Coffee Sensory

Years of Passionate Coffee Sensory

FlavorActiV’s pharmaceutical grade, GMP Flavour Standards are safe to smell, taste and drink, and can be used in almost any liquid to impart a real flavour, off-note, or taint. The coffee flavour standards were co-developed with Coffee Enterprises in Vermont, USA with input from Square Mile Coffee in London, England.

In 2016 FlavorActiV partnered with World Coffee Research to validate the use of FlavorActiV's GMP Flavour Standards as reference standards within WCR's lexicon. A list of the 24 validated flavour reference standards can be found below. Moving forward, FlavorActiV continues to build on its goal of establishing an industry-wide global coffee flavour language, supported initally by FlavorActiV’s GMP flavour standards to train tasters to recognise defects and positives in coffee, and progressing to measure and maintain tasters skills and education level through advanced proprietary calibration tools and software.

The Coffee Flavour Standards are sold individually in packs of 5 capsules, each capsule separately blister packed to provide flavour protection and prolonged shelf life. Production adheres to strict Good Manufacturing Process (GMP) pharmaceutical quality controls. FlavorActiV's dedicated GMP Flavour Centre is certified and regulated by the UK Government’s Medicine Regulatory and Healthcare Product Agency (MHRA) to a standard which far exceed ISO 9001, ISO 17025 or any food grade certification. If you have any questions about coffee sensory management, please contact

Our video guide to preparing GMP Flavour Standards in coffee:

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“FlavorActiV has changed the math. Their flavor capsules are relevant, accurate, and globally available—just as easy if you’re in Lima as in Limrick as in Lincoln, Nebraska. FlavorActiV saw that coffee had a need, and they invested in the R&D to create something completely new. We embrace the same spirit of solving problems through innovation. We’re very excited about what they’ve done.”

Tim Schilling
CEO, World Coffee Research

A selection of FlavorActiV flavour standards are stocked by the Speciality Coffee Association EU + US online stores.

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Shop GMP Pharma Coffee Flavour Standards:

Shop our range of coffee Flavour Standards, sold as single flavour packs each containing five capsules (all individually blister packaged). We also offer single flavour Essential and complete coffee kits with specific single flavours for those seeking a pre-selection of core SCA/WCR aligned flavour standards.

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Each of the 24 flavours below has undergone evaluation by the same research team behind the first World Coffee Research Lexicon, and have all been approved for inclusion within the latest World Coffee Research Lexicon as validated coffee flavour references.

Sales of FlavorActiV coffee flavour standards help fund WCR sensory research.

Icon WCR/SCA Name FlavorActiV Name Descriptor Chemical Name
Peapod Acetaldehyde Green Fruit, Under-Ripe Acetaldehyde
Almond Almond Marzipan, Bitter Almond Benzaldehyde
Apple Apple Floral, Processed Apples Ethyl Hexanoate
Bitter Bitter - Iso-Alpha Acids
Butyric Butyric Acid Rancid Cheese/Butter, Parmesan, Baby Sick Butyric Acid
Coconut Coconut - Whisky Lactone
Petroleum Diesel/Motor Fuel Heavy Solvent, Gasoline P-Cymene
Sour Sour Lemon Citric Acid
Musty / Dusty Geosmin Dry Earth Geosmin
Floral Geraniol (Rose/Floral) Rose Water Geraniol
Grape Grape Bubble Gum, Artificial Grape Methyl Anthranilate
Jasmine Indole Rose Water, Jasmine Indole
Icon WCR/SCA Name FlavorActiV Name Descriptor Chemical Name
Acetic Acetic Vinegar Acetic Acid
Isovaleric Isovaleric Cheese, Sweat, Sweaty Foot Isovaleric Acid
Phenolic Medicinal Blood-like Copper Penny, Antiseptic, Band-Aid O-Cresol (Methyl Phenol)
Mouldy / Damp Musty Cork like 2,4,6 Trichloroanisole
Papery Papery Paper Cups/td> Trans-2-Nonenal
Brown Spice Phenolic Clove 4-Vinyl Guiacol
Pineapple Ethyl Butyrate Tropical Fruit Ethyl Butyrate
Fermented Fermented Cheesy, Infected, Fruity, Mouldy Ethyl Isovalerate
Fresh Freshly Cut Grass Leafy Plants Cis-3-Hexanol
Salt Salty - Sodium Chloride
Vanilla Vanilla - Vanillin
Musty / Earthy Wet Earthy Damp Soil, Musty, Tobacco 2-Ethyl Fenchol

In addition to WCR coffee lexicon aligned GMP Coffee Flavour Standards above, Coffee Enterprises has selected the below FlavorActiV GMP flavours as important coffee sensory reference standards.

Icon FlavorActiV Name Descriptor Chemical Name
Dry Cracker / Mousy Caged Mice, Cracker Biscuits 2-Acetyletrahydropyridine
Potato Skins< Raw Potatoes, Earthy 2-Isopropyl-3-Methoxyprazine
Leathery - 6-Isobutylquinoline
Icon FlavorActiV Name Descriptor Chemical Name
Cucumber Green Vegetable, Fragrant Trans, Cis 2-6-Nonadienal
Barnyard Anamalic, Band-Aid, Horsey 4-Ethyl Phenol
Spicy Cloves, Allspice Eugenol

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