Coffee Glossary

C.J. M.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Not familiar with a specific coffee term on our website?

Our Coffee Glossary helps to define many common and less common terms used across our website and the coffee industry.

A

AA
These capitalized letters on coffee products are coffee grade indicators and usually describe a coffee bean that is larger than normal.
Acidity
The term "acidity" refers to the tartness of coffee and is one of the major categories used in professional coffee tasting. Along with flavor, body and aroma, acidity is helpful in determining the quality of a cup of coffee. When not used as a tasting standard, acidity can refer to the chemical pH present in coffee.
American Roast
American Roast is coffee that has been roasted to a medium-brown color; this is also the most popular coffee roast level in America.
Americano, Caffè Americano
Espresso lengthened with hot water.
Aquapulp
The process by which sticky fruit pulp, known as mucilage, is removed from coffee beans by scrubbing machines. This process can be done mechanically or by hand in traditional wet processing procedures.
Arabica/Coffea Arabica
The earliest cultivated coffee tree that is still most widely grown. Arabica trees produce 70% of the world's coffee today. Arabica coffee is known for being superior to other species of coffee trees, producing all of the fine, specialty coffees popular today.
Aroma
This term refers to the fragrance produced by hot, freshly brewed coffee. Aroma is one of four main categories for tasting coffee. Along with flavor, body and acidity, aroma is helpful in determining the quality of a cup of coffee.
Auto Drip Coffee Maker
This term refers to a coffee brewers that automatically heat and measure water into a filter containing ground coffee. Auto Drip can also refer to a grind setting on most professional grade coffee grinders. Drip ground coffee should normally always be used in an Auto Drip Coffee Maker.

B

Balance
A tasting term that is used to describe a coffee that has no single characteristic that outweighs another, while maintaining an intriguing flavor profile.
Barista
An Italian term that describes a professional espresso bar operator. Barista has become Americanized and now truly represents anyone working behind the counter at a coffee shop.
Bird Friendly
This term is commonly associated with Shade Grown coffee. Growing coffee in a shaded environment is essential to protecting the environment of wild, migrating birds around the world. The Smithsonian Institute has created a campaign to help preserve these habitats by narrowing the definition of "shade grown" to "shade provided by mixed native trees" - by labeling coffee as "bird friendly" consumers can be sure that the coffee they are purchasing has protective, conversationalist efforts behind it.
Blackbeard's Revenge
This popular Fresh Roasted Coffee artisan blend is known for its dark and smoky body and was inspired by the infamous legend of Blackbeard the Pirate.
Black Knight
Fresh Roasted Coffee's most popular artisan blend, Black Knight, is a dark and delicious coffee inspired by the Arthurian legend of Sir Lancelot.
Blend
A mixture of two or more single origin coffees.
Body
This term refers to the heaviness, richness and texture associated with tasting coffee. Body is one of four main categories used to evaluate coffee quality.
Bourbon
A varietal of Arabica coffee. Most of the highest quality South American coffees are of this variety.
Breakfast Blend
A Fresh Roasted Coffee artisan blend perfect for mornings with full flavor and high caffeine content.

C

Café Au Lait
A coffee beverage that is made up of one-third drip coffee and two-thirds frothed milk.
Caffé Latte
One serving of espresso combined with hot milk and topped with froth.
Caffeine
Alkaloid responsible for the stimulating effect in coffee and other products containing caffeine.
Caffiend
One of Fresh Roasted Coffee's addicting artisan blends, known for its impactful flavor and super smooth finish. Inspired by legends of werewolves in South America.
Cappucino
One serving of espresso topped with hot milk and froth.
Caracol
This term is another name for the "peaberry" - a small bean formed when one seeds form at the heart of the coffee fruit, rather than the traditional two. Coffee produced from caracol often produces a lighter, more acidic cup of coffee.
Chaff
Pieces of the innermost skin of the coffee fruit, known as the silverskin.
Cherry
Commonly referred to as the fruit of the coffee tree, the cherry is bright red when ripe and contains two coffee beans, or one peaberry.
Cinnamon Roast
Another name for Light or New England roast; lighter than the traditional American preference with a sour, acidic body.
City Roast
Another name for Light French roast or Viennese roast; slightly darker than the traditional American preference with a smooth, full body.
Clean
Coffee tasting term to describe a coffee free of flavor defects.
Coffea Canephora
Also known as Robusta, producing 30% of the world's coffee. The Canephora crop is a lower growing, higher-bearing tree. It produces an inferior cup compared to Coffea Arabica and is often used in instant coffees or to add flavor enhancement to Italian-style espresso blends.
Cold Brew
This method is used to make low-acid, delicate, cold coffee by soaking grounds in cold water for long periods of time.
Complexity
This term is used in tasting coffee and refers to the sensation of tastes shifting during the sampling process, giving depth to the coffee.
Crema
The light brown foam that covers the surface of a correctly brewed espresso serving.
Cupping
Method used by professional coffee tasters to evaluate the quality of certain coffees. This sensory evaluation helps to determine Aroma, Acidity, Body and Flavor.

