Brain power

Education is key!

  • AA

    Capitalised letters are grade indicators that usually describe the size of the bean.

  • AA (Against Actuals)

    A transaction between two parties involving the purchase and sale of a future contract and either the simultaneous price fixing or the hedging of a directly related physical contract for sale or purchase.

  • Acaia

    A coffee varietal originating from and mainly grown in Brazil. Acaia is a sub group of Bourbon tall type C Arabica that naturally grew on Bourbon, now known as Reunion Island. These plants have broader leaves and a rounder cherry and beans than typical varieties. They can grow very good quality fruit but are susceptible to major diseases and pests.

  • Acclimation

    An individual organism’s ability to gradually change in its environment, which allows it to maintain performance across a range of environmental conditions. This is typically a short-term and reversible process.

  • Acidity, Acid

    One of the principal categories used by professional tasters in cupping or sensory evaluation of coffee i.e. how "acidic" a coffee is to the taste - not in terms of how it well it would clean lime off a pipe.

  • ACPC

    Association of Coffee Producing Countries

  • Acrid

    A descriptor of a harsh sour taste, often described as tart and sharp.

  • Ad Valorem Tariff

    An import tariff, charged at a fixed percentage of the value of the good.

  • Adaptation

    This refers to both the current state of being adapted and to the dynamic evolutionary process that leads to the adaptation. Organisms that possess heritable traits that enable them to better adapt to their environment compared with other members of their species will be more likely to survive, reproduce and pass more of their genes onto the next generation.

  • Aeropress

    A device for brewing coffee. Coffee is steeped with hot water then forced through a filter by pressing the plunger through the tube. The filter can be either paper or metal. It was invented in 2005 by Aerobie president Alan Adler.

  • Affagato

    A scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with espresso. Bam.

  • African Drying Beds

    See Drying Tables. 

  • Afternose

    The residual olfactory sensations after the coffee has left the palate. The afternose compliments aftertaste (see aftertaste).

  • Aftertaste

    The sensations in the mouth after swallowing coffee. Also sometimes referred to as the ‘finish’.

  • Aged Coffee

    Holding green coffee for years in storage reduces acidity and increases body. To be called "aged coffee" it has been held longer than either "old crop" coffee or "mature" coffee. Some coffees are subject to deliberate ageing, by exposure to moist air or other elemental extremes usually associated with the degradation of foods.

  • Alkaline/Alkaloid

    A tasting term used to describe dry or bitter flavours, or a dry sensation that occurs mostly at the back of the tongue. While bitter, it’s not necessarily a disagreeable flavour.

  • Allele

    One of a number of alternative forms of a gene, usually arising through mutation. Different alleles are responsible for hereditary variation and can result in different observable traits in coffee such as pigmentation.

  • Allelic Diversity

    A metric to characterise the extent of genetic diversity.

  • Allotetraploid

    A hybrid organism that has four chromosomes sets. Allotetraploids are created as a result of both chromosome sets of each parents being present. For example, Coffea Arabica is likely an allotetraploid derived from a cross of the two diploid species Coffea Canephora and Coffea eugenioides.

  • Altitude

    The elevation of an object or point in relation to sea level or ground level. In the coffee world this will generally refer to the height of a plot of land where coffee is planted, and is usually measured in metres above sea level (M.A.S.L). 

    Coffee is generally grown at high altitude in tropical regions because these sites have a lower mean temperature and copious amounts of sunlight. These environmental conditions slow the growing process without killing the coffee plant, allowing the bean to mature over a longer period of time. This drawn-out and slower-paced growing cycle allows more complex flavours to develop in the growing bean, resulting in the rich flavour bouquets desired in superior coffee. In South and Central America coffees are sometimes graded and separated based on altitude.

  • Ambient Temperature

    A term used to describe the overall temperature inside a coffee roaster, as opposed to the bean temperature.

  • Americano

    A beverage made of hot water and espresso. The term 'Americano' means 'American', and comes from Italian or American Spanish, dating to the 1970s. The 'Caffè Americano' specifically is Italian for 'American coffee'. 

    The Americano is often made with a higher water to espresso ratio than a long black, and is often water added to espresso rather than espresso being extracted over water. If water is added to espresso it destroys the crema to create a drink reminiscent of a brewed coffee.

  • Amphidiploid

    Allopolyploids are polyploids with chromosomes derived from different species. Precisely it is the result of multiplying the chromosome number in an F1 hybrid.

  • Andean Price Band System

    Tariff system applied by Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela to a subset of agricultural products under World Trade Organization rules: It combines two tariffs, one fixed and one variable, applied inversely to the international price. When this tariff system was negotiated, Venezuela and Peru were exempted from applying it. Venezuela later left the Andean Group, and it is likely that Peru will continue with its own band system.

  • Antestia

    A genus of shield bug, Antestiopsis, also known as the variegated coffee bug. Antestia is also the name of the coffee bean defect that is caused by the bug. 

    The result of an Antestia infestation ranges from the coffee bean becoming slightly discolored, to almost entirely black and shriveled up. The beans gain a distinctive 'potato taste', which is thought to be caused indirectly by bacteria entering through wounds created by the insects, leading to an increase in the concentration of isopropyl methoxy pyrazine.

  • Antidumping Tariff

    Tariff applied in order to counteract the injury that is caused, or may be caused to domestic production by dumping practices (when a country exports goods at a price lower than that charged in its domestic market).

  • Antoccino

    A beverage with the ratio 1:1 espresso to steamed milk. This is more common in Italy and known as a Cortado in other places such as Spain, Portugal, Colombia and New Zealand.

  • Aquapulp, mechanical demucilaging

    A processing method of coffee cherries in which the fruit pulp (mucilage) is removed from freshly picked coffee beans by scrubbing in machines. Mechanical demucilaging is gradually replacing the traditional wet processing procedure of removing mucilage by fermentation and washing.

  • Arabica

    The earliest cultivated species of coffee tree and still the most widely grown. Arabica constitutes approximately 70% of the world's coffee, and is dramatically superior in cup quality to the other principal commercial coffee species, Robusta.

  • Aroma

    The scent of wet substances (as opposed to “fragrance” for dry). The smell of brewed coffee.

  • Ashy

    The smell or taste of ash, often  due to a roasting defect.

  • Astringent

    A tasting term, this is a puckery or drying flavour sensation created in the mouth. It can also have dry, salt, sour and bitter tastes as components.

  • B/L Bill of lading

    A key document used in the transportation of goods (e.g. coffee export and import) between the shipper of the good and the carrier. It details the type, quantity and destination of the good being carried.

  • Backflushing

    A process in cleaning an espresso machine. Water is forced back into the machine to flush the group-head of coffee oils and grinds.

  • Baked

    In roasting, this refers to the results from either a long, low-heat roast or a roast that is too light (before the first crack has completely finished). Flavours are under-developed.

  • Balance

    A tasting term describing a flavour where no single characteristic overwhelms others, and sufficient complexity is present.

  • Base Tariff

    Level from which a program of tariff reduction is applied.

  • Bean Probe

    In roasting, a bean probe is a thermometer used to monitor the bean temperature during the roasting process. It is used to get a more accurate measure of the surface temperature of the coffee beans.

  • Bergamot

    A fruit similar to an orange, with a yellow lemony colour and a pleasant fragrance that is used to scent Earl Grey tea.

  • Bird Friendly Coffee

    Bird Friendly coffee is certified coffee that meets standards to ensure the coffee maintains forest cover that provides habitat for birds and other wildlife. It is a certification created by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center.

  • Bitter

    A flavor perceived by the back of the tongue. It can be harsh but when balanced with acidity and or sweetness it can pleasant.

  • Bittersweet

    From the language of chocolate, bittersweet describes the co-presence of bitter balanced by sweetness. It is usually a roast flavor term but is also applicable to green coffee (bitter sweetness doesn’t normally develop in the roast without the native compounds in the green coffee to produce it).

  • Blade Grinder

    A low quality grinder using a propeller-like blade to grind coffee. Sometimes called a "whirly-blade" grinder. Renders an incredibly inconsistent grind result due to the way beans fall in different parts of the grinder- steer clear.

