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Coffee Glossary

An important category used by professional tasters in judging coffee; a fine coffee should have a pleasant tartness, but not be so acidic as to be bitter.
Aged Coffee
Coffee that is maintained in special warehouses for several years in order to reduce acidity and increase body. Aged coffee, also known as vintage coffee, is warehoused longer than old crop or mature coffees.
Amaretto Coffee
The infusion of wonderful and authentic amaretto liquor aroma and flavor to freshly roasted coffee beans. Normally up to 3% by weight. A dessert coffee to be enjoyed anytime.
American Roast
Standard American (that is, United States) medium brown roast, as used with the Robusta coffee variety in commercial coffees like Maxwell House.
An excellent coffee from Sumatra.
An excellent coffee from Guatemala.
Arabian Mocha Java
A blend of Java Arabica and Arabian Mocha—usually two parts Java Arabica to one part Arabian (Yemen) Mocha—said to be the world's oldest coffee blend.
Arabica Coffee Beans
Arabica are the bean of choice in “gourmet” or “specialty coffees”. Arabica coffee produces the rich flavor and body found in a good cup of coffee. Arabica coffee is difficult to grow, and prone to disease, requiring more hand cultivation, and yields smaller harvests per acre. Arabica coffee is grown at altitudes over 2,000 (usually 4,000-6,000) feet above sea level and is typically harvested by hand when the cherries are perfectly ripe.
An excellent coffee from Colombia.
An important category used by professional tasters in judging coffee; a fine coffee should have a pleasant fragrance when hot and freshly brewed.
This tasting term describes coffees that are complex, but where no one element overshadows the others.
An estate-grown Santos coffee from Brazil.
Low-acid coffee from the Dominican Republic.
Considered the best coffee from the Dominican Republic.
Batch Roaster
A roaster that processes a set quantity, or batch, of coffee beans at a time.
A mixture of two or more types of coffee beans, often containing beans grown in different countries. A good blend will yield a balance of contrasting qualities for a complex, flavorful result.
Blue Mountain Coffee
Blue Mountain coffee beans come from the hills of the eastern end of the island of Jamaica. At 5,500 feet the land is thickly wooded and maintained as a Forest Reserve. Below this line, the terrain, the rainfall pattern, the Blue Mountain mist, and the overall conditions are blessed by God to be perfectly suited for the cultivation of the world's most distinguished and delicious coffee: Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee.
Yet another important category used by professional tasters in judging coffee; body describes the sense of richness, heaviness, or thickness that a brewed coffee imparts.
An excellent Colombian coffee.
The botanical name of one of the varieties of Coffea Arabica, so named after the island of Bourbon (now Reunion) where it was first discovered. Several premium coffees are from this varietal stock.
Café au Lait
Is a French coffee drink prepared by mixing coffee and steamed milk. It is similar to Italian latte, but with coffee instead of espresso. It is a staple of the New Orleans, Louisiana coffee shop Café du Monde.
Café Crème
The French term for cappuccino.
Caffè Americano
Literally, American coffee. It may simply be brewed coffee in a coffee cup, or espresso diluted with an equal amount of hot water, and then served in a coffee cup.
Caffè Latte
One or more shots of espresso topped with steamed milk, then a 1/4-inch of foam (less than a cappuccino). A latte typically contains more milk than a cappuccino.
Caffè Mocha
Mocha, or Moka, is actually a variety of coffee, and its name refers to the port city near the region of Yemen where it is grown. It has also come to be popularly associated with a coffee-chocolate drink that can be prepared a number of ways, most often by adding chocolate syrup to a cappuccino or latte, and then topping it all with a great big dollup of whipped cream.
Is an Italian beverage, prepared with espresso and milk. A cappuccino is generally defined as 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk and 1/3 frothed milk. Another definition would call for 1/3 espresso and 2/3 microfoam. A cappuccino differs from a latte, which is mostly milk and little foam. (A "dry cappuccino" has less milk.) In Italy it is consumed almost exclusively early in the day for breakfast; in some other countries may be consumed throughout the day or after dinner.
An unwashed, sun-dried, hand-sorted coffee from the Nayarit Province of Mexico. Its flavor is smooth and subtle.