D

Dark Nebula
A popular artisan espresso blend by Fresh Roasted Coffee, known for its dark chocolate body and smooth finish. The densest interstellar clouds in space inspired Dark Nebula espresso blend.
Dark Roast
Term used to describe any roast that is darker than the traditional American preference.
Decaffeinated
Term used to describe coffee that has had at least 97% of the caffeine removed by various processes.
Degassing
Natural process in which freshly roasted coffee releases carbon dioxide gas.
Demitasse
French for "half cup" -- a three-ounce cup normally used for espresso coffee.
Donut Shop
An artisan blend by Fresh Roasted Coffee that mimics a traditional breakfast blend coffee with high caffeine content and smooth, flavorful body.
Doppio
A double espresso; 3 to 6 ounces of straight espresso.
Drip Method
A brewing method that allows for hot water to settle through ground coffee.

E

Earthiness
An exotic and often desirable taste caused by the direct contact of wet coffee with the earth during the drying process.
Espresso
Used as a term to describe the roast of a coffee and also a method of brewing coffee in which pressurized hot water is forced through a tightly packed bed of finely ground coffee. Most beloved coffee shop drinks have espresso as their base.
Espresso Roast
A degree of roasted coffee that ranges from darker than the traditional American preference to a dark brown.
Estate-Grown Coffee
This term refers to coffee that has been produced by a single farm or farming group. It is more specific than a regionally named coffee and is popular among higher end brands.
Excelso
A grade of Colombian coffee that combines the best (supremo) with extra grades of coffee.

F

Fair Trade Coffee
Coffee purchased from farmers at a fair market price defined by international Fair Trade Certified agencies.
Filter Method
Any brewing method in which water flows through ground coffee, but typically describes drip method brewers that use a paper filter to separate ground coffee from the brewed, finished product.
Finish
The sensory experience of coffee as it just swallowed; some coffee can be extremely transformative on the palate from start to finish.
Flavor
The quality that describes the sensory experience once acidity, aroma and body have been evaluated.
Flavored Coffee
Whole bean coffees that have been mixed with flavoring agents.
Fog Kicker
An artisan blend by Fresh Roasted Coffee inspired by the legends of the Andes Mountains; known for having a high caffeine content and a light, but rich flavor.
Fragrance
Describes the scent of freshly ground coffee before it is brewed. This term is used in the overall sensory evaluation of coffee.
French Press
A method of brewing in which spent, ground coffee is separated from brewed coffee by pressing the grounds to the bottom of the device with a mesh plunger.
French Roast
A roast considerably darker than the traditional American standard and also a flavorful and dark artisan blend by Fresh Roasted Coffee.
Frothed Milk
Milk that is heated at a high temperature and foamed with a steam wand element on a traditional espresso machine.
Full-City Roast
A roast that is lighter than a French Roast but slightly darker than the traditional American standard.

G

Green Coffee
Unroasted Coffee.

H

Hard Bean
Term used to describe coffee grown at high altitudes.
High Grown
Arabica coffee grown at altitudes 3,000 feet and higher; these coffees tend to be superior to coffees grown at lower altitudes.

I

Italian Roast
A roast darker than a French Roast; bittersweet and rich in flavor. Beans can range from dark brown to nearly black.

J

Java Arabica
Coffee grown on large, government operated farm estates that has been altered to mimic the original Java, which was known to age during shipment on 18th and 19th century ships.

K

Kona
Single origin coffee from the Kona coast on the island of Hawaii, prized for its classic balance and complex aroma and flavor.
Kopi Luwak
Green coffee that has been passed through the digestive system of a cat-like mammal called the civet (luwak) The civet eats the coffee cherries and then excretes the seeds which are gathered from the dry droppings. These seeds are then roasted and sold as a high-end coffee.