  • Blend

    A mixture of two or more single-origin coffees. At Flight we use blending to achieve coffees suited for well-rounded espresso production, as the seasons change the proportions of various origins in our blends can be adjusted to keep the overall flavour profile consistent (and therefore reliable) for cafe use. We don't tend to use blends through non-pressurised techniques, as these techniques are usually enjoyed by individuals who want to experience the differences brought about by season changes, various agricultural techniques, and other specific features of single origin coffees.

  • Body

    In coffee tasting, the sensation of heaviness, richness, or thickness and associated texture. It is one of the principal categories used by professional tasters when cupping coffees (the others being flavour, acidity, and aroma).

  • Bourbon

    A botanical variety of Coffea Arabica (along with Typica, it is one of the main Coffea Arabica cultivars). Bourbon was developed by the French on the island of Bourbon, now known as Réunion. The seeds were first planted in 1708 and were sold to the French by the British East India Company from Yemen. After several generations it began to express the unique features that characterise it today. Bourbon grows best at altitudes between 1100-2000 MASL, and the best Latin-American coffees are arguably from Bourbon stock. 

  • Bourbon Pointu/Laurina.

    A mutation of Bourbon that occurred naturally on Reunion Island. It was first described in 1947 as presenting a dwarf stature and a ‘Christmas tree’ shape, small leaves, internodes and seeds compared to the original Bourbon varieties. Some Laurina mutants were the first varieties that were patented by the roasting industry. 

  • Brazilian Mercantile & Futures Exchange (BM&F)

    The stock exchange located in Sao Paulo, Brazil. From December 2011 it was ranked the 13th largest stock exchange in the world.

  • Break

    The ‘breaking of the crust’ is part of the aromatic evaluation.  After the water has been sitting with the coffee for 4 minutes the cupping spoon is used to push back the grinds that are sitting on the surface. 

  • Bright

    In cupping this word is used to describe pleasant high acidity characteristics.

  • Broca

    See Coffee Berry Borer

  • Brown Sugar

    A type of sweetness found in the final cup of coffee.

  • Burnt

    Burnt flavours in coffee are a result of over-roasting, fast roasting or roasting in a high temperature environment. 

  • Burr Grinder

    Coffee grinder with two mounted discs or burrs that can be wound closer together or further apart to achieve different grind particle size. This is what you will find in a modern cafe serving espresso.

  • Buttery

    A mouthfeel description indicating thickness and creaminess in the coffee.

  • Ca Phe Sua Da

    Vietnamese iced coffee, a traditional beverage from Vietnam made with finely ground Vietnamese grown dark roast coffee and sweetened condensed milk, and poured over ice.

  • Café Bombon

    A beverage that has the ratio 1:1 of espresso to sweetened condensed milk. More common in Spain.

  • Café Breve

    A beverage with the ratio 1:1 espresso to steamed half. More common in the USA.

  • Café con Miel

    Spanish for Coffee with Honey. A beverage built with honey in the cup, a shot of espresso on top of that, steamed milk, then cinnamon.

  • Café Cubano

    In Cuba most coffee is horrific. Yea I said it. As a group we’ve spent a lot of time there and not one good coffee was had. And coffee is what we do. The reason is easy to understand - no incentive to do a better job leads to people doing the minimum. Why would anyone try to produce a high quality coffee when there is no market incentive, no income incentive, and no access to international trend pressure?

    So Café Cubano is espresso with sugar. We’ve all tried to drink it without sugar all over the country and it is impossible. Espresso with sugar is a Cuban coffee you can get down.

    Things will not always be like this, the young are restless, and some up and comers would like to explore specialty coffee. When some old ideas are put to rest we’ll be there to help them access the specialty market, until then however, well, it’s romantic for a visitor, but the coffee is not great yet.

  • Café de Olla

    In Mexico, this drink is traditionally prepared in earthen clay pots and is common in the cold climates and in rural areas. The distinct flavor of the Café de Olla is provided by cinnamon and piloncillo/panela (solid sucrose made by boiling and evaporating sugar cane juice). Ground coffee, hot water, panela and cinnamon.

  • Café Tobio

    A beverage with the ratio 1:1 filter coffee to espresso. More common in the USA.

  • Café Touba

    A now popular drink in Senegal made of filtered black coffee, sugar, and grains of Selim (also known as Guinea pepper or djar, it’s a musty pepper substitute). Café Touba is named for the holy city of Touba, Senegal. The drink is traditionally consumed by the Islamic Mouride brotherhood as it came to Senegal when the brotherhood's founder, Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba Mbacké, returned from exile in Gabon in 1902. The drink is and was traditionally served during ceremonies, commemorations, and during the Magal of Touba, but after the recession of 2009 Touba consumption became mainstream as the cost of the usual coffee, unsurprisingly Nescafe instant coffee, became too high. People turned to their own classic coffee from inside the country.

  • Caffé Latte/Café au Lait/Latte

    Latte means milk in Italian. This is a larger and weaker drink than the Flat White or Cappuccino, due to a high milk to coffee ratio. Traditionally this is only consumed in the morning, but hey, question everything.

  • Caffe Marocchino

  • Caffe Zorro

    A double shot of espresso with hot water added. A ratio of 1:1.

  • Caffeine

    An odourless, bitter alkaloid responsible for the stimulating effect of coffee and tea.

  • Cappuccino

    Smaller and stronger than a latte, thicker milk than a flat white, larger and weaker than a cortado, and often served with a shake of cinnamon or chocolate. There are many variations of this drink, so just know that to engage in an argument about what exactly constitutes a cappuccino is a debate with no real end. What we know for sure though, is that what Flight Coffee serves as a cappuccino is also known as a cappuccino chiaro, or 'wet cappuccino'.

  • Caracol

    Also known as a Peaberry. A small, round bean formed when only one seed, rather than the usual two, develops in the coffee fruit. Peaberry beans are often separated from normal beans and sold as a distinct grade of a given coffee. Typically, but not always, they produce a brighter, more acidy, but lighter-bodied cup than normal beans from the same crop.

  • Caramelisation

    A sugar reaction that occurs during coffee roasting. Generally, a caramelised sugar is less sweet but it has a greater complexity of aroma and flavour.

  • Carbony

    A flavour descriptor used to describe a burnt or smoky flavour in the cup.

  • Cash against documents (CAD)

    The term used in trade, when the seller retains ownership and control of goods until the buyer pays for them.

  • Casiopea

    A hybrid variety from Caturra and Ethiopian wild accession ET41. Common in Central America.

  • Castillo

    A variety of Arabica developed in Colombia by Cenicafe (the Colombian coffee federation’s research arm) through selective breeding.

  • CATIE (Center for Tropical Agricultural Research and Education)

    A non-profit coffee research organisation in Costa Rica.

  • Catimor

    A group of pure-line cultivars that originate from crosses between a Hibrido de Timor and Caturra. The catimor is well known for its high productivity and it also shows resistance to coffee leaf rust and Coffee Berry Disease (CBD), but it’s not always known for its high cup quality. One of the first widely available Catimor varieties was Costa Rica 95, which was released in 1995.

  • Catuai

    A pure-line cultivar developed by the Institut Agronomico de Campinas (in Brazil). It is a hybrid between Mundo Novo and yellow Caturra, released in 1968. Its characters are its dwarf stature (from Caturra) and its either yellow or red cherries. It has good productivity and standard quality, but is susceptible to all main pest and diseases. 

  • Caturra

    A relatively recently selected botanical variety of Arabica that generally matures more quickly, produces more coffee, and is more disease resistant than older, traditional Arabica varieties. Many experts contend that the Caturra and modern hybrid varieties of Coffea Arabica produce coffee that is inferior in cup quality and distinction to the coffee produced by the traditional "old Arabica" varieties like Bourbon and Typica.

  • CBB

    See Coffee Berry Borer

  • CFC

    See Common Fund for Commodities

  • CFS

    Container Freight Station. See CFS/CFS for its use in context. It is important to know the difference between this and CY.

  • CFS/CFS (CFS to CFS) Container Service

    This is considered "port to port" service. In this case, cargo will be delivered loose to the shipping port, packed into the container by the freight forwarder, and unpacked at the destination port. The consignee (you) are responsible for arranging pickup of the cargo at the destination port and moving it to your final location.

