Glossary / Life Style

Coffee Glossary

Aa: Capitalized letters are grade indicators usually describing the size of the bean
Acerbic: A taste fault in the coffee brew giving an acrid and sour sensation on the tongue. The result of lon
Acid: A normal characteristic of arabica coffees, particularly of high-growth varieties. Some strains are
Acidity: Taste those high, thin notes, the dryness the coffee leaves at the back of your palate and under the
Acrid: A secondary coffee taste sensation characterized by a predominantly piercing sour sensation on the p
After-Dinner Roast: Term for coffee brought to degrees of roast ranging from somewhat darker than the traditional Americ
Aftertaste: The sensation of brewed coffee vapors, ranging from carbony to chocolaty to spicy to turpeny. Releas
Aged Coffee: Traditionally, coffee held in warehouses for several years, sometimes deliberately, sometimes inadve
Alajuela: Market name for one of the better coffees of Costa Rica.
Alkaline: A supplemental coffee taste sensation characterized by a dry sensation at the back of the tongue. Ca
Altura: Heights in Spanish: describes Mexico coffee that has been high- or mountain-grown.
American Roast: Coffee roasted to traditional American taste: medium brown.
Americano: An espresso lengthened with hot water.
Ankola: Seldom-used market name for arabica coffee from northern Sumatra.
Antigua: Market name for one of the most distinguished coffees of Guatemala, from the valley surrounding the
Aquapulp: Terms for a procedure in which the sticky fruit pulp, or mucilage, is removed from freshly picked co
Arabian Mocha: Single-origin coffee from the southwestern tip of the Arabian peninsula, bordering the Red Sea, in t
Arabica: The earliest cultivated species of coffee tree and still the most widely grown. It produces approxim
Aroma: Strictly speaking, aroma can't be separated from acidity and flavor. Acidy coffees smell acidy, and
Aromatic: Designates a coffee that fully manifests the aroma characteristic of its nature and origin.
Arusha: Market name for coffee from the slopes of Mt. Meru in Tanzania.
Astringent: A secondary coffee taste sensation characterized by a predominantly searing, salty sensation on the
Automatic Filter-Drip Coffee Makers: Coffee brewers that automatically heat and measure water into a filter and filter receptacle contain
Baggy: An off-taste often observed in cups from weakly roasted coffees that have been stored for a long tim
Baked: A taste and odor taint that gives the coffee brew a flat bouquet and insipid taste. The result of th
Balance: Tasting term applied to coffees for which no single characteristic overwhelms others, but that displ
Balanced: This is a difficult term. When tasting coffees for defects, professional tasters use the term to des
Bani: Market name for a good, low-acid coffee of the Dominican Republic.
Barahona: Market name for coffee from the southwest of the Dominican Republic. Barahona is considered by many
Barista: Italian term for skillful and experienced espresso bar operator.
Basic Tastes: Sweet, sour, salt, and bitter. Characterized respectively by sucrose, tartaric acid, sodium chloride
Batch Roaster: Apparatus that roasts a given quantity (a batch) of coffee at a time.
Beany: Specific aroma of an insufficiently roasted coffee that has not been able to develop its full aroma.
Bird Friendly: Term associated with Shade-Grown coffee. Describes coffee grown under a shade canopy. Arabica coffee
Bitter: A basic taste characterized by solution of quinine, caffeine, and certain other alkaloids. Perceived
Black Beans: Dead coffee beans that have dropped from the trees before harvesting. Used as the basic unit for cou
Blade Grinder: Small coffee grinder using a propeller-like blade to grind coffee.
Bland: Lacking coffee flavor and characteristics. A primary coffee taste sensation created as the sugars in
Blend: A mixture of two or more single-origin coffees.
Body: Body or mouth feel is the sense of heaviness, richness, and thickness at the back of the tongue when
Bouquet: The total aromatic profile created by the sensations of gases and vapors on the olfactory membranes
Bourbon: A botanical variety of Coffea arabica. Var. Bourbon first appeared on the island of Bourbon, now Reu
Bourbon Santos: Also known as Santos. A market name for a category of high-quality coffee from Brazil, usually shipp
Brackish: A taste fault giving the coffee brew a salty and alkaline sensation. The result of salts and alkalin
Brazil: One of the world's most complicated coffee origins. Most Brazil coffee is carelessly picked and prim
Bready: Bready taste manifests in coffees that have not been roasted long enough or at a high enough tempera
Brew: Specific taste of a good home brew prepared properly.
Briny: Applies to a coffee that has been over-roasted.
Brown Roast: Also known as American Roast. Coffee roasted to traditional American taste: medium brown.
Bugishu: Market name for arabica coffee from the slopes of Mt. Elgon in Uganda. Considered the best Uganda co
Burr Grinder: Coffee grinder with two shredding discs or burrs that can be adjusted for maximum effectiveness.
