Grading and Tasting Olive Oil

You'll have a better result if you don't drink coffee or smoke at least 30 minutes before the time set for your test and if you don't use any perfume, cosmetic or soap whose could linger during the test. Usually we suggest to taste at least three or four different oils made with different species of olives to discover different flavors and intensities. You'll find many different species of olives used in the oils we offer in our Selection. Pour just a small quantity of olive oil in the cup (enough to cover the bottom), hold the cup top and bottom between your hands to warm it slightly and swirl it for at least one minute.Remove your hand and smell the oil. Keep in mind that extra virgin olive oil should smell and taste of the fruit from which it is should be fruity and olivey. You should smell something like olive, fresh cut grass, aromatic herbs or fresh fruit, that are considered positive attributes. If not, you could have just a flat olive oil with no flavor or a bad one that could be defined rancid, old, metallic, musty-humid, fusty or winey. If you recognize you are smelling the second one you should not proceed with the tasting because your palate will be affected by these defects (and you'll need the glass of water you have prepared before!). If the smell is good and you've found the positive attributes then take a tiny sip and let it work in your mouth. Swirl it around and suck in air to oxygenate the oil. Taste it some more and then swallow. Take notes on your sensations and impressions.Remember that every extra virgin olive oil works in your mouth in a different way and with a different time so...let it work! Do you like the taste? Is it light or heavy? Does it increase in intensity of flavor as you hold it on your tongue? Is it pungent, peppery, bitter? Is it grassy, fruity, oily? Here a few important elements you'll find in both cases:DESIRABLE TRAITSApple Almond: a flavor which reminds one of artichoke.Astringent: A puckering sensation in the mouth created by tanninsBananaBitter: Many new to olive oil are surprised to find that image this is a preferred characteristic of olive oils; usually obtained from green olives or olives turning color.Fresh: Good aroma, fruity, not oxidizedFruity: an oil is fruity when its flavor and aroma are similar to that of a mature olive. If you have stood over the olive grinder or press, fruity is what you smell. Many oils initially seem fruity. This characteristic may disappear in a few months in some oils, a truly fruity oil maintains this characteristic aroma through time.Grass Green: A young, fresh, fruity oil. Produced by olives that are unripe and with little meat.Burnt: prolonged heating during processingDirty: oils which have absorbed the unpleasant odors and flavors of the c60 cancer vegetable water after pressing which they have remained in contact for too long.Earthy: This term is used when oil has acquired a musty humid odor because it has been pressed from unwashed, muddy olives.Flat: Oils which have lost their characteristic aroma and have no taste.Frozen: due to olives which have been exposed to freezing temperatures.