  • CFS/CY (CFS to CY) Container Service

    This is considered "port to door" service. You would use this service if your factory will deliver loose cargo, or cargo in a container that is not the final shipping container to the port. Your freight forwarder will then pack the goods into the shipping container. At the destination side, your cargo will be delivered in that container to your final location.

  • CFS: Container Freight Station

    An area at a port for loading and unloading containerized cargo onto and off ships. Also known as a container terminal.

  • CFTC

    See U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission

  • Chaff

    The silver skin of the coffee bean that is released during the roasting. As the coffee beans are roasted, they will expand to almost twice their original size. The dried out silver skin then ruptures and is then carried away in the exhaust air. A lot of coffee roasters separate the chaff from the exhaust of the coffee roaster using a cyclone separator that collects the chaff in a bin. 

  • Channeling

    In brewing coffee (normally espresso), the formation of cracks in ground coffee that causes water to flow through the gaps quickly and results in a poor extraction. Channelling usually occurs due to poorly distributed ground coffee.

  • Chemex

    A manual pour-over style coffee brewer created in 1941 by Dr Peter Schlumbohm in Massachusetts, USA. Dr Schlumbohm aimed to develop a brewing system that would not import any flavors of its own into the coffee and that was never bitter.  The Chemex is a simple, one-piece hourglass shaped vessel made from hand blown non porous glass and fastened with a wood collar and leather tie. It uses proprietary folded paper filters made of chemically bonded paper that is thicker than standard paper filters.

  • Cherry

    The fruit of the coffee tree, which harbours the seeds that are coffee beans. Cherries generally ripen from green to a red colour, although some ripen to yellow. Each cherry usually contains two regular coffee beans covered in a sweet ‘mucilage’. If there is only one bean this is known as a peaberry or caracol.

  • Chocolate

    A flavour descriptor used to describe dark cocoa flavors in the cup and other flavours reminiscent of chocolate. Coffees rarely have a strong chocolate flavor or aroma.

  • Chop

    An old term for the lot mark on jute coffee sacks. It’s now called the ICO number.

  • Chromosome

    A thread-like structure of nucleic acids and protein in the nucleus of most living cells which carries the genetic information of an organism. In coffee, this genetic information will shape the characteristics of a coffee.

  • Citrus

    Coffee aroma or taste that is reminiscent of a citrus fruit. Unripe citrus is often described as ‘sour’. When using this flavor descriptor try expanding it to: lemon, orange, grapefruit, kumquat, etc. 

  • City Roast

    A type of coffee roast, medium brown, and common for specialty coffee. The coffee has completed the first crack, and has been browned a little but has not yet reached the second crack. A city roast occurs roughly between 212 degrees and 218 degrees Celsius.

  • Clean

    A term used when cupping to indicate that the coffee is free from flavour defects.

  • Clone

    An organism produced asexually from one ancestor, to which it is genetically identical.

  • COE Cup of Excellence

    An annual competition held in different countries to identify the highest quality coffee. Dubbed the ‘Oscars of the coffee world’ the competition began in 1999 and is organised by the Alliance for Coffee Excellence. Each coffee is tested at least five times in the competition, and the winning coffees are sold in internet auctions.

  • Coffea Arabica

    Also known as Arabica, this is a species of coffee tree originating from the mountains of southwest Ethiopia, and thought to be the earliest cultivated species of coffee. It is now the most widely grown coffee species and produces approximately 70% of the world's coffee. It is dramatically superior in cup quality to the other principal commercial coffee species, Coffea Canephora or Robusta. All fine, specialty, and fancy coffees come from Coffea Arabica trees.

  • Coffea Canephora

    Also known as Robusta. This is the only significant competitor among cultivated coffee species to Coffea Arabica. Robusta produces about 30% of the world's coffee (the maths matches our glossary entry above). It is a lower-growing, faster maturing, higher-bearing tree that produces full-bodied but bland coffee of inferior cup quality and higher caffeine content than Coffea Arabica. It is mainly used for instant coffee and cheap pre-ground coffee found in supermarkets. It is not really included in the specialty coffee trade except as a body-enhancing component in some espresso blends.

  • Coffee Bean Germination

    There’s two basic methods for the germination of seeds. 1) Coffee seeds are pre-germinated by spreading them out on a sandy bed and covered with moist burlap sacks or straw. The seeds are watched closely and then removed as soon as radicals emerge. 2) Coffee seeds are mixed with moist vermiculite or expanded polystyrene and kept in a polythene bag.  Coffee seedlings are grown in nursery beds or polybags and are then planted in the coffee fields once they have reached a height of between 20-40cm. 

  • Coffee Bean Moisture Measurement

    Before shipment, coffee is dried and a coffee moisture meter is used to measure coffee bean moisture. Coffee must be dried from an approximate 60% moisture content to 11-12% moisture content during the drying phase, and this moisture level should be maintained during storage and shipping.

  • Coffee Berry Borer

    Otherwise known as the coffee borer beetle (Hypothenemus hampei) the CBB is a small beetle native to Africa that burrows into coffee seeds and is one of the most harmful pests to coffee crops. It is known as Broca in Latin America. 

  • Coffee Berry Disease

    A fungus that lives in the bark of the coffee tree and produces spores which then attack the coffee cherries. It was first discovered in Kenya in 1920 and is caused by the virulent strain of Collectotrichum coffeanum. Spraying is the best way to avoid the coffee berry disease, and the Kenyan coffee hybrid Ruiru 11 is resistant to both coffee berry disease and coffee leaf rust.

  • Coffee Cherry

    The fruit of the coffee tree, which harbours the seeds that are coffee beans. Cherries generally ripen from green to a red colour, although some ripen to yellow. Each cherry usually contains two regular coffee beans covered in sweet mucilage. If there is only one bean this is known as a peaberry or caracol.

  • Coffee Drying

    There are broadly two methods of drying coffee, depending on the processing method. For washed coffee, after the coffee has been in the fermentation tanks or mechanically scrubbed, the beans are moved to drying patios and dried to 11-12% moisture content. For naturals / unwashed coffee, the whole cherry is placed in the sun to dry, and must be regularly raked or turned to ensure even drying and prevent mildew.  On larger plantations machine-drying may be used.

  • Coffee Fermentation

    For washed coffee, pulped coffee beans are put into large cement tanks with water and are allowed to ferment for 16-36 hours. The highest quality coffees are the densest and are separated and fermented in a different tank.
    Coffee fermentation times depends on a number of factors including: the amount of coffee fermenting, water temperature and humidity.  Currently, the best way of determining the end of the fermentation process is to feel the coffee beans to determine if they are still encased in mucilage. If the coffee beans ferment for more than 36 hours stinker beans develop and ruin the coffee.

  • Coffee Filter

    Usually made from paper, nylon mesh or metal and is used to strain coffee grounds.

  • Coffee Harvest

    Ripe cherries are usually either harvested by hand or using a harvesting machine.  Hand harvesting is often more time consuming, but can be more accurate and maximises the amount of ripe coffee harvested, leaving unripe coffee to be harvested at a later date. Mechanical harvesting is often faster for large farms, but ‘strips’ all the coffee cherries from the tree whether or not they are ripe and can lead to lower quality coffee overall.

  • Coffee Plant Propagation

    Ripe red cherries are collected and the mucilage is removed to preserve the seed for future planting.  The coffee seeds (typically referred to as beans) can either be dried for future use or planted immediately. Correctly storing coffee beans is essential for a longer seed life and dried coffee seeds/beans can be used up to a year or more later if stored properly.

  • Coffee Rust

    Otherwise known as roya disease, coffee rust is a disease caused by the hemileia vastatrix fungus and is a serious problem for coffee producers globally. It mainly attacks the leaves of coffee plants and forms yellow-orange powdery blemishes. Its symptoms were first observed in Sri Lanka in the 1860s. Many countries, including Sri Lanka and Ethiopia, replaced much of their Arabica coffee with disease resistant Robusta coffee. It also destroyed Brazil’s crops in 1970, since the occurrence of coffee rust in Brazil; it has spread to every coffee growing country in the world. Spraying with copper-based fungicides at 4-6 week intervals during the rainy season helps prevent the rust disease in coffee.

  • Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa Exchange (CSCE)

    The CSCE was founded in New York in 1882 as the Coffee Exchange. Sugar was added to the exchange in 1914 and in 1979 the New York Coffee and Sugar Exchange merged with the New York Cocoa Exchange to form the CSCE.

  • Cold Brew

    A brewing method in which ground coffee is left to steep in room temperature or cold water for an extended period of time, usually 12 hours or more. It is not to be confused with iced coffee, which is brewed with hot water then cooled using ice. Cold brewed coffee tastes different to conventional hot water brewing methods and generally has much less acidity because the temperature at which the beans come into contact with water influences chemical profile.  It is also sometimes called a cold press, or Toddy coffee. Some people also call cold drip cold brew (see cold drip).

  • Cold Drip

    Cold drip is similar to cold brew in that it uses cold or room temperature water with coffee for an extended period of time, but the water drips through the coffee gradually over time, hence the ‘drip’ part of the name. Water drips through lightly roasted ground coffee for a period of around 8 hours (depending on taste and style this is variable and take as little as 4 or as many as 24 hours). The result is a syrupy concentrated coffee with a unique flavor profile that is generally less acidic than coffee extracted at high temperatures.

  • Cold Press

    See Cold brew.

  • Colombia

    A country in South America with delicious coffee, or alternatively a variety of coffee (aka Variedad Colombia) which is a hybrid of Robusta and Arabica. The bean was developed for its high yields and to combat disease, and many versions of the Colombia have been developed over the last decade. More recently versions of the results of this experimentation and development have been called ‘Castillo’ rather than Colombia (see Castillo).

  • Color Sorting Coffee Beans

    A process frequently used to remove defective coffee beans that haven’t been removed during coffee processing or hulling. In many countries coffee is sorted by hand due to inexpensive labor, but in some countries investment in a color sorting machine or color separator, is necessary.

  • Commitment of Traders

    A report issued by the commodity futures trading commission, which states the holdings of participants in the various futures markets.

  • Common External Tariff

    Customs tariff applied in a uniform manner by members of the Community of Andean Nations.

  • Common Fund for Commodities

    An intergovernmental financial institution established within the framework of the United Nations, which helps finance commodity development projects to enhance the socio-economic development of commodity producers.

  • Complexity

    A tasting term describing coffees with the co-presence of many aroma and flavour attributes that layer pleasurably and give the impression of depth and resonance.

  • Cortado

    A beverage with the ratio 1:1 espresso to steamed milk. The word cortado means ‘cut’ in Spanish. It is common in Portugal, Colombia and New Zealand among other places and is also known as an Antoccino.

  • COT

    See Commitment of Traders.

  • Countervailing Duty

    Customs duty levied on imports of a certain good in order to counteract the injury caused, or that may be caused, to domestic production by the granting of export subsidies on the part of the exporting country.

  • CR-95

    A coffee variety developed by the Institute Hondureno del Cafe in Honduras and was released in Costa Rica in 1995. Also known as Costa Rica 95.

  • Crema

    We want to give you a bit more of an explanation than "brownish foam that forms on top of freshly made espresso coffee". Basically, during the roasting process a lot of gas is produced that remains within the porous beans and is released over the course of the next few days (degassing). Once ground this process accelerates due to the increased surface area - which is why grinding beans just before extraction is important in achieving good crema production. As hot water is used to extract coffee it is the proteins and melanoidins coating the remaining carbon dioxide that forms tiny bubbles known as crema. Though crema can be present in any brewing technique involving hot water, with more pressure comes more crema due to efficient release of these surfactants and CO2 out of the same place at the same time.

  • Cross

    The deliberate breeding of two different individuals which results in offspring that both carry a portion of genetic material of the parent individuals. In coffee, the parent individuals may be from varieties and species that are closely related or from different species.

  • Crust

    The layer of coffee grinds that sits on top of brewed coffee. The crust is ‘broken’ when a spoon is pushed into it during a cupping.

  • CSCE

    See Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa Exchange.

  • Cultivar/Cultivated Variety

    A particular variety of a plant species or hybrid that is being selectively cultivated by humans to retain particular characteristics. When propagated with the appropriate methods, a cultivar will tend to retain these traits. Most varieties are true to type, meaning the seedlings grown from a variety will have the same unique characteristic of the parent plant, whereas cultivars are not necessarily true to type. To propagate true-to-type clones, many cultivars must be propagated vegetatively through cuttings, grafting, and even tissue culture. Propagation by seed can produce something different to the parent plant.

  • Cupper’s Correction

    A term that cuppers use to assess the ‘intangible’ qualities of a coffee, e.g. if a coffee scores 83 but the cuppers assess that it should be an 85, a +2 cupper’s correction would be added.

  • Cupping

    A procedure used by professional tasters to perform sensory evaluation of samples of coffee beans. The beans are ground, water is poured over the grounds, and the liquid is smelt and tasted both hot and as it cools. The key evaluation characteristics of the coffee are Aroma, Acidity, Body, and Flavour.

  • Cupping Spoon

    A spoon that’s been specifically designed for a coffee cupping. It’s similar to bouillon spoon or a soup spoon with a deep bowl and an arched handle. Many cuppers have their own prized cupping spoon and it’s not recommended that you ever touch another cupper’s prized spoon.

  • Current Crop

    Coffee that’s been harvested during the current crop cycle. For example, if coffee were harvested in September 2013 in an area with one harvest per year, it would be considered current crop until September 2014. Any coffee that is from a previous harvest year is referred to as ‘old crop’ or ‘past crop’.

  • CY

    Container Yard. See CY/CY for its use in context. It is important to know the difference between this and CFS.

  • CY/CFS (CY to CFS) Container Service

    This is considered "door to port" service. Just like CY to CY, your container is packed at the shipper's location and sometimes at the actual freight forwarder's location, depending on your agreement. However, at the destination side, your container is emptied at the carrier's container freight station. It is your responsibility as the consignee to take this loose cargo and move it from the destination port to your final location, whether that be a warehouse, distribution center, retail location, etc.

  • CY/CY (CY to CY) Container Service

    This is considered "door to door" service. The container is packed at the shipper's location (factory) and sometimes at the actual freight forwarder's location, depending on your agreement. The shipper in is the consignor and you are the consignee. The same container, not having been unpacked or modified in any way during the voyage, will be delivered to your final destination. Naturally this is the most expensive, but least hassle service.

  • CY: Container Yard

    See CY/CY for its use in context. It is important to know the difference between this and CFS.

  • Cyclone

    Part of roasting equipment, the cyclone is designed to separate chaff from the roaster’s exhaust.

  • DAF Delivered at frontier

    Used in international trade, a contract that requires the seller to deliver the goods to a named destination and by a predetermined time. Up until the drop off point the seller is responsible for all risks and expenses.

  • Dark Roast

    This is a very general term, but can describe any roast of coffee darker than a medium roast. Normally it is roasted till the beginning or end of second crack. Contrary to popular belief, roasting coffee beans does not increase the caffeine content. In fact, a dark-roasted bean can have up to 20 percent less caffeine than a lighter roast of the same variety.

  • Decaffeination

    The process of removing caffeine from coffee to produce decaffeinated coffee. There are various methods, mostly performed prior to roasting while the beans are green. In the direct solvent method beans treated with a solvent (e.g. dichloromethane or ethyl acetate) which bonds chemically with the caffeine and is then removed by steaming. In the indirect method, green beans are soaked in hot water for hours, essentially creating a liquid saturated with coffee.  The beans are then removed and the caffeine is removed from the water by means of a solvent. A new batch of beans is then soaked in the liquid, until the beans reach an equilibrium where the caffeine has been removed but no other strength or flavour has been lost. In the water-only method, commonly known by the proprietary name Swiss Water Process, the same steps are used as in the indirect method, but the caffeine is removed from the water by allowing it to percolate through a bed of activated charcoal. In the carbon dioxide method, which is only beginning to be established in the specialty-coffee trade, the caffeine is stripped directly from the beans by a highly compressed semi-liquid form of carbon dioxide.

  • Defects, Flavour Defects

    Unpleasant flavour characteristics in coffee caused by problems during picking, processing, drying, sorting, storage, or transportation. There are many defects, and you can learn more about them (including pictures) in our simple guide found here.