Buttery: A relatively high level of oily material suspended in the coffee beverage. The result of substantial
Cafe Au Lait: Coffee drink combining one-third drip coffee with two-thirds hot frothed milk.
Caffe Americano: An espresso lengthened with hot water.
Caffe Latte: A serving of espresso combined with about three times as much hot milk topped with froth.
Caffeine: An odorless, bitter alkaloid responsible for the stimulating effect of coffee and tea.
Canephora: The coffee species second in importance to 'Coffea Arabica,' 'Coffea Robusta' is known by botanists
Cappuccino: An espresso drink comprised of one serving of espresso topped with hot milk and froth.
Caracas: A class of coffees from Venezuela, ranging from fair to excellent in quality.
Caracol: Also known as Peaberry. A small, round bean formed when only one seed, rather than the usual two, de
Caramelized: Corresponds to the taste acquired by roasted beans that have been dipped in sugar, dextrin syrup, or
Caramelly: An aromatic sensation created by a moderately volatile set of sugar carbonyl compounds found in coff
Carbony: An aromatic sensation created by a slightly volatile set of heterocyclic compounds found in coffee's
Caturra: A relatively recently selected botanical variety of the Coffea arabica species that generally mature
Caustic: A detrimental coffee taste sensation characterized by burning, sour sensation on the posterior sides
Celebes: Former name of Sulawesi. Single-origin coffee from the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia. Most come from
Chaff: Chaff is paper-like stuff that appears though the roasting process. These little brown flakes are fr
Chanchamayo: Market name for a respected coffee from south-central Peru.
Chemical: A definite chemical flavor (such as formaldehyde) not to be confused with Rio flavor.
Cherry: Common term for the fruit of the coffee tree. Each cherry contains two regular coffee beans, or one
Chiapas: Coffee-growing state in southern Mexico. The best Chiapas coffees are grown in the southeast corner
Chicory: The root of the endive, roasted and ground, it is blended with coffee in New Orleans style coffee.
Chipinga: Region in eastern Zimbabwe near the border with Mozambique that produces the most admired coffees of
Chocolaty: An aromatic sensation created by a moderately volatile set of pyrazine compounds found in coffee's a
Cibao: Market name for a good, generally low-acid coffee from the Dominican Republic.
Cinnamon Roast: Also known as Light Roast and New England Roast. Coffee brought to a degree of roast of coffee light
City Roast: Also Light French Roast, Viennese Roast, Light Espresso Roast, High Roast, and Full-City Roast. Term
Clean: Coffee cupping or tasting term describing a coffee sample that is free from flavor defects.
Coatepec: Market name for a respected washed coffee from the northern slopes of the central mountain range in
Cobán: Market name for a respected high-grown coffee from north-central Guatemala.
Coffea Arabica: The earliest cultivated species of coffee tree and still the most widely grown. It produces approxim
Coffea Canephora: Also Robusta. Currently the only significant competitor among cultivated coffee species to Coffea ar
Coffee Oil: The volatile coffee essence developed in the bean during roasting.
Cold-Water Method: Brewing method in which ground coffee is soaked in a proportionally small amount of cold water for 1
Colombia: The standard Colombia coffee is a wet-processed coffee produced by small holders, and collected, mil
Commercial Coffees: Packaged pre-ground (pre-brewed in the case of instant or soluble) coffees sold by brand name.
Common: Coffee of ordinary and average quality.
Complexity: Complexity describes flavor that shifts among pleasurable possibilities: a harmonious multiplicity o
Continental Roast: Also known as Espresso Roast, After-Dinner Roast, and European Roast. Terms for coffee brought to de
Continuous Roaster: Large commercial coffee roaster that roasts coffee continuously rather than in batches.
Cooked: A typical taste of an instant coffee treated at too high a temperature.
Costa Rica: The best Costa Rica coffees (San Marcos de Tarrazu, Tres Rios, Heredi, Alajuela) display a full body
Course: A coffee that is rough on the tongue.
Creamy: Moderately high level of oily material suspended in the coffee beverage. The result of pronounced am
Crema: The pale brown foam covering the surface of a well-brewed tazzina of espresso.
Creosol: A supplemental coffee taste sensation characterized by a predominantly scratching sensation at the b
Cucuta: Market name for a coffee grown in northeastern Colombia, but often shipped through Maracaibo, Venezu
Cupping: Procedure used by professional tasters to perform sensory evaluation of samples of coffee beans. The
Dark: Roasting term meaning dark brown beans with a shiny surface: equivalent to espresso or French roast.
Dark French Roast: A roast of coffee almost black in color with a shiny surface, thin-bodied, and bittersweet in flavor
Dark Roast: Vague term: may describe any roast of coffee darker than the traditional American norm.
