Coffee Glossary

Coffee Glossary

Become a real Barista!

Acidity – this term carries a positive character and is used to describe the level of flavor in a cup of coffee. All those pleasant qualities that refer to spiciness, pungency and bright flavor are united under this notion. Each coffee has a certain degree of acidity, however its quantity varies depending on the roast level. The lighter the coffee bean’s roast, the less acidity it has. Without it, coffee is plain, flat and is unable to bring satisfaction to a coffee drinker.

Acrid - unpleasantly sharp bitter flavor or taste, especially in a coffee that remains on the stovetop for too long period of time. is the best coffee bean known for its high qualities;

Arabica - its flavor is more elegant as in comparison to Robusta beans and is usually prepared solely, without blending. The Arabica trees are very delicate and are more sensitive to different unfavorable climate changes.

Aroma – the perfume of already prepared coffee that can be chocolaty, floral, fruity, candy-like and many more. A green bean has a faint fragrance; the aroma that we perceive is the result of the roast process. Thus, the darker the roast level, the more intense is the coffee fragrance that possesses smoky and charcoal nuances.

Barista – a professional coffee maker that knows everything about coffee from A to Z.

Bitter – a perception that we feel at the back of our tongue. The darker the coffee roast, the more bitterness it possesses which is purposely made. However, this bitter characteristic is of a negative nature that brings an unpleasant feeling to our gustatory senses.

Blend – usually a compound of two or more types of coffee created with a purpose to combine opposite gustatory features; to create a high quality Arabica coffee on the basis of cheaper Robusta coffee, etc.

Body – the coffee consistence felt in one’s mouth. It varies from light to medium and heavy; from buttery to syrupy.

Bouquet – the odor that comes from the coffee grounds.

Caffeine - a white crystalline bitter alkaloid responsible for the stimulant action of tea, coffee, and cocoa: a constituent of many tonics and analgesics.

Cappuccino – is a coffee drink prepared from one or two doses of espresso crown with equal parts of steamed milk and steamed milk froth, also often topped with chocolate chips.

Crema – the caramel colored layer that appears on the top of an espresso. If you receive your part of crema on the top, then your coffee is properly prepared.

Cupping – a term used to describe the process of sampling coffee. More detailed description of coffee tasting can be found here.

Decaffeinated – coffee that is almost free of caffeine. However, it is not the same as free of caffeine. A study showed that drinking 10 cups of decaf coffee is almost the same as consuming a cup or two of caffeinated coffee.

Espresso - an Italian drink prepared by forcing boiling water through finely roasted coffee grounds at high pressure. An ideal espresso occupies the half of a cup with crema on the top.

Flavor - refers both to taste and aroma which create the overall coffee sensation.

Finish (Aftertaste) – the remaining sensation after the coffee beverage is swallowed. This may be as follows: sweet, spicy, smoky, long lasting, etc.

Joe or Cup of Joe – the name goes back to the mid 1840’s when the Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniels prohibited alcohol consumption on ships. He has ordered that  mariners should be served only coffee instead. Thus, a cup of coffee began to be called “a cup of Joe”. However, it is still an open question because there is a version that the famous phrase has been put in practice much earlier than this event.

Irish coffee – is made up from Irish whiskey (though there are also non-alcoholic receipts) and brown sugar with strong hot coffee with beaten cream.

Kona – this coffee is harvested in Hawaii only and is known for its medium body, aromatic nuances, sweet flavor and light acidity level.

Robusta – is the second (after Arabica) sought after coffee due to its low cost and capability to blend with other coffees. Robusta trees are more resistant to frost and other weather conditions; it is easy to maintain and gives harvest all year round. However, Robusta bean have plainer, flat taste and aroma as in comparison to Arabica beans; still it is able to blend with anything not harming more precious Arabica sorts, at lesser price.

Rich – such coffee possesses a lot of flavors, is full bodied and brings a whole lot of pleasure.

Tone – the color of a coffee, its appearance.

See also:
Coffee Statistics
Coffee Storage
Coffee video
Covering Coffee Beans With Chocolate
Did you know?
Flavored Coffee
Specialty Coffee
Tips on using coffee grounds at home
see also

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