  • Degassing

    A natural process in which recently roasted coffee releases carbon dioxide gas. Roasted beans give off carbon dioxide for a period of weeks but the majority is released in the first 2-3 days. This is why you see one-way valves on bags of coffee that are expected to sit for a while before consumption (like in the supermarket). Those valves are actually sniff holes with a purpose (they let the carbon dioxide out, but don’t let oxygen in to damage the beans).

  • Deleterious allele

    A variation of a gene that decreases the fitness of an organism rather than being beneficial.

  • Demitasse

    French for "Half cup"; this small (usually 70ml) cup is generally used for espresso coffee. Can also be used to describe a small cup of black coffee.

  • Demucilage

    The procedure of removing fruit pulp (mucilage) from freshly picked coffee beans. Mechanical demucilaging is gradually replacing the traditional 'wet processing' procedure of removing mucilage by fermentation and washing.

  • Density sorting

    A process whereby coffee is sorted by density of the coffee bean. A densimetric table can be used, where coffee is passed over a tilted table at an angle and separated into three or more densities. The table vibrates and the dense coffee beans travel to the highest side of the table. The coffee beans that are lower in density go to the lower side of the table.

  • Dirty Cup

    A general term that implies some form of taint in the cup.

  • DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid)

    A biological molecule that carries the genetic material and instructions used in the development and functioning of all living organisms.

  • Domestic Crop Purchase Requirement

    Legal requirement imposed on importers of agricultural products by which a tariff exoneration or preference is determined on the purchase of domestic crops.

  • Dominant

    When a dominant gene is present it masks the expression of alternative genes.

  • Doppio

    A double espresso (doppio is Italian for ‘double’).

  • Doser

    The chamber, and generally a spring-loaded handle/sprocket set, on the front of a coffee grinder that collects and dispenses (‘doses’) the ground beans. A chamber collects the coffee grinds and then dispenses them with each pull of the handle.

  • Doserless

    A grinder that doesn’t have a doser/chamber attached to collect and dispense ground coffee. Instead, it ejects the grounds directly through a chute.

  • Double Picked

    Coffee that has been handpicked twice to remove imperfect beans, stones, and other foreign matter.

  • DP

    See Double Picked

  • Drip Method

    A coffee brewing method that allows hot water to flow through a bed of ground coffee.

  • Drum Roaster

     A drum roaster is any roaster that uses a horizontal heated rotating drum to roast coffee beans. The heat source could be natural gas, LPG, electricity or wood.

  • Drupe

    A fleshy fruit with a fleshy mesocarp and a hard, stone-like endocarp with a seed inside (i.e. a stone fruit). Coffea Arabica produces these fruits.

  • Dry Method Coffee

    See Natural Coffee

  • Dry Processed Coffee

    See Natural Coffee

  • Drying Beds

    See Drying Tables

  • Drying Tables

    Raised drying beds that are often made from wood and mesh screens, and used to dry coffee. The coffee is spread thinly and air is allowed to pass on all sides of the coffee. Most coffee from Africa is dried this way  (drying tables are also called African drying beds) but the method is gaining popularity globally, particularly with specialty coffee producers.

  • Earthy

    In tasting, the aroma or characteristic of fresh earth, soil or raw potatoes. While not always a negative flavour characteristic, it is sometimes caused by the contact of wet coffee with earth during drying or mould during processing. The flavour could be considered a defect if too strong.

  • ECF

    See European Coffee Federation

  • EDK (Ex dock)

    A seller owns the goods until they are unloaded onto the dock at the port of destination.

  • Egg Coffee

    Hailing from Vietnam, the Egg Coffee is a beverage often made from Robusta coffee, egg yolks, condensed milk and sugar.

  • EK43

    A retail coffee and spice grinder developed by Mahlkonig over 30 years ago. It has become the preferential grinder of many specialty coffee shops and baristas since gaining notoriety via Matt Perger (of Matt3 bookclub fame). Known for its even particle size, “the EK” is widely thought to be able to provide a “cleaner” cup thanks to a more even extraction.

  • Electronic Warehouse Receipt (EWR)

     A document that provides proof of ownership of commodities when they are being stored. 

  • Electronic Warehouse Receipt (EWR)

    A document that provides proof of ownership of commodities when they are being stored.

  • En Pergamino, In Parchment

    Describes wet-processed coffee with the dried parchment skin still adhered to the bean. The parchment is removed prior to roasting in a step called milling/hulling.

  • Endemic

    A plant or animal that is native or restricted to a defined location, such as an island, nation, country or other defined zone. Coffea Arabica is endemic to Ethiopia.

  • Endothermic

    A reaction or process that absorbs heat, as opposed to releasing heat (exothermic). Most parts of the coffee roasting process are endothermic.

  • Enzymatic

    This is a category of aromas pertaining to vegetation e.g. floral.

  • Enzyme

    A protein that accelerates a specific chemical reaction in a living organism.

  • Espresso

    A concentrated beverage brewed by forcing a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure (around 9 bar in commercial machines) through finely ground and packed coffee. Compared to other coffee brewing methods, espresso often has a thicker consistency, a higher concentration of suspended solids, and has crema on top. The pump pressure emulsifies the otherwise insoluble oils in the coffee and also forces out the remaining CO² in the coffee. Espresso is also the base for a range of drinks such as the flat white, latte, cappuccino and macchiato.

  • Espresso Con Panna

     Not to be confused with the Vienna, the Con Panna is a single or double espresso, topped with whipped cream. 

  • Espresso Romano

    See Romano.

  • Estate-Grown Coffee

    This generally refers to coffee produced by a large single farm as opposed to a group of smaller farms. Many speciality coffees are identified by estate name, rather than the less specific regional or market name.

  • ETA

    Estimated time of arrival.

  • Ethiopian Wild Varieties

    Arabica genotypes that are not cultivated for commercial purposes but are grown in the wild around regions of Ethiopia. Some have been collected and maintained in official collections in the Jimma, Harrar and Sidama regions. These plants are an important source of genetic diversity for Arabica coffee, and important for future breeding programs.

  • Ethyl Acetate

    An organic compound used in the decaffeination process to remove caffeine from coffee beans. It can be used as a solvent in both the direct and indirect methods of decaffeination.

  • EU

    See European Union.

  • European Coffee Federation

    A federation of coffee companies and industry organisations founded in 1981 to represent the joint interests of the coffee trade and roasting industry. It represents the European green coffee roasting industry, soluble coffee manufacturers and decaffeinators.

  • European Union

    An economic and political union of 28 member states that are located in Europe.

  • Evolution

    The process of changes in the heritable traits of a population of organisms as successive generations replaces one another. Populations of organisms evolve, not individual organisms.

  • EWR

    See Electronic Warehouse Receipt

  • Excelso

    A grade of Colombian coffee of screen size 15-16.

  • Exothermic

    A reaction or process that releases heat, as opposed to absorbing heat (endothermic). While coffee roasting begins as an endothermic reaction, the first and second cracks are exothermic processes.

  • Extraction

    The process of extracting or releasing the flavour from coffee (usually through infusing with hot water).

  • Faded

    Green coffee beans that have lost much of their original colour. This is a characteristic of either old crop and or beans that were dried too quickly. After coffee beans have been processed they slowly fade from a deep green to a pale yellow, and this happens if they have been stored too long.
    Faded is also a term used when describing coffee flavour that has diminished over time in storage.

  • Faema E61

    A classic machine that was released by Faema in 1961. This machine introduced many ‘firsts’ that are found in espresso machines today, most notably the delivery of pressurised water through a mechanical pump at 9 bar. The machine also has a pre-infusion chamber located behind the portafilter and the external lever used for activating the brew cycle.

  • Fair Trade

    In general, this can refer to the organised social movement with a goal of helping producers achieve better trading conditions and promote sustainability. Alternatively, ‘fair trade’ can refer to certified fair trade goods that meet certain criteria under fair trade labelling organisation standards, e.g. minimum prices, labour standards, and environmental sustainability.

  • Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO)

    An organization established in 1997 to promote and market the Fairtrade Certification Mark globally.  It is an association of 3 producer networks, 19 national labeling initiatives and 3 marketing organisations across several countries.