Decaffeinated Taste: Special process taste often found in decaffeinated coffees. Due to something lacking or to additiona
Decaffeination Processes: Specialty coffees are decaffeinated in the green state, currently by one of four methods. The direct
Degassing: A natural process in which recently roasted coffee releases carbon dioxide gas, temporarily protecti
Delicate: A secondary coffee taste sensation characterized by fragile sweet-subtle sensation just past the tip
Demitasse: Half cup in French: a half-size or three-ounce cup used primarily for espresso coffee.
Demucilage: Terms for a procedure in which the sticky fruit pulp, or mucilage, is removed from freshly picked co
Depth: Depth describes the resonance or sensual power behind the sensations that drive the taste of the cof
Detrimental Coffee Taste Sensations: Common to natural coffees that are harsh due to bitter replacing sweet in the taste modulation. The
Dirty: Literally a dirty flavor, not earthy or musty.
Djimah: A coffee from Ethiopia. Washed Djimah can be an excellent low-acid coffee. Dry-processed Djimah is a
Dominican Republic: Coffee from the Dominican Republic. High-grown Dominican coffee is a fairly rich, acidy coffee with
Doppio: A double espresso, or three to six ounces of straight espresso.
Doser: A spring-loaded device on specialized espresso grinders that dispenses single servings of ground cof
DP: Abbreviation for 'double picked,' meaning the coffee in question has been subjected to hand picking
Drip Method: Brewing method that allows hot water to settle through a bed of ground coffee.
Dry-Processed Coffee: Coffee processed by removing the husk or fruit after the coffee fruit has been dried. When only ripe
Dull: A coffee is dull if it gives an impression of roundness but at the same time lacks character. Dull c
Earthiness: Earthiness is a flavor defect deriving from careless, primitive processing that in some contexts may
Earthy: An odor taint in the coffee beans that produces a dirt-like taste sensation. Results when fats in th
Ecuador: At best, Ecuador coffees are medium-bodied and fairly acidy, with a straightforward flavor typical o
El Salvador: El Salvador coffees tend toward softer, less acidy versions of the classic Central America flavor pr
En Pergamino: Parchment Coffee. Describes wet-processed coffee shipped with the dried parchment skin still adherin
Espresso: Used to describe both a roast of coffee (see Espresso Roast) and a method of brewing in which hot wa
Espresso Roast: Term for coffee brought to degrees of roast ranging from somewhat darker than the traditional Americ
Estate-Grown Coffee: Coffee produced by a single farm, single mill, or single group of farms, and marketed without mixtur
Ethiopia: Ethiopia is a very complex coffee origin. The best Ethiopia dry-processed coffee (Harrar or Harar) t
European Preparation: Used to describe coffee from which imperfect beans, pebbles, and other foreign matter have been remo
European Roast: Term for coffee brought to degrees of roast ranging from somewhat darker than the traditional Americ
Excelso: A comprehensive grade of Colombia coffee, combining the best, or supremo, and the second-best, or ex
Extra: Second-best grade of Colombia coffee.
Fair Traded Coffee: Coffee that has been purchased from farmers (usually peasant farmers) at a 'fair' price as defined b
Fermentation: An important but confusing coffee term with two main meanings. 1) As a positive component of the wet
Fermented: A taste fault in the coffee beans producing a highly displeasing sour sensation on the tongue. The r
Filter Holder: In espresso brewing, a metal object with plastic handle that holds the coffee filter, and clamps ont
Filter Method: Technically, any brewing method in which water filters through a bed of ground coffee. In popular us
Fine Cup: Coffee with good, positive characteristics.
Finish: If aroma is the overture of the coffee, then finish is the resonant silence at the end of the piece.
Flat: An odor taint in the coffee bean or brew meaning that limited range of gases and vapors is present i
Flavor: Flavor is the most ambiguous term of all. Acidity has something to do with flavor, and so do body an
Flavor Defects: Unpleasant flavor characteristics caused by problems during picking, processing (fruit removal), dry
Flavored Coffees: Coffees that in their roasted, whole-bean form have been mixed with flavoring agents.
Flip-Drip: A style of drip method brewer in which the ground coffee is secured in a two-sided strainer at the w
Fluid Bed Roaster: A roasting apparatus that works much like a giant popcorn popper, utilizing a column of forced hot a
Foreign: A term that generally covers a number of imperfect flavors coming from contamination, for example, r
Foul: A rank, strong, fermented flavor or any other strong, unpleasant defective flavor, such as hidey or
Fragrance: The sensation of the gases released from ground coffee as they are inhaled through the nose. Ranges
Fragrance: As a specialized term in cupping, or sensory evaluation of coffee, fragrance describes the scent of
French Press: Brewing method that separates spent grounds from brewed coffee by pressing them to the bottom of the
French Roast: Terms for coffee brought to degrees of roast considerably darker than the American norm: may range i
Fresh: A positive characteristic applying to freshly harvested and roasted coffee whose flavor is particula
Frothed Milk: Milk that is heated and frothed with a steam wand as an element in the espresso cuisine.
