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  • Ioannis Vasileiou

Olive oil tasting

Olive oil tasting is a highly complex art and requires highly trained tasters. The grading of each olive oil is done by a detailed evaluation of the card created by the World Olive Oil Council (IOOC). A few basic rules are enough and we can start, as beginners and aspiring tasters, with our first evaluations. Experience will soon make us better judges!

First of all, the quality of olive oil can be seen by smell and taste, and not by color as many believe.

  • We put a small amount of olive oil in a hollow glass of white wine to capture its aromas

  • We hug the glass with our fist for about 20 seconds, in order for the oil to warm up a little and we "turn" it a little, so that its walls are lubricated and its aromas are released. The aromas of a good olive oil refer to fresh olives and the aromas of herbs and leaves, i.e. the aromas of nature contained in the olive juice. But if the oil is of poor quality, the smell is heavy and not pleasant.

  • We put a teaspoon of olive oil in our mouth, but without swallowing it, and hold it first in the front and then in the back of our mouth. We let it reach all parts of our tongue up to our palate.

  • We take a breath through the mouth, feel the taste of the olive oil and then swallow it. Good quality oil leaves a slight bitterness in the mouth and a slight burning sensation in the throat, as if spicy. The sensation of bitterness and burning is due to oleocanthal, a powerful anti-inflammatory substance in olive oil. Positive properties of olive oil are "fruity", "bitter" and "spicy".

After each test we have to wait 5-10 minutes before trying again. We can try the same or another sample, but only after we have rinsed our mouths with water and eaten some bread or a slice of apple.

How should we properly store our olive oil ?

  • away from sun exposure,

  • in a clean and cool place in a place protected from the wind (airtight packaging) to avoid storing it in iron barrels. Instead of these we should prefer glass containers which should be kept in a dark place.


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