Research. It's a guide to help coffee drinkers to establish a common tongue when communicating.
In 2013, Counter Culture Coffee had created their own version of the flavor wheel for their own coffee department. Their wheel somewhat simplifies things, but also adds descriptive tables containing adjectives for body/mouthfeel, as well as intensifiers.
While both wheels are beautiful and meticulously designed for ease of use, we felt that the Counter Culture wheel, was more aesthetically pleasing and seemed more effective at communicating concepts without being overwhelming. That being said, Lauren and I had asked Travis if it would be possible to commission a five foot version of this wheel to be a focal piece in the shop in Downtown Muncie. We spent a few weeks going back and forth on design ideas, and ultimately decided to create the wheel using spray paint as the medium. All in, the project took about 50-hours to complete and we're extremely pleased with the results. Oh, and if you're super attentive and have noticed that a few blades are currently blank, good eye! We will be touching those bits and pieces up in the very near future. There were a few casualties with our stencils and the laser cutter, but all will be completed shortly.
Now, it's important to note that these are flavors tasted within the coffee and not a menu of flavors to be added. We don't carry leathery and meat-like syrups. :) Oh, and before this post comes to a close, I'd like to give a shout out to Counter Culture Coffee for putting in the legwork to design such an amazing flavor wheel. It's extremely useful and while we took our liberties with the colors and medium, we think we did it justice.