Fruity: An aromatic sensation created by a highly volatile set of aldehydes and esters found in coffee's aro
Full: An intensity description of bouquet indicating gases and vapors are present at a moderately pronounc
Full City Roast: City is a roast that is slightly darker than the American roasting norm. 'Full City' is definitely d
Gayo Mountain: Market name for coffee exported by a large processing center and mill in Aceh Province, northern Sum
Ghimbi: A wet-processed coffee from western Ethiopia.
Good Cup Quality: Coffee with good, positive all-round characteristics.
Good Hard Bean: A grade of Costa Rica coffee grown at altitudes of 3,300 to 3,900 feet.
Grady: A background flavor of dirtiness but not qualifying as dirty. Mostly used in the United States.
Grassy: A odor taint giving the coffee beans a distinct herbal character similar to freshly mown alfalfa com
Green: A taste taint giving the coffee brew an herbal character due to an incomplete development of the sug
Green Coffee: Unroasted coffee.
Group: The fixture protruding from the front of most espresso machines into which the portafilter and filte
Guatamala: Guatemala is a complex coffee origin. Strictly Hard Bean grade coffees from the central highlands (A
Haiti: The best Haiti coffees are low-acid, medium-bodied, and pleasantly soft and rich. At this writing, v
Hard: A secondary coffee taste sensation characterized by a predominantly stinging, sour sensation on the
Hard Bean: Term often used to describe coffees grown at relatively high altitudes: in the same context, coffees
Harrar: The best of the dry-processed, or natural, coffees of Ethiopia. Grown in eastern Ethiopia near the c
Harsh: Acrid. Sensation at the same time bitter and astringent, raspy, and disagreeable. Particularly found
Hawaii: The traditional and classic coffee of Hawaii is Kona, grown on the west coast of the Big Island of H
Heavy: A moderately high level of solid material suspended in the coffee beverage. Result of fine particles
Heavy Roast: Also known as French Roast and Spanish Roast. Terms for coffee brought to degrees of roast considera
Herby: An aromatic sensation created by a highly volatile set of aldehydes and esters found in coffee's aro
Heredia: Market name for a respected coffee of Costa Rica.
Hidey: An odor taint that gives the coffee beans a tallowy and leather-like odor. Result of a breakdown of
High Roast: Terms for coffee brought to degrees of roast somewhat darker than the traditional American norm, but
High-Grown: Arabica coffees grown at altitudes over 3,000 feet, usually higher. Such coffees are generally super
Huehuetenango: One of the better coffees of Guatemala.
Hydrolyzed: Refers to conventional type of instant coffee having an undesirable acidity due to treatment. Genera
India: India coffee is grown in the south of the country. The best is low-key, with moderate body and acidi
Indonesia: Indonesia coffees are usually marketed under the name of the island of origin: see Sumatra, Sulawesi
Insipid: A taste taint giving the coffee brew a lifeless character, due to a loss of organic material in the
Instant Taste: Reflects fewer of the organoleptic characteristics that typify home-brewed coffee.
Intensity: A qualitative measure of the number and relative strengths of the gases and vapors present in the bo
Ismaili: Market name for a respected coffee from central Yemen. Also describes a traditional botantical varie
Italian Roast: A roast of coffee considerably darker than the traditional American norm. Usually dark brown in colo
Jamaica: Jamaica Blue Mountain is, or was, a balanced, classic coffee with rich flavor, full body, and a smoo
Jamaica Blue Mountain: Celebrated single-origin coffee from above 3,000 feet elevation in the Blue Mountain District of Jam
Jamaica Blue Mountain Style: Various blends of coffee intended by their originators to approximate the qualities of authentic Jam
Java: Unlike most other Indonesia coffees, which are grown on tiny farms and often primitively processed,
Jimma: A coffee from Ethiopia. Washed Djimah can be an excellent low-acid coffee. Dry-processed Djimah is a
Jinotega: Market name for a respected Nicaragua coffee.
Kalossi: A growing region in the southeastern highlands of Sulawesi. At best, distinguished by full body, exp
Kenya: Kenya coffees are celebrated for their deep, winy acidity, resonant cup presence, and complex fruit
Kilimanjaro: Coffee from the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
Kona: Single-origin coffee from the Kona coast of the Island of Hawaii. The best Kona coffee displays clas
Kopi Luwak: Coffee from Sumatra, Indonesia, distinguished not by origin, but by the uniquely intimate way it is
La Minita: Well-publicized estate in the Tarrazu district of Costa Rica that produces an excellent, meticulousl
Latte: A serving of espresso combined with about three times as much hot milk topped with froth.
Lavado Fino: Best grade of Venezuela coffee.