A class of Venezuelan coffees ranging from fair to excellent.
A hybrid of the Coffea Arabica species that is fast-maturing and more disease-resistant than other Arabica varieties. Its quality is considered inferior to the traditional Arabica varieties.
Chicory is the root of the endive, which is roasted and ground like coffee; it may be brewed straight, or blended with coffee.
A region in Zimbabwe that produces the most significant coffees in the country.
A good but undistinguished coffee from the Dominican Republic.
Cinnamon Roast
A very light roast, also known as New England Roast, that's even lighter than American Roast.
City Roast
A light French roast.
Coffea Arabica
One of the two major species of coffee, the other being Robusta. Coffea Arabica, or Arabican coffee grows at higher elevations and contains half the caffeine of Robusta. It is considered the more premium variety; nearly all specialty coffee is arabican.
Coffea Robusta
Grows at lower elevations and has a higher yield of coffee per plant than arabica. Low production costs and high disease resistance help make Robusta the staple of commercial coffee roasters.
Coffee Beans
A coffee cherry consisting of four layers which are removed sequentially. The coffee bean is the seed of the coffee cherry and is covered with silver skin, parchment, pulp, and then an outer skin layer. The method of removal of these layers dramatically alters the flavor.
Coffee Break
Is a daily social gathering and short downtime practiced by employees through business and industry in the modern world. Usually lasting 10-20 minutes and frequently occurring at the end of the first third of the work shift. The break is often held away from the actual work area in a designated break room or outdoor area. It is a chance to wind down slightly and regroup for the remaining day's work.
Coffee Grinder
For proper extraction, grinding properly is essential. Freshly grinding coffee before brewing is one of the most important steps for achieving a quality cup of coffee. Coffee should not be ground more than 2 minutes before brewing or major staling (oxidation) begins to take place.
Coffee Oil
The volatile coffee essence developed in the bean during roasting. Also known as Coffeol.
Dark Brown Roast
Characteristics include oily beans with a distinctive bittersweet tang; low acid.
Dark Roast
A general term describing any roast of coffee darker than American Roast.
Decaffeination is the process of removing most of the caffeine that naturally occurs in coffee. There are three methods of decaffeination: the solvent-water method, the Swiss water process method, and the carbon dioxide method. While chemicals are used to decaffeinate most coffee, the Swiss Water Process uses only water. Water decaffeination results in great tasting coffee. The use of chemicals could distort the true coffee flavor.
Djimah, Djimma, Jimma
A coffee from Ethiopia. When washed, it is an excellent low-acid coffee. The dry-processed version imparts a less appealing, medicinal flavor.
Dominican Republic
High-grown Barahona, considered the best of the Dominican coffees, is both rich and acidic, comparable to premium Jamaican coffees. Other Dominican coffees, such as Bani and Ocoa, are softer and mellower, like the better known Haitian coffees.
A spring-loaded device on specialized espresso grinders that dispenses single servings of ground coffee.
Drip Brewing
Drip brew is a method for brewing coffee which involves pouring water over coffee contained in a paper filter. Water seeps through the coffee solely under gravity, absorbing its oils and essences, and then passes through the bottom of the filter. The used coffee grounds are retained in the filter with the liquid falling (dripping) into a collecting vessel such as a carafe or pot. Drip brewing is the most popular method of coffee brewing, owing to the overwhelming popularity of the automatic drip brewing coffee machine. There are, however, several manual drip-brewing devices on the market, offering a little more control over brewing parameters than automatic machines.
Dry Method
A coffee processing method that involves removing the husk or fruit after the coffee berries have been dried. Also known as the Natural method. The result is often inferior to washed coffee or coffee that is wet-processed.
One of several terms, also including gaminess and wildness, refering to the off taste caused by carelessly processed natural coffee.
Coffees from Ecuador are medium-bodied, fairly acidic, with predictable flavor. Ecuadorian coffee typifies Central and South American coffees.
El Salvador
Coffee from El Salvador is generally dependable but undistinguished. It has a good body and rather listless acidity and flavor.