  • FAO Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

    An agency of the United Nations that leads international programs to combat hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition.

  • Fazenda

    The Portuguese word for farm (or large estate).

  • FCA Free Carrier

    A trade term that requires the seller to deliver goods to a place where the carrier operates. The term ‘free’ means the seller has an obligation to deliver goods to a named place for transfer to a carrier.

  • FCL Full Container Load

    A term used in ocean freight for a full 40-foot container. 

  • FCM Futures Commission Merchant

    A person able to handle futures contract orders and extend credit to customers wishing to enter into such positions.


  • FDA U.S. Food and Drug Administration

    The FDA or USFDA is an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services responsible for protecting and promoting public health through food safety and other regulations.

  • Fermentation

    This has two main meanings in coffee. 1) As part of the wet method of coffee processing, fermentation is a stage in which the mucilage is loosened from the coffee beans while the beans rest in tanks. If water is added to the tanks the process is called wet fermentation; if no water is added it is called dry fermentation. 2) In cupping coffee, "fermentation" describes a range of taste defects apparent if the sugars in the coffee fruit begin to ferment during processing. These can range from sweet, rotten fruit tastes to vinegar-like aroma and flavour.

  • Fermenty

    A defect flavour. See Fermentation.

  • Filter Holder, Portafilter

    In brewing espresso, the portafilter is the metal chamber with a plastic handle that holds the coffee filter and seals into the group. 

  • Filter Machine/Filter Coffee Machine

    These machines brew coffee without the use of pressure to for extraction. The user puts coffee grounds inside a filter, usually paper. The machine mimics a “pour over” style, by heating up water and showering the grounds for a period of time. Companies such as Fetco, Technivorm Moccamaster and Bonavita all produce a wide range of commercial and home filter machines.

  • Filter Method, Drip Method

    Any brewing method in which water filters through a bed of ground coffee. The filter holds back the ground coffee particles, and the extracted coffee passes through to the cup.

  • Finish

    Similar to aftertaste, but this refers to the sensory experience of coffee just as it is swallowed or leaves the palate.

  • First Crack

    In the coffee roasting process, the first pops heard just as the coffee enters the “development phase”.

  • First Filial (F1) Generation

    F1 stands for Filial 1 hybrid. It’s a term used for the first generation of seeds and plants offspring resulted from cross mating of distinctly different parental types. The term is used by many breeders in the coffee industry to refer to crosses between established cultivated varieties and landraces/traditional varieties from Ethiopia.

  • Flat

    A taste descriptor for a lack of flavour and or aroma in the final cup.

  • Flat white

    A type of coffee made with espresso and steamed milk, but with less froth than a typical cappuccino. It is usually made with a double shot of espresso and has a higher coffee to milk ratio than a latte or cappuccino. The flat white was developed in Australia and New Zealand in the 1980s.

  • Flavour

    An impression in the mouth. How something tastes.

  • Flavour wheel

    A chart built by the SCAA and then revised by World Coffee Research as a tool for coffee tasting. It was adapted from the wine industry and has been useful in building a common lexicon around coffee descriptors.

  • Flip-Drip

    Also known as Napoletana or Neapolitan flip pot, this is a drip brew coffee maker for the stove-top that originated in France. It consists of a bottom section filled with water, a filter section in the centre packed with finely ground coffee, and an upside-down pot on the top. After the water boils, the three-parts of the coffee maker are flipped over to let the water filter through the coffee grounds. Once the water has dripped through the grounds, the boiling and filter sections are removed, and the coffee is served from the remaining pot.

  • FLO

    See Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International.

  • Floater

    A coffee bean that has been damaged and floats during wet-processing. The coffee cherries that are damaged float when placed in a large bath of water and/or when transported down a channel in water, whereas the good cherries sink. The damaged cherries float because they could be hollow, undeveloped, under-developed, damaged by the coffee berry borer or other pests. Floaters are also known as quakers.

  • Floral

    A flavour descriptor used for aromas and tastes reminiscent of flowers. This can include jasmine, honeysuckle, dandelion and nettles. Floral aromas tend to be found in lighter roasted coffee.

  • Fluid Bed Roaster, Air Roaster

    A roasting machine that works much like a giant popcorn popper, by pushing hot air across coffee beans to simultaneously agitate and roast them. They are sometimes called Sivitz Roasters, after the first American manufacturer, Michael Sivitz.

  • Fly Crop

    A harvest during the production cycle that is not the main harvest.

  • FOB

    See Free on Board.

  • FOT

    See Free on Truck/Train.

  • Fragrance

    A term used in cupping coffee or sensory evaluation of coffee. The scent of dry coffee after it has been ground and before it is brewed.

  • Frappe

    An iced coffee drink usually made with instant coffee, cold water, ice cubes and sometimes milk, and blended to form a foam. It originated from Greece, although the work frappe is French.

  • Free on Board (FOB)

    A trade term meaning the seller is responsible for getting the goods to the shipping point and the buyer is responsible for freight costs and any shipping liability.

  • Free on Truck/Train (FOT)

     A pricing term indicating that the seller will put the goods on a train or truck at a named loading point without any extra charge.

  • French Mission

    A variety of Coffea Arabica that was brought from Reunion Island by French missionaries to Tanzania then onto Kenya.

  • French Press, Plunger

    A brewing method where the coffee and water are placed together in a beaker stirred and left to brew for a few minutes, then a mesh metal plunger is pressed down through the mixture, trapping the coffee grounds at the bottom of the beaker. Because the coffee grounds remain in direct contact with the brewing water, and the grounds are filtered from the water via a mesh instead of a paper filter, coffee brewed with the French press captures more of the coffee's flavour and essential oils than a traditional drip brew machine with paper filters. The result is a fuller bodied and more complex brew when compared with paper filter techniques.

  • Fruited

    In some coffee taster circles, the word ‘fruity’ is used to describe coffee that is tainted with fruit, and ‘fruited’ means that coffee has positive fruit notes.

  • Fruity

    A flavour descriptor this used for the aroma, flavour or taste of fruit in a coffee. In some coffee taster circles, the word ‘fruity’ is used to describe coffee that is tainted with fruit, and ‘fruited’ means that coffee has positive fruit notes.

  • FTO

    Fair Trade Organisations. This recognises organisations that are fair trade as opposed to individual products.

  • Full City Roast

    A type of coffee roast, medium dark brown. The coffee has completed the first crack, and just before the beginning of second crack. A full city roast occurs roughly between 218 degrees and 223 degrees Celsius. 

  • Full City+ Roast

    A type of coffee roast, slightly darker than a Full City Roast. The coffee has completed the first crack and the first few snaps of the second crack.

  • Galão

    A beverage with the ratio 1:3 espresso to steamed milk, popular in Portugal.

  • GAP

    See Good Agricultural Practice.

  • GCA

    See Green Coffee Association.

  • Geisha

    See Gesha.

  • General Purpose Container

    A shipping container that is suitable for the carriage of all types of general cargo.

  • Genetic Diversity

    The variety of genes within a species. With genetic diversity, it is likely that some individuals in a population will possess variations of alleles that are better suited for the new environment. Those individuals are more likely to survive to produce offspring bearing that allele.

  • Genetic Drift

    A mechanism of evolution referring to the statistical drift over time of gene frequencies in a population due to random fluctuations in the formation of successive generations.

  • Genetic Markers

    A DNA sequence with known location on chromosomes, which can be associated with specific traits and used to identify individuals or species. Scientists measure the amount of diversity between organisms using the placement of and the distance between these markers.

  • Genetic Selection

    When an organism is exposed to an environmental condition in which it can only survive if it carries a specific gene or genetic element. This gives rise to a selection of a population based upon that genetic advantage.

  • Genetic Variation

    The variation in genes between populations, species, or larger units, such as ecosystems and other geographic and political boundaries.

  • Genome

    An organism’s complete set of genes or genetic material. It is the set of chromosomes in a gamete or each cell of a multicellular organism.

  • Genotype Frequency

    The number of a specific genotype in a population.

  • Geographic Information System

    A computer system for capturing, storing, manipulating, analysing, managing and presenting geographical data.