Light: A moderately low level of solid material suspended in the coffee beverage. Result of fine particles
Light Espresso Roast: Terms for coffee brought to degrees of roast somewhat darker than the traditional American norm, but
Light Roast: Coffee brought to a degree of roast of coffee lighter than the traditional American norm, and grainl
Limu: Market name for a respected fragrant, floral- and fruit-toned wet-processed coffee from south-centra
Lintong: Market name for the most admired coffee of Sumatra, Indonesia. From the Lake Toba area toward the no
Luwak: Coffee from Sumatra, Indonesia, distinguished not by origin, but by the uniquely intimate way it is
Macchiato: Either a serving of espresso 'stained' or marked with a small quantity of hot frothed milk (espresso
Macchinetta: , Flip-Drip, Neapolitan Macchinetta. A style of drip method brewer in which the ground coffee is sec
Machine Drying: Coffee must be dried, either directly after picking (in the dry method) or after fruit removal (in t
Malawi: Most Malawi (a small country west of Mozambique, Africa) coffee to reach the United States is grown
Malty: An aromatic sensation created by a moderately volatile set of aldehydes and ketones that produces se
Mam: Acronym for Medellín, Armenia, and Manizales, three of the most famous and best coffees of Colombia
Mandheling: The most famous coffee of Sumatra, Indonesia. From the Lake Toba area toward the northern end of the
Maracaibo: A class of coffees from Venezuela, including many of the most characteristic and distinguished coffe
Maragogipe: (MAH-rah-goh-SHZEE-peh) A variety of Coffea arabica distinguished by extremely large, porous beans.
Matagalpa: Market name for a respected coffee of Nicaragua.
Mattari: Market name for one of the most admired coffees of Yemen. From the Bani Mattar area west of the capi
Mature Coffee: Coffee held in warehouses for two to three years. Mature coffee has been held longer than old crop c
Mbeya: Market names for coffee from the south of Tanzania.
Medicinal: A detrimental coffee taste sensation characterized by a penetrating sour sensation on the posterior
Medium Roast: Also known as American Roast. Coffee roasted to traditional American taste: medium brown.
Mellow: A primary coffee taste sensation created as salts in the coffee combine with sugars to increase the
Merida: Market name for one of the most respected and most characteristic Venezuela coffees, delicate and sw
Mexico: The best Mexico coffees (Oaxaca Pluma, Coatepec, Chiapas) are distinguished by a light body and a de
Microwave Brewers: Brewing apparatus designed to take advantage of the unique properties of the microwave oven. Over th
Middle Eastern Coffee: Coffee ground to a powder, sweetened (usually), brought to a boil, and served grounds and all.
Mild: A secondary coffee taste sensation characterized by a predominantly sweet tingle just past the tip o
Milling: Mechanical removal of the dry parchment skin from wet-processed coffee beans, or the entire dried fr
Mocha: Single-origin coffee from Yemen: also a drink combining chocolate and (usually espresso) coffee. The
Mocha-Java: Traditionally, a blend of Yemen Mocha and Java Arabica coffees, usually one part Yemen Mocha and two
Moldy: Coffee may acquire a moldy taste if kept in poor conditions. Moldiness also depends on conditions du
Monsooned Coffee: Dry-processed single-origin coffee from south India deliberately exposed to monsoon winds in open wa
Moshi: Market name for coffee from the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
Muddy: Characterizes a large quantity of particles in suspension in the beverage.
Musty: An odor taint giving the coffee beans a moldy odor. Result of fats in coffee beans absorbing organic
Mysore: Mysore is a market name for certain high-quality wet-processed India coffees grown in the south of t
Narino: Department in southern Colombia that produces certain particularly admired specialty coffees.
Natural Coffee: Coffee processed by removing the husk or fruit after the coffee fruit has been dried. When only ripe
Neapolitan Macchinetta: A style of drip method brewer in which the ground coffee is secured in a two-sided strainer at the w
Neapolitan Roast: Term for coffee brought to a degree of roast darker than the typical espresso roast, but not quite b
Neutral: A secondary coffee taste characterized by the absence of a predominant taste sensation on any part o
New Crop: A taste taint giving the coffee beans a slight herbal character when brewed. Result of an incomplete
New England Roast: Coffee brought to a degree of roast of coffee lighter than the traditional American norm, and grainl
New Guinea: Single-origin coffee from Papua New Guinea. The best-known New Guinea coffees are produced on very l
New Orleans Coffee: Traditionally, dark-roast coffee blended with up to forty percent roasted and ground chicory root. M
Nicaragua: Nicaragua coffees (usually market names Jinotega and Matagalpa,) are excellent but usually not disti
Nippy: A secondary coffee taste characterized by a predominantly sweet, nipping sensation at the tip of the
Nose: The sensation of the vapors released from brewed coffee as they are exhaled while swallowing. Ranges
Nutty: An aromatic sensation created by a moderately volatile set of aldehydes and ketones that produce sen
Oaxaca: (Wah-HAH-kuh) Market name for coffee from the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca.
