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Kerem Avital

How to taste EVOO

Official  EVOO tasters must follow precise rules, and use the right tools. Specifically, the famous cobalt blue glass.

This glass disguises the color as color is NO indication of quality for EVOO, one of the big myths of EVOO.

Using the right glass is mandatory for certified tastings and evaluations; in fact every detail is specified, from its dimensions to the material and design.

When tasting for yourself, be sure to look for these three positive attributes of true extra virgin olive oil:

Fruitiness, which you can sense from smelling the oil' pleasant fruit flavors.

“Bittery”ness, reflected in a pleasantly bitter taste that is a natural expression of the olive.

Pungency, the peppery or scratchy sensation in your mouth and throat when you swallow the oil.  This is a sign of the abundant nutrients. Sometimes oils are referred to as one or two ‘coughers’ as this is a common response to pungency.

The Four Ss in tasting EVOO


SWIRL – While you cover the top of the glass with one hand, swirl the oil to release its aroma molecules.


SNIFF – Uncover the glass and hold the top up to your nose and quickly inhale the aroma.   The scent is key to the oil’s fruitiness.  


SLURP – Take a sip of the oil while also “sipping” a bit of air. The slurping action combines the oil with the air and spreads it throughout your mouth. Notice the oil’s “smell” in your mouth and the different sensations throughout your mouth.


SWALLOW – Just a small amount of oil! Notice if there is a peppery or stinging sensation in your throat, and how long the sensation lingers.
It is similar to wine tasting, except for the spitting out of the wine

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