Aroma, a term derived from the Late Latin word arōmata, or Ancient Greek word ἄρωμα, both of which mean spices or fragrant smell. Aroma is used to define a smell, more specifically a pleasant scent; Often one that you want to smell and enjoy it’s presence.
Many times we find ourselves not being able to pull away from the aroma of a certain object. We keep coming back to indulge in the scent of that vanilla-scented candle or a fresh bag of our favorite coffee. We just can’t get enough, craving for more constantly.
AROMA IN TERMS OF COFFEE
When it comes to coffee aroma it is more than just a pleasant smell, with coffee aroma we are able to grasp a full mouthful and flavor of the object itself. Coffee aroma takes the nice fragrance of the coffee beans to a whole other level, a level where we are able to taste what we are smelling. No wonder people feel as if they drank a cup of coffee by just smelling the beans!
As a result of the variety of flavors that exist with coffee, the different tastes elicit many different sensory contacts. All the different factors that go into the type of coffee (roast level, taste, strength, etc.) that you are drinking result in having different sensory experiences towards a certain brew. The reason some people prefer one coffee over another is also because of the flavor and aroma that coffee has to offer.
According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America, there is a Coffee Flavour Wheel of all the different types of aromas and flavors that are found within coffee. Some of the aromas on the wheel include, fruity, sweetness/bitterness, nutty, chocolatey, spicy, etc. Each one of these aromas contributes to the experiences that we have when we drink our favorite coffee. We are also reminded of these aromas every time we brew a cup of joe as they alter the sensory experiences that are elicited from coffee.
HOW DOES AROMA AFFECT YOUR DAILY LIFE?
If you think you only experience aromas when you are drinking your favorite cup of coffee, think again. Aromas are processed in our minds through two different senses, they are processed through our noses as well as through our taste buds. Known as retronasal olfaction, during this process aromas are processed first through our taste buds, and only after followed by the olfactory system. First we drink a cup of coffee and taste its flavors, then the aroma travels up to our smell receptors, which causes the full aromatic effect.
Aromas do not only apply to coffee, they exist in pretty much every daily life event. They can also affect your mood! When we walk into restaurants there are aromas that flow through the air, which make us want to eat there and experience those aromas more personally. On the commute to work we become more and more accustomed to the aromas of the commute, which make the future experiences of doing so feel more comfortable as we are reminded of the previous sensory experiences.
Even when we walk through the park we begin to have sensory experiences from the nature that surrounds us. Wherever you go, there are certain aromas that define the place by what it is. These aromas alert the sensory experiences that we have had in these specific places, reminding us of the exposures we already experienced.