Learn how to properly taste olive oil and be able to feel its true taste and scents

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Tasting Process

Begin by pouring one tablespoon of olive oil in a small glass (preferably with a rounded bottom base). Embrace the glass with your palm to warm the olive oil. Cover the top of the glass with your other hand and swirl softly to release the aromas.

Phase 1

Bring the glass to your nose and smell the olive oil. Observe the aromas.

Phase 2

Then take a generous sip and allow it to sit in the entire oral area without swallowing. During this step place your tongue on the back of your upper teeth and inhale in order to release the aromas of the olive oil.

Phase 3

a woman tasting extra virgin olive oil from a glass

Finally, swallow the olive oiland observe the flavours you have tasted.

Phase 4


Learn here below about the basic characteristics of olive oil and the basic principles of the tasting process

Characteristics of superior quality olive oil

A superior quality olive oil is distinguished by its fruity aroma and a full flavoured taste. The fruity attribute releases various aromas like freshly cut grass, olive blossom, tomato, apple, artichoke, wild herbs and fruits of the forest. When savoured, a delicate to intense bitter taste is felt in the mouth and a spicy taste in the throat.

Characteristics of lower quality olive oil

A lower quality olive oil may present a common defect like “rancid”, which means that it has undergone an intense process of oxidation. The rancid smell releases an unpleasant odour of heated or burnt oil. Other defects may be the “winey-vinegary” flavour reminiscent of poor quality wine or vinegar or “musty” which has a similar taste or even “fusty” and “muddy”.

Basic principles of the tasting process

The best time of day to conduct a tasting is away from meals, so either in the morning or in the afternoon. It is recommended to avoid smoking, drinking coffee and/or alcohol and/or aromatic drinks as well as very salty or very sweet food at least half an hour before the tasting process. It is also recommended to avoid the use of perfumes, soaps or other cosmetics with an intense odor which can interfere with your ability to smell. It is recommended to taste 2 to 5 different olive oils at a time.