L

Latte
A serving of espresso with three times as much hot milk and topped with frothed milk.
Lava Java
An artisan blend by Fresh Roasted Coffee inspired by the legend of Krakatoa and known for its sweet and chocolaty base.
Light Roast
A roast considerably lighter than the traditional American standard, known to produce coffee with a sharp acidity and a grain-like taste.

M

Macchiato
Either a serving of espresso marked with a small amount of frothed milk or a tall glass of hot frothed milk marked with espresso.
Mature Coffee
Coffee held in warehouses for two or three years.
Mild
Trade term for high quality Arabica coffee.
Mocha
Both a single origin coffee from Yemen and a café drink combining chocolate and espresso.
Mocha Java
An artisan blend from Fresh Roasted Coffee inspired by some of the oldest coffees on earth; this blend is known for its perfect balance of acidity and sweetness.
Monsooned Coffee/Malabar
Dry processed coffee from the south of India that is exposed to monsoon winds in warehouses to increase the flavor and reduce the acidity of the coffee.
Montezuma Sunrise
An organic artisan blend from Fresh Roasted Coffee inspired by the legend of Mesoamerican ruler Montezuma; known for its perfect balance and clean flavor.

N

Neopolitan Roast
A term for coffee roasted darker than a traditional espresso roast.
New Crop
Coffee delivered for roasting directly after being harvested and processed; coffees are most bright and acidic at this point.
New Orleans Coffee
Dark roast coffee blended with forty percent roasted ground chicory root.

O

Octane
An artisan blend by Fresh Roasted inspired by notorious biker gangs; known for its unbelievably dark and pungent flavor.
Old Crop
Coffee that is held in warehouses before shipping.
Organic Coffee
Coffee certified by a third-party agency that has been grown and processed without pesticides, herbicides or chemicals.

P

Parchment
A thin skin that covers the wet-processed coffee beans after the berries have been skinned, de-pulped and dried.
Patio Drying
A method of drying coffee directly after it has been picked or after fruit removal by exposing it to direct sun and raking it over thin layers on open patios.
Percolation
Any method of coffee brewing that allows for the hot water to percolate through ground coffee.
Polishing
Optional procedure at the end of the processing in which the silverskin of the beans is removed to improve their appearance.
Pyrolysis
The chemical breakdown of fats and carbohydrates into oils during the roasting process that provides the aroma and flavor of coffee.

Q

Quakers
Light colored coffee beans that have failed to roast properly and are considered defective.

R

Richness
Tasting term used to describe fullness in flavor, body or acidity.
Robusta
A coffee variety that produces about 30% of the world's coffee and is considered inferior to Arabica due to its usually bland or bitter flavor.

S

Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA)
Important association of specialty coffee roasters, wholesalers, retailers, importers and growers stationed in Long Beach, California.
Silverskin
The thin, outermost skin of the coffee fruit.
Single Origin Coffee
Coffee that has not been blended hailing from a single country, region or crop.
Soft Bean
A term used to describe coffee grown at low altitudes, usually considered inferior to hard beans grown at higher altitudes.
Specialty Coffee
Practice of selling coffees by country of origin, roast, flavor, or special blend, rather by a brand or trademark.
Steam Wand
Small pipe protruding from a traditional espresso machine that is used to steam and froth milk.
Sun Grown
Coffee that is not grown under a shaded canopy.
Supremo
Highest grade of Colombian coffee.
Swiss Water Process
A trademarked process of removing caffeine from coffee by using hot water, steam and activated charcoal rather than chemicals.

T

Tamper
A small device used to compress coffee when brewing espresso.
Tiger Nebula
An artisan espresso blend by Fresh Roasted Coffee inspired by striking tiger nebulae in outer space; known for its nuanced flavors and swirling multicolored crema.
Turkish Coffee
Coffee ground into powder and traditionally sweetened, brought to a boil and served with grounds included.
Typica
One of the oldest varieties of Arabica coffee; some of the best Latin-American coffees are of this variety.

U

Uganda
Single origin coffee from Uganda is prized for wine-like acidity, found in many East African coffees.

V

Varietal Coffee
Another term for unblended coffee from a single origin.
Viennese Coffee
Describes coffee brought to a roast darker than the traditional American standard but lighter than a French or Espresso roast; also any coffee roast that is topped with whipped cream.

W

Washed Coffee
Another name for wet processed coffee.
Wet Processed Coffee
Coffee prepared by removing the bean's skin and pulp while the fruit is still wet.
Whole Bean
Roasted coffee beans that have not yet been ground.

X

Y

Yemen Mocha
The world's oldest cultivated coffee, distinguished for its rich flavor and winy acidity.

Z

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