- Desirable characteristic denoting a pleasant tartness that gives each coffee its distinctive taste. Coffees lacking acidity taste flat and dull.
- AGED COFFEE
- Also called “old crop” or “plantation” coffees. These coffees have been stored in the green form at consistent temperatures for a number of years. The flavor is dull with a heavy body and can be “dead” due to a lack of acidity.
- A high growing district of Guatemala.
- (pronounced ah-RA’-bee-kah or ah- rah-BEE’-kah) the evergreen coffee arabica plant primarily grown at altitudes over 3,000 feet. Arabica beans have more flavor, aroma and contain less caffeine than robustas.
- The fragrance of freshly brewed coffee. Aromatic refers to the most distinctive arabica coffees.
BLEND A mixture of two or more coffees that compliment and enhance each other.
BITTER A harsh, unpleasant taste characteristic of over extracted or over roasted coffee.
BODY The impression of fullness, thickness and richness when cupping coffees.
BRAZIL Brazil produces one quarter of the world’s exportable production. Over 95% of the coffee is unwashed or natural coffee. The best coffee produced in Brazil comes through the port of Santos.
BREW COLLOIDS The oils and sediments suspended in the coffee brew that gives the brew its body and “feel”.
CAFFEINE An odorless, bitter alkaloid found in coffee beans, tea leaves, kola nuts and cocoa beans. Considered a mild stimulant.
CAPPUCCINO Espresso coffee that is topped with milk, which has had steam forced through it to create a thick froth. It can be topped with shaved cocoa or cinnamon.
CHERRIES The fruit of coffee arabica, containing two green coffee beans.
CINNAMON Underlying spicy accent sometimes detected in the aroma of fine coffees; a flavor nuance. Not a common description. Also a term describing a very light roast.
COLOMBIAN One of the most popular coffees. Colombia is second to Brazil in the world’s coffee production. Supremo is the best quality large bean, while Excelso is medium and Colombian coffees are considered high quality milds and are widely used in blends.
COSTA RICA A coffee from Central America popular for blending. Much of the 1.3 million bags produced each year are exported to Europe. The top grade is grown at elevations from 3,900 to 5,400 feet and is referred to as “ strictly hard bean”, or SHB.
DARK ROAST Coffee roasted longer to develop a dark brown bean with a pleasant spicy taste. Espresso is the darkest, vienna is the lightest.
DECAFFEINATION The natural or chemical process by which caffeine is removed from green (unroasted) coffee beans. This process removes 97% of the caffeine.
DELICATE A fragile, subtle sweet taste.
ESPRESSO A very dark roasted coffee; also a method of rapid brewing in which steam if forced through the grounds to produce a strong, thick foamy brew.
EXCELSO A standard grade of Colombian Coffee indicating mixed bean sizes and standard quality.
FLAT The taste of a coffee lacking acidity.
FLAVOR The total combination of acidity, body and aroma that distinguishes each coffee.
FLAVORED COFFEE The addition of oils and extracts to roasted coffee beans to give the flavor of chocolate, almond, etc. Often used as a low calorie dessert.
FRENCH A full-bodied dark roast that is not roasted as dark as an espresso, but as light as a vienna or continental roast.
GOURMET COFFEE Choicest grades of Arabica beans, grown at altitudes with delicate soil and climate conditions giving them a distinctively rich aroma and smooth flavor.
HAWAII The only place in the United States where coffee is grown. The main growing regions are Kona on the Big Island and Kauai. This rich tasting coffee is grown in Volcanic soil.
HIGH GROWN Arabica coffees grown at altitudes of 3,000 to 6,000 feet above sea level, usually in areas with rich volcanic soil. The reduced oxygen at the high altitudes allows the bean to mature slowly and develop more flavor.
INDONESIA In 1696 the Dutch brought shoots from Malabar to Indonesia. This area, which includes Sumatra and Java, grows some of the finest coffees in the world.
ITALIAN ROAST Another term for Espresso.
KENYA Recent crops have reached one million bags. The crop is primarily grown at high elevations and has a clean bright flavor with solid body.
LIGHT Term used to describe aroma, body or acidity. Usually meaning delicate taste.
MEDIUM ROAST Coffee roasted to American tastes, medium brown color.
MELLOW Full well balanced satisfying coffee with low or medium acidity. Used to describe a well-balanced pleasant flavor.
MEXICO The highest grown Mexican coffees are alturas. The best growing region is Coatepec. This North American country produces 3.5 million bags per year.
MILD Smooth, pleasant taste. Usually a coffee with low acidity.
MILDS The coffee industry term for high grown arabica beans.
MOCHA Only coffee grown on the Arabian Peninsula is properly labeled Mocha. The name is sometimes incorrectly used to describe a chocolate flavor. Mocha was the name of the port (now land locked) from which coffee was shipped centuries ago.
MOCHA JAVA The world’s oldest and most famous blend, Mocha Java is one of the most desirable blends of coffee available. Java provides the full body and exhilarating aroma and Mocha complements Java with its rich creamy smooth taste.
NUTTY (A) said of coffees that lack coffee flavor; (B) a specific flavor nuance, suggesting almonds, etc.
RICH The flavor of a coffee that has the maximum aroma, body and acidity.
ROBUSTA The other species of coffee, coffee robusta produces an inferior bean lacking the fine flavor and aroma of arabicas.
SELECT Choicest arabica beans designated by country of origin.
SPICY Term usually used to describe a liveliness of flavor.
STALE Roasted coffee that has lost its taste and aroma due to long exposure to air.
STRONG A pronounced intense flavor or aroma also used to indicate the intensity of brewed coffee.
SUMATRA The arabica coffees produced in this Indonesian Island are superior to those produced on neighboring Java. This can be attributed to the fact that Sumatra’s arabica crop is still hand-tended and picked. They are rich, mellow and relatively low in acid.
SWEET Describes the taste of a smooth, palatable coffee free from taints or harshness.
VIENNA ROAST The lightest of the dark roasts. A hearty flavor with a hint of a burnt quality.
WATER PROCESS Decaffeination process developed in Switzerland using only water to remove caffeine from green beans.
WINEY A term used to describe a tangy, highly acidic coffee. It is a characteristic of fine coffees.
YEMEN The growing region where true Mocha originates.