Is a strong, flavorful coffee brewed by forcing hot water through finely ground coffee beans. In Italian, espresso means "pressed out" or "express". Espresso differs greatly from the common drip-brewed coffee drink in its thick concentrated consistency, and robust flavor. Due to its potency, straight espresso (espresso served without sweetener or milk, analogous to black coffee) is considered by some to be an acquired taste, and is served in small amounts called shots. Many coffee aficionados order their single or double with a little glass of cold still water to clear the palate. Espresso is often used as the foundation for other drinks, such as lattes, cappuccino, mochas and many more. A key component in the flavor of espresso is a golden foam composed of oils, proteins, and sugars, called crema which floats on the surface.
Espresso Beans
Espresso is usually derived from a certain type of coffee bean; Coffea arabica commonly known as Arabica, but the other variety, Robusta, is also used in some espresso blends. Arabica beans are considered to be superior to the more common Caffea canephora (known as Robusta, which are typically used for filler in commercial drip brew coffee, due to their lower level of caffeine and acidity, and their higher amounts of flavor and aroma. The roast of the beans varies from dark to light, depending on the desired taste. For making espresso, the beans are ground very finely, unlike coarser drip-style grounds.
Espresso con Panna
Espresso topped with a dollop of whipped cream.
Espresso Macchiato
Espresso with a small amount of steamed milk foam on the top.
Espresso Ristretto
A short-pull expresso, an expresso made with less water, rendering it thicker and more flavorful than a regular espresso.
Espresso Roast
Sometimes referred to as Continental or European Roast.
Espresso Romano
Espresso served with a slice of lemon on the side.
Specialty coffees are often identified by Estate name rather than the regional or market name. Estate coffees are grown on medium-sized farms, rather than small farms or plantations, dedicated to producing specific types of coffees according to high quality standards.
Ethiopia Ghimbi
A washed varietal from the western region of Ethiopia.
Ethiopia Harrar, Harar
A dry-processed coffee from Ethiopia.
Ethiopia Sidamo
A washed coffee from Ethiopia known for its sweet flavor and floral aroma.
Ethiopia Yergacheffe
A medium-bodied coffee from Ethiopia also known for its sweet flavor and aroma.
Ethiopian Coffee
Since antiquity, Ethiopia has produced a rich variety of coffees-from the floral, wineyness of the Harrars in eastern Ethiopia to the fragrant and spicy Yrgacheffes in the south. The heritage of Ethiopian coffees is unsurpassed in the world.
European Preparation
The process of hand-preparing coffee through which imperfect beans, pebbles, and other foreign matter are removed.
A blend of two Colombian coffees that combines the supremo (best) and extra (second-best) coffee grades to produce a comprehensively better medium blend.
Fair Trade Coffee
A trading process that involves a cooperative association that ensures that marginalized and disadvantaged world producers and farmers receive sufficient compensation for goods and produce. Usually associated with the coffee industry, and identified with the Fair Trade logo.
Filter Coffee
Is a form of coffee made with milk, sugar and coffee decoction. The name derives from the filter. A coffee filter is a coffee-brewing utensil, usually made of stainless steel. It is used to prepare filter coffee, the form of coffee common in India. It comprises two long cylindrical compartments with a lid, with a perforated bottom for the upper compartment. The upper compartment is half-filled with coffee powder (common varieties include Peaberry, Plantation-A and Robusta) and filled to the brim with boiling water. The decoction collected in the lower compartment is used to make filter coffee. This form of coffee is common throughout India and especially popular in the southern states of Karnataka.
The aftertaste that lingers in the mouth when sipping coffee. Finish may be considered long, flat and acidic, or brief and effervescent, depending on the length and consistency of the taste.
Flavor is what distinguishes the taste of a coffee once its aroma, acidity and body have been described.
Flavored Coffee
Coffees that have been mixed with flavoring agents while in their roasted whole bean state.
Fluid Bed Roaster
A roasting machine that uses a column of hot air to agitate and roast the green coffee beans, much like a popcorn popper. They are also called Sivetz Roasters, after their inventor, Michael Sivetz.