Ocoa: Market name for one of the better-respected coffees of the Dominican Republic.
Oily: A term sometimes used to denote a coffee that has a roasted oily taste due to a high degree of roast
Old: A roasted coffee that has been left for too long changes aroma and acquires a specific and disagreea
Old Arabicas: Botanical varieties or cultivars of the Coffea arabica species that were developed by selection rela
Old Crop: Coffee that has been held in warehouses before shipping. Old crop differs from aged or vintage and m
Old Java: Arabica coffee from Java that, like mature coffee, has been deliberately held in warehouses in port
Old Tavern Coffee Estate: A small, highly regarded producer of certified Jamaica Blue Mountain™ coffee using traditional wet
Oldish: A complete lack of freshness. Somewhat flat taste with a slight flavor of hay.
Oniony: Has a flavor of onions.
Open-Pot Method: Brewing method in which the ground coffee is steeped (not boiled) in an open pot, and separated from
Ordinary: Below average quality for growth, grade and type. Bland.
Organic: Organic is an important descriptive term in the contemporary coffee world. An organically-grown coff
Organic Coffee: Coffee that has been certified by a third-party agency as having been grown and processed without th
Papery: Taste that coffee packed in paper bags or prepared in bad quality filter paper may acquire. In insta
Parchment: A final thin, crumbly skin covering wet-processed coffee beans after the coffee berries have been sk
Parchment Coffee: Describes wet-processed coffee shipped with the dried parchment skin still adhering to the bean. The
Pare: Market names for coffee from the south of Tanzania.
Past Crop: A taste taint that gives coffee beans a slightly less acidy taste. Result of enzyme changes in the c
Patio Drying: Drying coffee directly after picking (in the dry-processed method) or after fruit removal (in the we
Peaberry: A small, round bean formed when only one seed, rather than the usual two, develops at the heart of t
Peasy: A disagreeable taste of very fresh green peas.
Percolation: Technically, any method of coffee brewing in which hot water percolates, or filters down through, a
Pergamino: A final thin, crumbly skin covering wet-processed coffee beans after the coffee berries have been sk
Peru: The best Peru coffee is flavorful, aromatic, gentle, and mildly acidy. Chanchamayo from south-centra
Piquant: A secondary coffee taste sensation characterized by a predominantly sweet, prickling sensation at th
Piston Machine: An espresso machine that uses a piston operated by a lever to force brewing water at high pressure t
Plunger Pot: Brewing method that separates spent grounds from brewed coffee by pressing them to the bottom of the
Point: A coffee with good positive characteristics of flavor, body and acidity.
Polishing: An optional procedure at the end of coffee processing and milling in which the dried, shipment-ready
Poor: Qualifies a coffee of really common flavor.
Portafilter: In espresso brewing , a metal object with plastic handle that holds the coffee filter, and clamps on
Potato: Has an unpleasant taste of raw potato.
Primary Coffee Taste Sensations: Acidy, mellow, winey, bland, sharp and soury.
Primo Lavado: A grade of Mexico coffee that includes most of the fine coffees of that country.
Process Taste: This term reflects a number of defects. Some technological treatment of coffee can develop well-iden
Puerto Rico: Yauco coffees from Puerto Rico are a revived specialty origin that, at best, display the qualities t
Pulping: First step after picking in preparing coffee by the wet method. It consists of removing the outer sk
Pulpy: Strong, pungent, fruit-like flavor from coffee cherry skins.
Pump Machine: An espresso machine that uses a pump to force brewing water at high pressure through the compacted b
Pungent: Applies essentially to a full-bodied and slightly aggressive coffee.
Pyrolysis: The temperature (around 465F/240C) at which chemical changes in roasting coffee beans cause them to
Quakers: Defective coffee beans that fail to roast properly, remaining stubbornly light-colored.
Quakery: A taste taint giving coffee brew a pronounced peanutty flavor. Result of the presence of light color
Rancid: A taste fault giving the coffee brew a highly displeasing taste. The rancid flavor of a roasted coff
Regular Roast: Coffee roasted to traditional American taste: medium brown.
Rich: Intensity description indicating gases and vapors are present at highly pronounced strengths.