  • George Howell

    One of the pioneers of the specialty coffee movement in the US in the 1970s, and a founder of the Cup of Excellence.

  • Germplasm

    Plant germplasm is the living tissue from which new plants can be grown. This is usually a seed or can be another part of the plant (e.g. stem, leaf, or pollen) that can be grown into the whole plant.

  • Gesha

    A rare Ethiopian variety of Coffea Arabica named after a town in western Ethiopia, Gesha, where it is thought to have originated.  It is sought after by coffee connoisseurs for its unique cup profile and highly complex and intense flavour profile. Originally brought from Ethiopia to Costa Rica, Gesha then made its way to Panama where it was made famous by the Paterson Family of Hacienda Esmeralda. The trees of the Gesha are tall and have elongated leaves. The cherries and beans are also more elongated than other varieties and top quality Gesha is mainly achieved at high elevations.

  • GHG

    See Greenhouse Gas.

  • Gibraltar

    Invented by Blue Bottle Coffee in San Francisco, the Gibraltar is a beverage with a double shot of espresso and a bit of milk. The name is said to come from the small tumbler that it was originally served in, which had the name ‘Gibraltar’ stamped on the bottom.

  • Gino Dripper

    This ‘pour over’ style dripper comprises of double-walled glass to insulate and retain warmth.

  • GIS

    See Geographic Information System.

  • Global Positioning System

    A satellite-based navigation system which can be used to determine ground position and velocity.

  • Good Agricultural Practice (GAP)

    Specific methods which when applied to agriculture, create food for consumers or further processing that is safe. The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) uses GAP as principles to apply to production and processing in agriculture that takes into account economic, social and environmental sustainability.

  • GP

    See General Purpose Container.

  • GPS

    See Global Positioning System.

  • Grassy

    The flavor and aroma descriptor referring to the herby, or herbal characteristic of a sour tasting or under-roasted coffee.

  • Green Coffee

    Unroasted coffee.

  • Green Coffee Association (GCA)

    Established in 1923 in the US, this trade association provides resources for individuals and companies dealing with the export, transport, storage, insuring, financing, importing, trading and/or roasting of green coffee.

  • Greenhouse Gas

    The term given to gases that contribute to the ‘greenhouse effect’ by absorbing infrared radiation and radiating heat into the atmosphere.  Examples include carbon dioxide and methane, and emission of these gases is the cause of more rapid climate change.

  • Group, Delivery Group, Brew Head

    The fixture protruding from the front of most espresso machines into which the portafilter and filter clamp are placed.

  • Growing Coffee Seeds in Nursery beds

    Once pre-germinated the coffee seedlings are planted in nursery beds which contain rotted cattle manure and phosphate fertiliser. Nursery beds should be built 1 meter wide and 50cm deep with seedlings spaced between 12-15cm, or 20cm apart for 30-40cm tall plants. The nursery beds are 50% shaded for the first couple of months, then slowly reduced, and completely removed for the last two months just before the seedlings are planted out.

  • Growing Coffee Seeds in Polybags

    Polybags are commonly used for propagation by filling with a mixture of topsoil, rotted cattle manure, course sand, gravel, coffee pulp and coffee husks. Another popular mixture of three parts top soil to one part course sand and one part cattle manure is also often used.

  • Guillermo

    Grab a couple slices of lime, and pour an espresso over them. Boom. Once brewed, you can have it all ways. Milk, black, hot, cold.

  • HACCP Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point

    HACCP is a management system used to identify and manage food safety hazards.

  • Half and half

    A dairy product consisting of equal parts light cream and milk. With a fat content of between 10.5 percent and 12 percent, half and half falls between light cream, which contains anywhere from 16 percent to 29 percent butterfat, and whole milk, which has about 3.5 percent butterfat. Half and half is the equivalent of what's known as "half cream" in the U.K.

  • Hand sorting

    Hand sorting is a final process that’s usually done at the mill before the coffee is bagged and labelled for export. Hand sorting removes any defective, small, discoloured and/or broken beans that weren’t caught by the colour sorter. Hand sorting the coffee beans is a crucial step for controlling the quality of the final cup.

  • Haploid

    A cell of an organism with a single set of unpaired chromosomes.

  • Hard Bean

    The term often used to describe coffees grown at relatively high altitudes; in the same context, coffees grown at lower altitudes are often designated Soft Bean. The higher altitudes and lower temperatures produce a slower maturing fruit and a harder, less porous bean. Hard bean coffees usually make a more acidy and more flavourful cup than do soft bean coffees, although there are many exceptions to this generalisation. The hard bean/soft bean distinction is used most frequently in evaluating coffees of Central America, where it figures in grade descriptions.

  • Harrar

    Harrar is a city in eastern Ethiopia and as early as the 16th century it was well known for its coffee. Ethiopian Harrar also refers to the coffee varietal used to produce coffee in the Harrar region. One of the oldest coffee varietals still used to make coffee today, the beans from this coffee plant are yellow-green in colour.

  • Harsh

    A disagreeable, pungent aroma and flavour that’s often found in the final cup of a Robusta coffee.

  • Herbal

    This flavour characteristic is typical of coffees that haven’t been completely dried to the usual 10-12% moisture content during processing.  This type of aroma is also called grassy, green or herby.

  • Herbarium

    A collection of preserved and labelled plant specimens for use in science. The term can also refer to the collection, place, or institution where the collection is stored.

  • Heterozygosity

    Having multiple and / or differing alleles at same gene loci. This term can also be referring to a population level of genetic diversity.

  • Hibrido de Timor

    A spontaneous cross of C. Canephora (Robusta) and C. Arabica Typica that naturally occurred on the island of Timor. These types of hybrids likely originated from a single Robusta parent plant. They became very popular in Timor in the 1950’s due to the plants quick growth and natural resistance to leaf rust. In 1978 these hybrids were collected in Timor and planted on the islands of Sumatra and Flores. Since then changes and mutations have occurred, including being used in breeding programs to introduce the rust resistance into new varieties, such as Catimor, Sarchimor, and Colombia.

  • High-Grown

    Arabica coffees grown at altitudes over 3,000 feet and higher. These coffees are generally superior to coffees grown at lower altitudes.

  • Homologous Chromosomes

    A pair of chromosomes that contain both a paternal and maternal copy, one from each parent.  These copies have the same genes in the same loci as one another. This allows the chromosomes to pair correctly before separating during mitosis.

  • Honey

    A honey-like sweetness in the final cup is a positive flavour.  Honey can also sometimes refer to a pulp natural coffee, Miel.

  • Hulling

    A step at the dry mill when the green bean is removed from its parchment shell.

  • Hybrid

    The process of forming a hybrid is created by cross-pollination of plants of different types. A genetic hybrid carries two different alleles of the same gene.

  • Ibrik

    Made from copper or brass and lined with tin, this pot is used for making Turkish coffee.

  • ICA International Coffee Agreement

    An agreement between coffee producing countries and consuming countries.

  • ICE Intercontinental Exchange (New York)

    ICE is a global network of exchanges and clearing houses for financial and commodity markets.

  • ICO International Coffee Organisation

    This organisation was initiated in collaboration with the United Nations in 1963. It was designed to enhance the cooperation between the nations that consume, distribute and produce coffee.

  • ICS Internal Control System (organic)

    Founded in the US in 1979, this company specialises in organic, gluten-free and related certification services.

  • IFOAM International Federation of Organic Agriculture

    Formed in 1972 IFOAM, the only international umbrella organisation of the organic world.

  • IHCAFE 90

    A variety of Catimor grown in Honduras, which began in the 1980s.

  • Import Licensing

    Administrative procedures that require the presentation of an application or other documentation (other than those required for purposes of customs) to the appropriate administrative organ as a prior condition for the import of goods (It refers here to the Colombian Licencias Previas.)

  • In-quota tariff

    The tariff applied on imports within a quota.

  • Inbred

    An organism that is the result of generations of inbreeding.

  • Inbreeding

    Repeated cross-pollination, mating or self-fertilisation between closely related organisms.

  • Inbreeding Depression

    A reduced fitness in a population due to the breeding of related individuals.

  • Indigenous

    A species that is native to a given region only if the species presence in that region is not a result of human intervention.