French Press
The French press is the best way to control the brewing time and temperature. The French press offers unparalleled flavor due to perfect extraction time and delivery of the volatile oils that are often trapped in filters. A French press is also the least expensive brewer available. To brew in a French press: boil the correct amount of water, freshly grind the beans using a course setting, remove the plunger, place the grounds at bottom of the glass, add the hot water, stir by shaking, and after 4-5 minutes press the plunger down to separate the grounds from the extracted coffee.
French Roast
Also known as Heavy or Spanish Roast. This roasting style is darker than American Raost and approaches that of espresso. The roast may vary in color from dark brown to nearly black and the flavor can vary from rich and bittersweet to thin-bodied and burned.
Also known as foam, froth describes milk that has been rendered thick and foamy by aeration with hot steam.
This is a good washed coffee from Ethiopia. At its best, it offers a sharp yet rich acidity and complex flavor.
Good Hard Bean
This is a grade of coffee that is grown at altitudes of 3,300 to 3,900 feet.
Quality designation for coffee beans. Criteria for determining grade include size, density, altitude, and number of defects (such as twigs, stones, bugs, under- or overripe beans) per pound.
Greek Coffee
Is made by boiling finely ground coffee and water together in an ibrik, whic is a long-handled, open, brass or copper pot. When done, it is poured directly into tiny demitasse cups, along with the fine grounds. The coffee is then allowed to settle before consumption. Spice and sugar are often added into the mix.
Green Coffee
Unroasted coffee beans that look and taste green.
For proper extraction, grinding properly is essential. Freshly grinding coffee before brewing is one of the most important steps for achieving a quality cup of coffee. Coffee should not be ground more than 2 minutes before brewing or major staling (oxidation) begins to take place.
Guatemala Antigua
Considered the best Guatemalan coffee, it has a complex flavor with a hint of cocoa.
Guatemalan Coffee
Guatemalan coffees are characteristically rich, spicy and full-bodied. The best Guatemalan coffees are Antigua and Coban.
Haitian Coffee
The best coffees from Haiti are low-acid, medium-bodied, and rich in flavor.
Hard Bean
Coffees grown at altitudes above 3,000 feet are described as hard bean; above 4,500 feet is referred to as strictly hard bean. The higher altitudes and lower temperatures produce a slower maturing fruit and a harder, less porous bean.
Hard Coffee
This is a trade term for low-quality coffee, as opposed to mild coffee.
The best of the Ethiopian dry-processed, or natural, coffees. Also known as Harar, Harer, Mocha Harrar, and Moka Harar.
One of the best coffees from Costa Rica.
High Elevation Roasts
Coffee roasted at 4,200 feet above sea level. At this elevation, you can roast at lower heat for shorter periods of time, resulting in coffee with vibrant aroma, full body, and smooth, rich flavor.
High Grown
Arabica coffees grown at altitudes over 2,000 feet (often higher) are generally superior to coffees grown at lower altitudes. Additionally, the term high grown is used in many Latin American coffee grade descriptions.
House Blend
Varies widely with roaster preference.
This is one of the best coffee grades from Guatemala.
Also called Indian Mysore, and Mysore Straight. Indian coffee from the State of Karnataka (formerly Mysore). Indian coffee at its best is rich and subtle, with moderate body and acidity.
Indian Filter Coffee
Particularly common in the south of the country, is made by adding milk to a coffee decoction prepared by the drip brew method.
Indian Monsooned Malabar
An extremely low-acid, complex-flavored bean, created by leaving Mysore beans out in open-roof silos during the Indian monsoon season. The term monsooned is also be used to describe other types of beans similarly processed.
General geographic reference that includes the coffees of the islands of Java, Sulawesi and Sumatra. Indonesian coffees are notable for their full body, rich flavor, and low acidity.
Instant Coffee
Instant coffee is a beverage derived from coffee. Through various manufacturing processes the coffee is dehydrated into the form of either powder or granules. Its taste, especially with cheaper brands, is often far from the real thing.
Irish Coffee
A classic Irish coffee consists exclusively of hot coffee, Irish whiskey and sugar, with cream (proper cream, not "Irish cream") floated on top.
Italian Roast
This coffee roast is considerably darker than American Roast. It includes a range of beans that are dark brown in color with a rich, bittersweet flavor to almost black with a nearly burned flavor.
