In a recent Angels’ Cup Coffee Hunters podcast, the topic of women in high-level coffee industry roles was brought up. It’s generally agreed that women have a sharper sense of taste than men, but then why don’t we see more female q-graders (the coffee world equivalent of sommeliers)? And for that matter, why don’t we see more female sommeliers?
Part of the problem might be that women just don’t realize how much better their sense of smell and taste are. It’s kind of a hard thing to prove because taste is in your mouth and in your head, and it’s generally believed to be subjective. It’s also socially awkward to walk around telling men you have better taste than them, even if you do.
Fortunately, women are also better at discerning subtle color differences than men, exactly the same way they’re better at discerning subtle differences in taste.
Here’s a fun way to test yourself. See if you can tell which square in each row is a different color! It might take some squinting, but if you have two x chromosomes, you’ll probably see which box is a different color that the others. If you have a y chromosome, you’ll also do a lot of squinting, but probably get it wrong. Sorry! ?
We hope this is inspirational and gives courage to women pursuing careers in coffee, wine, spirits, and food. We also hope that if you’re in a position to hire people in these industries, you’ll more strongly consider female candidates when all else appears equal on paper.
And if you (or someone you know) is interested in developing a sharper sense of taste, check out Angels’ Cup. We’re an online coffee tasting club where subscribers get to blindly sample up to 208 coffees per year. We also have a 100% free app that lets you record tasting notes and compare answer with the roaster and other members of our community. It’s the best way to take your coffee game to the next level, and tasting flights start at only $8.99!