Richness: Richness partly refers to body, partly to flavor: at times even to acidity. The term describes an in
Rio: A class of dry-processed coffees from Brazil with a characteristic medicinal, iodine-like flavor der
Rioy: A taste fault giving the coffee beans a highly pronounced medicinal character. Result of continued e
Roast Taste: Terms describing the characteristic collective flavor complex of darker roasts. The acidy notes are
Roasty: Relative strength of the natural components of the coffee flavor is modified by the degree of roasti
Robusta: High in caffeine and rather bitter. Generally less acid and less aromatic than arabica coffee. Often
Robusta: Currently the only significant competitor among cultivated coffee species to Coffea arabica. Robusta
Rough: A secondary coffee sensation characterized by a predominantly rasping, salty sensation on the palett
Round: A balanced coffee whose basic organoleptic characteristics are just at the right level, with none pa
Rounded: An intensity description indicating a reduced range of gases and vapors is present at a moderately p
Rubbery: A taste fault giving the coffee beans a highly pronounced burnt-rubber character. Result of continue
Salt: A basic taste characterized by solutions of chlorides, bromides, iodides, nitrates, and sulfates of
Sanani: A comprehensive market name for coffees from several growing regions west of Sana'a, the capital cit
Santo Domingo: Coffee from the Dominican Republic. High-grown Dominican coffee is a fairly rich, acidy coffee with
Santos: A market name for a category of high-quality coffee from Brazil, usually shipped through the port of
Scorched: A odor taint that gives the coffee brew a slight aftertaste of phenolic and pyridine character with
Secondary Coffee Taste Sensations: Piquant to nippy, mild to delicate, tangy to tart, soft to neutral, rough to astringent, hard to acr
Semi-Dry-Processed Coffee: Coffee prepared by removing the outer skin of the coffee fruit (a process called pulping) and drying
Shade Grown: Describes coffee grown under a shade canopy. Arabica coffee is traditionally grown in shade in many
Sharp: A primary coffee taste sensation created as acids in the coffee combine with salts to increase the o
Sidamo: Market name for a distinguished light-to-medium bodied, fragrantly floral or fruity wet-processed co
Silverskin: The thin, innermost skin of the coffee fruit. It clings to the dried coffee beans until it is either
Single-Estate Coffee: Coffee produced by a single farm, single mill, or single group of farms, and marketed without mixtur
Single-Origin Coffee: Unblended coffee from a single country, region, and crop.
Sivitz Roaster: Type of coffee roaster named after inventor Michael Sivetz. Also known by the generic terms Fluid Be
Smooth: A moderately low level of oily material suspended in the coffee beverage. Result of fats in the bean
Soft: A secondary coffee taste sensation characterized by an absence of any predominant taste sensation on
Soft Bean: Often used to describe coffees grown at relatively low altitudes. In the same context, coffees grown
Soft-Sweet: A pleasant clean taste. Denotes a smooth cup free of any foreign flavors. applies particularly to Br
Sound Cup: A coffee with no particular positive characteristic and without negative characteristics.
Sour: A basic taste characterized by solutions of tartaric acid, citric acid, or malic acid. The unpleasan
Soury: A primary coffee taste sensation created as acids in the coffee combine with salts to increase overa
Spanish Roast: Terms for coffee brought to degrees of roast considerably darker than the American norm: may range i
Specialty Coffee: Practice of selling coffees by country of origin, roast, flavoring, or special blend, rather than by
Specialty Coffee Association Of America (Scaa): An important and influential association of specialty coffee roasters, wholesalers, retailers, impor
Spicy: An aromatic sensation created by a slightly volatile set of hydrocarbon compounds in coffee's aftert
Stale: A taste fault that gives the coffee brew an unpleasant taste. Result of moisture and oxygen penetrat
Steam Wand: The small protruding pipe on most espresso machines that provides live steam for the milk-frothing o
Stewed: A taste of coffee infusion that has been heated after cooling and lost its initial aroma.
Stinker: A coffee with no particular positive characteristics and without negative characteristics.
Straight Coffee: Unblended coffee from a single country, region, and crop.
Strawy: A taste taint that gives the coffee bean a distinct hay-like character. Result of the loss of organi
Strictly High-Grown: Highest grade of El Salvador coffee.
Strictly High-Grown Washed: Highest grade of Haiti coffee.
Strong: Coffee giving a pungent impression in the cup, rich in flavor. Developed by roasting or having a con
Sulawesi: Single-origin coffee from the island of Sulawesi (formerly Celebes), Indonesia. Most come from the T
Sultana Coffee: The dried husks of the coffee cherry. Common to dark roast coffees that are pungent due to bitter re
Sumatra: Single-origin coffee from the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. Most high-quality Sumatra coffee is grow
Sun Drying: Drying coffee directly after picking (in the dry method) or after fruit removal (in the wet method)
Sun Grown: Describes coffee that is not grown under a shade canopy. Arabica coffee is traditionally grown in sh
Supremo: Highest grade of Colombia coffee.
Sustainable Coffee: At this writing, a contested and vaguely defined category of environmentally friendly coffees. A cau
Sweaty: A coffee probably fading to faded, that has been stored for some time in less-than-ideal conditions
Sweet: A basic taste characterized by solutions of sugars (sucrose and glucose), alcohols, glycols, and som
Sweetly Floral: An aromatic sensation created by a highly volatile set of aldehydes and esters that produce sweet fr
Sweetly Spicy: An aromatic sensation created by a highly volatile set of aldehydes and esters that produce a spicy
Swiss Water Process: A trademarked decaffeination method that removes caffeine from coffee beans using hot water, steam,
Tainted: A coffee with a slightly defective flavor.