Jamaica Blue Mountain
One of the most respected coffees in the world from the Blue Mountain District of Jamaica. Grown on estates at over 3,000 feet, this premium coffee is full-bodied, rich in flavor, and has a sophisticated, smooth acidity.
Jamaica High Mountain
This coffee is grown in the mountains of Jamaica and exported under the name of High Mountain Supreme or Blue Mountain Valley. Both are excellent coffees, although less distinguished than true Jamaica Blue Mountain.
Jamaican Style
A blend of Jamaica Blue Mountain and other coffees that tries to simulate the richness of Jamaica Blue Mountain at lower cost.
A light-bodied, earthy, medium acid straight coffee from Java, also called Java Arabica. At its best, it offers the low-toned richness characteristic of Indonesian and New Guinea coffees, only lighter.
Java Coffee
Java coffee is grown in Indonesia and the Pacific. The best Java coffee is grown on the far eastern end of the island on five estates established by the Dutch government.
One of the best coffees from Nicaragua.
A Hawaiian coffee that is less expensive than Kona. The beans are small, but larger than peaberries.
Kenya AA
The AA signifies the best grade from Kenya. Grown on plateaus over 6,000 feet above sea level, there is no finer coffee grown on earth. This is a meticulously prepared coffee famous for its rich full body, strong pleasant acidity, floral fragrant aroma and a winery aftertaste with overtones of berries and citrus fruit.
A rich, full-bodied coffee with wine-like acidity, noted for its consistent quality and availability. The "AA" grade in Kenya is reserved for the largest beans of the crop.
Coffee grown on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
Smooth coffee with medium-body and acidity grown on the Kona coast of Hawaii. Kona from the estate of Jon Kunitake is especially notable.
Kona Style
A blend of Kona and other coffees that tries to simulate the richness of Kona at lower cost.
Is one of several types of coffee beverages made with hot milk. The term is from the Italian "caffè e latte" (commonly "caffè latte"), for "coffee and milk," analogous to the French "café au lait." As the term has come to be used in the United States since approximately 1985, a latte consists of one or two shots of espresso and about three times as much hot milk, topped with a small amount of milk froth. A latte has more milk than a cappuccino, and has a weaker, milkier taste. Lattes should be prepared by pouring milk and coffee simultaneously, from either side of the drinking vessel, which ideally should be a tall, ceramic mug.
Latte Macchiato
Hot milk froth with a shot of espresso slowly poured into it, to create a swirl of dark in the glass.
A good low-acid, washed coffee from Ethiopia.
Also known as Mandheling, Lintong is the market name for this premium coffee from Sumatra.
Longberry Harrar
A grade of Harrar coffee from Ethiopia with beans that are larger than Shortberry Harrar. It is debatable whether the bean size affects the final brewed coffee taste.
The acronym for Medellin, Armenia, and Manizales, the three most famous coffees from Colombia. They are often marketed together to simplify large coffee contracts.
One of the best coffees from Columbia.
A class of distinguished coffees from Venezuela.
Pronounced MAH-rah-goh-SHZEE-peh, this Arabica coffee is distinguished by its extremely large, porous beans. It was first discovered in Maragogipe, Brazil, and is now cultivated all over the world.
One of the best coffees from Nicaragua.
Also known as Matari, this coffee is one of the best from Yemen. Its winey acidity stands out among the usual Yemen style of coffee. It is sometimes blended with Mocha.
Mature Coffee
Mature coffee is held in warehouses for two or three years in order to reduce acidity and increase body. Mature coffee is held longer than old crop coffee, but less than aged, or vintage coffee.
Also known as Pare, a coffee from the south of Tanzania.
One of the best coffees from Colombia.
Medium Roast
Characteristics include dry beans with a slight sweetness and medium acidity.
One of the best coffees from Venezuela, known for its light, sweet flavor.
The best Mexican coffees are Oaxaca ( wah-HOC-ca), Pluma, and Coatepec. They are distinguished by their light body and acidity.
Middle Eastern Coffee
Also known as Turkish Coffee, this brewing method includes grinding the coffee to a powder, sweetening it, and bringing it to a boil in a pot of water. It is served with the grounds.
The trade term used to describe high-quality Arabica coffees.
