Kenneth Liberman

The Phenomenology of Coffee Tasting: Lessons in Practical Objectivity

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Coffee tasters, ethnomethodology, videotape

The coffee industry must identify the flavor characteristics of coffees in an objective way, so that their purchases and marketing world-wide can proceed with competence; yet the taste of coffee is a subjective phenomenon. Coffee tasters and industry managers employ a number of practices for determining the tastes of coffees objectively, and some of them are more successful than others. Based upon videotaped tastings in Panama, Italy, and the US Pacific Northwest, this ethnomethodological study examines the practical objectivity at work in the industry and describes the local details of the collaborative production of objective descriptions of coffee.

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