Tamper: In espresso brewing, the small, pestle-like device with a round, flat end used to distribute and com
Tangy: A secondary coffee taste sensation characterized by a predominantly darting, sour sensation along th
Tanzania: The best and most characteristic Tanzanian coffees display a rich flavor and full body, with a vibra
Tapachula: Coffee-growing state in southern Mexico. The best Chiapas coffees are grown in the southeast corner
Tarrazu: Market name for one of the better coffees of Costa Rica.
Tarry: A taste fault giving the coffee brew an unpleasant burnt character. Occurs during the holding proces
Tart: A secondary coffee taste sensation characterized by a predominantly puckering, sour sensation along
Thermal Block: A system for heating water in espresso brewers that uses coils of pipe enclosed inside a heating ele
Thick: A relatively high level of solid material suspended in the coffee beverage. A result of fine particl
Thin: A relatively low level of solid material suspended in the coffee beverage. A result of fine particle
Timor: Single-origin coffee from East Timor. At this writing East Timor is in turmoil as it moves toward in
Tipped: A taste taint giving the coffee brew a cereal-like taste. Result of heat being applied too quickly i
Tipping: Charring the end of the coffee bean during the roasting process, by applying an intense heat too qui
Toraja: Market name for coffee from southwestern Sulawesi (formerly Celebes), Indonesia.
Traditional Process: A group of decaffeination methods that use solvents to remove caffeine from green coffee beans. The
Tres Rios: Market name for one of the more respected coffees of Costa Rica.
Turkish Coffee: Coffee ground to a powder, sweetened (usually), brought to a boil, and served grounds and all.
Turpeny: An aromatic sensation created by a slightly volatile set of hydrocarbon compounds and nitrites found
Twisty: A coffee showing differing negative characteristics in a single cup or from cup to cup. A coffee wit
Typica: A botanical variety of Coffea arabica. Var. typica is one of the oldest and most traditional of coff
Uganda: The finest Uganda arabica (Bugishu or Bugisu) displays the winy acidity and other flavor characteris
Unclean: Having off-flavor. Generally depends on the geographic origin of the beans and how they have been tr
Undefinable Flavor: A coffee with an 'off' taste that can not be categorized.
Vacuum-Filter Method: A brewing method that differs from other filter methods in that the brewing water is drawn through t
Vapid: An odor taint in the coffee brew marked by a loss of organic material that would normally be in a ga
Varietal Coffee: As used by many people in the American specialty coffee industry, a term describing an unblended cof
Varietal Distinction: A tasting or cupping term describing positive characteristics that distinguish a given coffee from c
Varietal Distinction Or Character: If the coffee has characteristics that both set it off from other coffees, yet identify it as what i
Variety: A qualitative description of the gases and vapors present in the fragrance, aroma, nose and aftertas
Venezuela: Some Venezuela coffees (Tachira, Cucuta) resemble Colombia coffees. However, the most characteristic
Viennese Coffee: Ambiguous term. Describes coffee brewed by the drip or filter method from a blend of coffee brought
Viennese Roast: Term for coffee brought to a degree of roast slightly darker than the traditional American norm, but
Vintage Coffee: Traditionally, coffee held in warehouses for several years, sometimes deliberately, sometimes inadve
Wallenford Estate: At one time the most celebrated and best of Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee. Now simply any Jamaica Blu
Washed Coffee: See Wet-Processed Coffee.
Watery: A relatively low level of oily material suspended in the coffee beverage. Result of slightly percept
Weak: Coffee that lacks body but is not flat.
Wet-Processed Coffee: Coffee prepared by removing the skin and pulp from the bean while the coffee fruit is still moist. M
Whole-Bean Coffee: Coffee that has been roasted but not yet ground.
Wild: A taste fault in the coffee beans characterized by extreme variation between sample cups. Usually ma
Winey: A primary coffee taste sensation created as the sugars in the coffee combine with the acids to reduc
Wishy-Washy: Negative in all aspects but with no defective flavor.
Woody: A taste fault giving the coffee beans a distinct, unpleasant wood-like character. Result of an almos
Yauco: Yauco coffees from Puerto Rico are a revived specialty origin that, at best, display the qualities t
Yemen: Single-origin coffee from the southwestern tip of the Arabian peninsula, bordering the Red Sea, in t
Yirgacheffe: Market name for one of the most admired washed coffees of Ethiopia, distinguished by its fruit-like
Zambia: Some estate coffees from eastern Zambia (Zambia is located in south-central Africa) appear in the No
Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe coffee exhibits excellent cup presence and the vibrant, winy acidity characteristic of East

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