Millstone Slow
A careful, custom method of roasting small batches of beans, involving listening for a popping sound as the steam expands the beans, and sampling each batch to ensure the perfect roast level.
Or Moka, a straight coffee from Yemen, considered the world's oldest cultivated coffee. The coffee is known usually as Yemen Mocha or Arabian Mocha and takes its name from the ancient port of the same name. This coffee is known for its undertones of chocolate, although it does not contain any actual chocolate.
Mocha Java
A traditional blend of Yemen Mocha and Java Arabica coffees consisting of one part Yemen Mocha to two parts Java Arabica. Most commercial blends and many specialty blends substitute less expensive beans.
Mocha Latte
A milkier Caffè Mocha, with about one-quarter espresso, one-quarter chocolate, and one-half milk and froth.
The coffee created by a stove-top espresso maker, or Moka pot. Not to be confused with a Caffè Mocha.
The market name for coffee grown on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
Coffee grown on the slopes of Mt. Kenya.
Neapolitan Roast
A roast of coffee that is darker than standard espresso but not quite black.
New Crop
Coffee that is delivered for roasting fairly soon after harvesting and processing, when it is at its brightest and highest acidity.
New Guinea
Straight coffee grown in Papua New Guinea that is moderately rich, full-bodied, and has the low key acidity that distinguishes all of the coffees of the Malay Archipelago and Indonesia.
New Orleans Coffee
A dark roast coffee blended with up to 40 percent chicory root (see above). Cafe Du Monde is the most well-known brand name.
The straight coffee from Nicaragua. It embodies Central American style with medium-bodied, subtle flavor and frank acidity.
(Wah-HAH-kuh) coffee from the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca is among the best from Mexico. Oaxaca Pluma is especially distinguished.
One of the best coffees from the Dominican Republic.
Old Arabicas
These old botanical varieties are considered superior to the newer varieties. The old Arabicas include varietal Bourbon, varietal Blue Mountain, varietal Typica.
Old Crop
This is coffee that has been held in warehouses before shipping. Old crop may or may not be superior in cup characteristics to a new crop of the same coffee.
Organic Coffee
Coffee that has been certified by a third-party agency as having been grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides or similar chemicals. Buying organic supports a safe environment for the farmers and their families as well as for the ecology of the earth.
The thin crumbly paper-like covering that is left on wet-processed coffee beans after the coffee berries have had the pulp removed and the beans dried.
A small round or football shaped bean that is formed when the coffee cherry develops only one seed as opposed to the usual two. Peaberry beans are usually sold as a separate grade of the particular coffee.
Peruvian Chanchamayo
The best straight coffee from Peru, Chanchamayo is flavorful, aromatic, and mildly acidic. It displays the quality and characteristics of the best Central American coffees.
The cupped handle on an espresso machine that holds the ground coffee during the brewing process.
Primo Lavado
Prime washed coffee from Mexico; includes most of the fine Mexican coffees.
A chemical breakdown that occurs during roasting that brings out the aroma and flavor of the coffee.
Discolored or deformed coffee beans.
The quality of fullness in flavor, body, and/or acidity.
A suboptimal class of coffees from southern Brazil. They are characterized by their medicinal flavor caused by poor handling of the berries.
Roasting is a chemical process by which aromatics, acids, and other flavor components are either created, balanced, or altered in a way that should augment the flavor, acidity, aftertaste and body of the coffee as desired by the roaster. Roasting changes the chemistry and physical characteristics of the green coffee bean. The beans shrink about 20% by weight and acquire the deep dark hue and aroma of coffee.
The only significant competitor among cultivated coffee species to Coffea Arabica. Robusta coffee beans lack the flavor and body of Arabica. Robusta is lower growing and higher producing; the result is an inferior cup with higher caffeine content than the classic Coffee Arabica. The Robusta species is a hardy, high-yielding plant resistant to the numerous pests which afflict coffee.
This coffee is one of the best coffees from Yemen. A medium-bodied, less acidic version of the standard Yemen style.
Santos, Bourbon
A high-quality, washed coffee from Brazil that is usually shipped through the port of Santos. This coffee is usually grown in the State of Sao Paulo or northern Minas Gerais.
