Ivan Kovacevic

How to taste Olive Oil in 3 easy steps

How to Taste Olive Oil in 3 Easy Steps

Daily consumption of olive oil makes us olive oil fans, but not experts. Especially if we want to know and recognize unique characteristics of olive oil. Through a couple of “tricks” we will explain how to taste olive oil easily, and perhaps how to recognize olive oil category, at least in terms of taste. And most importantly, how to recognize extra virgin olive oil.


The first characteristic of olive oil that is immediately visible is the color, but as we mentioned a couple of times, the quality and category of olive oil is not indicative simply from the color. In professional tasting and evaluation, the oil is placed in dark blue cups so that the color does not distract you. Pour 2-3 teaspoons of olive oil into a glass and that is enough for your tasting experience to start. It is then placed on the palm with one hand, and the ace is covered on top with the other hand so that the olive oil is warmed to body temperature. For a bonus to your experience, it may be twisted a little to enhance the effect.


Afterwards, we are ready to approach the glass with our nostrils to experience the olive oil smell, as these notes then contribute to the overall impression. You should always focus on the aromas you recognize because those aromas ultimately determine the quality of the olive oil itself. Most often, these aromas range from freshly cut grass to fruit, floral and many more … olive is full of tasty and fragrant surprises.

How to Taste Olive Oil in 3 Easy Steps


With these activities, get ready only for tasting. Swallow some oil and rub it on the palate and tongue. There is also a method to grit your teeth and gently draw in air. What is immediately felt is a slight tingling due to the polyphenols. You need to pay attention to the bitterness, but also whether it is salty, sweet or sour. No flavors should dominate the others, as they are one of the main components of the olive oil quality. Therefore, one should lightly focus on all those flavors and without haste. 

Taste is defined by several factors such as olive type, weather conditions, soil, harvest period … all factors need to be considered. If you want to repeat or compare two or more oils then it is good to eat a little apple or bread so that the palate is cleansed and neutralized. The best tasting sessions are in the morning, but not over an empty stomach and better yet after a light meal. It is also recommended not to use powerful or pungent body perfumes. So the fragrant buds are ready for new challenges.

Upon tasting, don’t be startled by the bitterness, followed by the spicy sensation. Do indulge in the olive oil haven, where you may have even a maximum of six or seven samples tried daily, with a piece of apple or bread eaten between each tasting. One sample is evaluated by several analysts, and the deviations in their evaluation should not have greater discrepancies.

Certified assessors

Certified assessors should have the appropriate certification according to international standards prescribed by the COI (International Olive Oil Council) and should be assembled as part of an authorized “Panel” that provides the final assessment of oil quality. During the organoleptic evaluation, a few basic instructions should be followed and one should try to be as objective as possible, ie to exclude the subjective feeling “I like this oil less”; or “I like this oil very much”. In order to achieve this level of assessment, a lot of training and “updating” of the senses is needed during the year, continuously.

After chemical analysis is performed, only oils that belong to the category of virgin and extra virgin olive oils according to chemical parameters are accepted for organoleptic evaluation, while lampante oils are immediately rejected.

Seeking Harmonious olive oil

Positive properties are: fruity (artichoke, green almond, apple, aromatic herbs, tomato, etc.), bitter, spicy, but also a good intensity of fluidity (whether too much retains the feeling of fat in the mouth). Among other things, it is determined whether the oil is more ripe or green (young) and whether the smell is more on freshly cut grass or on an olive leaf – the intensity is also determined. Oils that are harmonious (similar in intensity to bitterness and spiciness) and those that have very good, pronounced fruitiness (fragrant and tasty) are the best rated oils.

Of all the flaws that can be felt in olive oil, the flaw – rancid has the greatest negative impact on human health. Only flawless oil can be from the extra virgin category. And because of that it is a “queen” which reigns over all olive oils.

Enjoy in-home tasting 

Waste no time, pick various types of olive oil, get ready and venture out into a quick and easy home-made tasting. If you feel a light tingling sensation in your throat, pungent aroma and the scent of freshly cut grass combined with fruit-like smell, you have a very good oil, belonging to the extra virgin olive oil category. Bon appetite and enjoy the liquid gold!

Don’t forget do explore are other Olive Oil related topics

In the meantime explore and taste W&M Olive Oil selection.

How to Taste Olive Oil in 3 Easy Steps

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