Exploring the diversity of extra virgin olive oils: an immersion in the tasting process

In the world of extra virgin olive oils, there exists a simply astonishing diversity. From fruity to spicy, fresh, herbaceous, subtle, and intense, each variety is unique. At Farm’s Elite, we understand that character, aroma, flavor, texture, and color of our oils are interwoven with the essence of the land that nurtures the olive trees, as well as the meticulous variety and treatment of their fruits.

Next, we will explore the keys of how to taste olive oil step by step, relating and enjoying it with the five senses.

The secrets of olive oil tasting

In extra virgin olive oil tastings, opaque colored cups are chosen to ensure that tasters are not swayed by prejudices based on the oil’s color. Additionally, it is recommended to have a piece of bread, water, or even a slice of green apple on hand to refresh the palate before tasting the next EVOO.

A crucial detail to consider is the temperature of the oil, which should hover around 28ºC. This condition promotes the optimal evaporation of aromatic compounds, allowing for a complete appreciation of nuances in the nose.

With all these elements in mind, the fascinating tasting process begins, comprised of five distinctive phases:

1- Olfactory phase: exploring the aromas of extra virgin olive oil

In the initial stage, the focus is centered on meticulously analyzing the aromas of EVOO, considered the most crucial phase of the tasting. We begin by warming the cup between our hands, reaching the previously mentioned optimal temperature. After a few seconds, we remove the cup’s cover and immerse ourselves in the olfactory experience.

The key lies in taking a deep inhalation to capture the concentrated aromas of the olive oil. Among them, distinctive notes such as ripe olive, green olive, apple, green herbs, fig, green leaf, and tomato plant stand out. This step holds crucial importance, as the identified notes in this phase act as essential guides for the next step of the tasting.

2- Gustatory phase: savoring excellence

The long-awaited moment arrives to taste the extra virgin olive oil, where the intensity of flavor and sensations awakened on the palate are appreciated. A piece of advice that adds depth to this stage is to inhale air subtly, allowing the sensory perception to enrich thanks to the sense of smell.

What conclusions do we draw from this phase?

We delve into flavors and nuances: smoothness, spiciness, bitterness, sweetness, fruity notes, almond touches… Furthermore, the unique texture it brings to the experience is also valued.

3- Tactile phase: distinction in texture

Consistency becomes the fundamental element of this phase, whether it’s dense, watery, smooth, or pasty. This variability is directly linked to the oleic acid content present in the olive oil, a key component of its monounsaturated fat.

4- Visual phase: colors that tell stories

The color hue should fluctuate between golden yellow, characteristic of mature and sweet oils, and intense green, typical of early harvest oils with herbaceous and bitter tones. In a professional evaluation, appearance gains significance, requiring it to be clean and bright, as oils with turbidity and darker tones are considered defective.

5- Final evaluation phase

By integrating all the sensations experienced, we assess whether our oil is fruity, harmonious, or unbalanced. Each tasting is an opportunity to refine the art of discerning aromas and flavors, educating the palate towards mastery.

  • Fruity, with scents and flavors reminiscent of fruits and field products.
  • Harmonious, displaying a great balance of aromas and flavors.
  • Unbalanced, featuring an aroma or flavor that prevails over the others.

Extra virgin olive oil tastings are a captivating experience.

Discover more about our oil varieties on our website: Farm’s Elite – Product Catalog