One of the best coffees from Yemen.
Shortberry Harrar
A grade of Harrar coffee from Ethiopia with beans that are smaller than Longberry Harrar. It is debatable whether the bean size affects the final brewed coffee taste.
Sidamo, Washed
A washed coffee from Ethiopia that is distinguished by its low acidity.
Single Origin Coffee
A 'single origin' is a coffee from one region. This simply means that many plantations from one region contribute to a coffee type. When you take only the best beans from a specific region and roast them to perfection, the coffee you get is truly remarkable.
Soft Bean
Coffees that grow at relatively low altitudes (under 3,000 feet) are often described as soft bean. These soft bean coffees are faster maturing and more porous than the hard bean due to the lower altitude and warmer temperatures.
Specialty Coffee Association Of America
The SCAA is the trade association for the specialty coffee industry, one of the fastest-growing food industries in the world. Specialty coffee — sometimes called "gourmet" or "premium" coffee — is grown in the world's most ideal coffee-producing climates and prepared according to exacting standards.
Storing Coffee Beans
Coffee beans tend to lose their flavor rather quickly and even faster after being ground. It's best to keep your coffee whole bean until used. Always keep your coffee in a sealed container that prevents the coffee from being exposed to the open air.
Straight Coffee
Coffee that is unblended; from a single crop, region, and country.
Straight coffee from Sulawesi (formerly Celebes), an Indonesian island. Toraja is the best Sulawesi coffee, greatly resembling the Sumatran coffees, except for a tendency to be slightly more acidic and with less body.
The straight coffee from the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. Mandheling, Lintong, and Ankola are the best Sumatran coffees and among the world’s finest. They display full body, rich flavor, and low acidity.
This straight coffee from Tanzania resembles the coffees of Kenya but is less admired due to slightly lighter body and less consistent acidity. Arusha and Moshi are the most notable.
Considered the best of coffees from Sulawesi, Toraja is similar in taste to Sumatran coffees.
Turkish Coffee
Is made by boiling finely ground coffee and water together in an ibrik, which is a long-handled, open, brass or copper pot. When done, it is poured directly into tiny demitasse cups, along with the fine grounds. The coffee is then allowed to settle before consumption. Spice and sugar are often added into the mix.
The finest Ugandan Arabica, Bugishu, is similar but less admired than the finest Kenyan, Tanzanian, and Zimbabwe coffees due to its generally lighter body and less complex flavor.
Vacuum Filter Method
A method of brewing coffee in which the brewing water is drawn down through the ground coffee by means of a vacuum.
Varietal Character
The tasting term that describes the positive characteristics that distinguish a given coffee from coffees of other regions.
Pure, unblended, single-origin coffees from a particular country or geographical region. The name of a varietal often includes the estate name. As with wine appellations, the varietal system suggests what kind of soil, climate and cultivation methods were used.
This straight coffee from Venezuela includes Tachira and Cucuta coffees, which resemble Colombian coffees. In contrast, Merida stands out for its light body and sweetness.
Viennese Roast
A light dark roast, darker than American Roast, considered the most common specialty roast.
Vietnamese Style Coffee
Is another form of drip brew. In this form, hot water is allowed to drip though a metal mesh into a cup with the resulting strong brew being poured over ice into a glass containing sweetened condensed milk. Due to the high volume of coffee grounds required to make strong coffee in this fashion, the brewing process is quite slow.
Washed Coffee
Coffee prepared by removing the pulp and skin from the beans while the coffee berry is still moist. Most of the world’s greatest coffees are wet-processed.
Whole Bean Coffee
Coffee that has been roasted and not yet ground.
The straight coffee from the southern tip of the Arabian peninsula along the Red Sea in the mountainous regions of Yemen. This is the world’s oldest cultivated coffee and is distinguished by its full body and rich winey acidity.
One of the most admired washed coffees from Ethiopia. It is distinguished by its medium acidity and rich flavor.
The coffees from this country have a medium density, highly aromatic quality and lively acidity which ranges from citrus to berry-like. Straight coffee from Zimbabwe, best exemplified by the coffee of the Chipinga region. It is similar to and ranked by many as second in quality only to Kenyan.