  • Instant Coffee

    Coffee gets roasted, then gets brewed, then filtered. From there it’s either freeze dried, or spray dried, and packaged as a crystallised product. Once water is added it is rehydrated back to the delicious beverage we all know and love…sorta.

  • Interspecific

    Between different species.

  • Intraspecific

    Within the same species.

  • IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

    Created in 1988 by the World Meteorological organisation and the United Nations Environment Program.  It was set up to prepare any available scientific information, assessments on all aspects of climate change and its impacts with a view of formulating a realistic strategy for a positive change.

  • ISO International Organization for Standardization

    This organisation was founded in 1947 to promote worldwide proprietary, industrial and commercial standards. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, it is run by an international standard body which is made up of representatives from various national standard organisations.

  • Italian Roast

    A coffee roasting profile that is a very dark brown, almost black.

  • ITC International Trade Centre

    Established in 1964 “for the purpose of assisting the export promotion efforts of developing countries” by providing them “with information on export markets and marketing, and to help them develop their export promotion services and train the personnel needed for these services.”

  • Jasmine

    A positive floral aroma that’s very delicate. Mostly found in lighter roasted coffees.

  • Java

    A Typica that is suspected to be the progeny of coffee introduced from Yemen to Java. These plants were first brought to the neighbouring islands, Timor and then later to East Africa, which is where it was released for cultivation in 1980. Since then it has been introduced in Central America by CIRAD to Promecafe.  Java has bronze coloured young leaves and produces elongated fruits. Its considered to have a good cup quality.

  • Jember

    More commonly known as S795. This coffee variety was developed by Indian breeders from a mixture of varieties including Kent in the 1940’s. Named after the town where the Indonesian Coffee and Cacao Research Institute (ICCRI) was situated when they introduced it to the coffee farmers of Indonesia. Now S795 is widely grown in India, Indonesia, and Myanmar. It originally exhibited resistance to coffee leaf rust but over time that resistance has diminished.

  • Kent

    A Typica selection that’s likely to have arisen on or from the coffee bred on the Kent Estate in India. It’s been planted in India since the 1930’s and has spread to Kenya. Its shown some resistance to coffee leaf rust and is known for its good productivity.

  • Ketones

    Ketones are an important carbonyl compound that contributes to over 20% of all coffee aromatics. They are formed from the carbohydrates during the roasting process, which result in flavour and aromas that range from buttery, caramel, floral, vanilla, leather etc.

  • Kopi Luwak

    Coffee from Sumatra, Indonesia, distinguished not by origin, but by the uniquely intimate way it is processed. A mammal called a luwak, or civet, eats ripe coffee cherries, digests the fruit, and excretes the seeds, after which the seeds or beans are gathered from its dry droppings. Kopi luwak is one of the most expensive coffees in the world owing to obvious limitations on its production. Authorities differ on how much of the kopi luwak that arrives at coffee dealers is authentic and how much is ordinary coffee that has been "treated" in luwak manure, but samples certainly look authentic, smell authentic, and are pleasantly earthy, sweet and full in the cup.

  • L/C Letter of credit

    A document issued by a financial institution assuring that a seller will receive payment up to the amount of the letter of credit, as long as certain documentary delivery conditions have been met.

  • Landrace

    A local variety of a cultivated plant species which has had the chance to develop largely by natural processes by adapting to the natural environment in which it lives. This results in the species being named from the geographic region they are confined to.

  • Latte /Caffè Latte

    Latte means milk in Italian. This is a larger and weaker drink than the Flat White or Cappuccino due to a high milk to coffee ratio. Traditionally this is only consumed in the morning, but hey, question everything.

  • Leathery

    This is a flavour and aroma descriptor that’s not always the sign of a defect. It does describe an intense quality of a coffee, and it’s a good sign in some coffees - for example it’s a positive in a coffee from Yemen.

  • Level of Tariff Restitution

    Maximum percentage or amount to which a tariff can be increased as a consequence of the imposition of a quantity or price safeguard measure, after having being reduced by virtue of a tariff reduction or elimination program.

  • Liveliness

    A great word used to describe acidity in coffee.

  • Long Black

    A long black is made by pouring a double shot of espresso onto water that is 92degrees into a 147ml/5oz tulip cup.

  • Lot

    Lots can be created to distinguish one area of a farm, hill side, a days’ pickings, or even a processing method. By using lot numbers we can differentiate between coffees so that we can have a greater understanding of a farm and coffees.

  • Macchiato

    Either a serving of espresso "stained" or marked with a small quantity of hot frothed milk (espresso macchiato), or a moderately tall (about eight ounces) glass of hot frothed milk "stained" with espresso (latte macchiato). In North America, the term macchiato is more likely to describe the former (espresso stained with milk) than the latter (milk stained with espresso).

  • Macchinetta, Flip-Drip, Neapolitan Macchinetta

    A style of drip method brewing in which the ground coffee is secured in a two-sided strainer at the waist of the pot between two closed compartments. The brewing water is heated in one compartment, then the pot is flipped over, and the hot water drips through the coffee into the opposite compartment.

  • Machine Drying

    Coffee must be dried, either directly after picking (in the dry method) or after fruit removal (in the wet method). Sun drying is often replaced or supplemented by drying with machines, either in large rotating drums or in cascading silos. Machine drying can be superior or inferior to sun drying in terms of promoting cup quality, depending on weather conditions, drying temperature, and other factors.

  • Maillard reaction

    A chemical reaction that happens between amino acid and reducing sugars that gives food their brown colouring. A French chemist Louis-Camille Maillard first described it in 1912 while producing a biological protein synthesis.

  • Malic acid

    It’s an acid (of many) that adds to the favourable perception of quality in the cup.

  • Malty

    Grain like aromas and flavours.

  • Maragogipe

    Also known as the Elephant bean, this variety of Arabica is distinguished by extremely large beans. It first came about in Brazil and has since been planted in Mexico and Central America.

  • Maragogype

    A mutant of Typica first detected in Brazil in 1870. Its characteristics are large cherries, long slightly twisted seeds, long internodes, large leaves and a relatively lower yield.

  • Marocchino

    A very small beverage with the ratio 1:1 ristretto to steamed milk, with cocoa powder, dusted on top. More common in Italy.

  • Mature Coffee

    Coffee held in warehouses for two to three years. Mature coffee has been held longer than old crop coffee, but not as long as aged or vintage coffee.

  • Mazagran

    A beverage of espresso, water, ice cubes and lemon juice.

  • Mechanical Demucilaging

    Also known as aquapulp, this variation of the wet method is a short cut approach which removes the sticky fruit residue from the beans by machine scrubbing rather than by fermenting and washing. This method cuts down on water use and pollution, but by eliminating the fermentation step the taste palate of the coffee is limited.

  • Mellow

    When a coffee tastes balanced and mild and with no strong tastes or aftertastes.

  • Micro-Lot

    This term is used to describe not only a small volume of coffee, but also a lot that has been produced separately, or even processed to have a special character.

  • Middle Eastern Coffee, Turkish Coffee

    Coffee ground to a powder, sweetened (usually), brought to a boil and served grounds and all.

  • Mild

    A trade term for high-quality arabica coffees. Often contrasted with hard, or inferior, coffees.

  • Milling

    Mechanical removal of the dry parchment skin from wet-processed coffee beans, or the entire dried fruit husk from dry-processed beans.

  • Mocha/Mokka

    It’s thought that this was named after the Port of Mocha in Yemen where it was once grown. Later brought to Reunion Island (Bourbon), with its dwarf stature and similarity to Bourbon, it is thought to be a dwarf mutation of Bourbon.

  • Model Plant

    A plant species used as a study example to understand particular biological phenomena, with the understanding that the discoveries made in the plant model will provide insight into the workings of other organisms.

  • Monsooned Coffee, Monsooned Malabar

    Dry-processed single-origin coffee from South India deliberately exposed to monsoon winds in open warehouses, with the aim of increasing body and reducing acidity.

  • Morphology

    The structure of an organism or its parts, which includes aspects of the outward appearance such as structure, shape, colour or pattern, also the form and structure of the internal parts like cells.

  • Mouldy

    Unroasted coffee can develop mould at many stages in its processing.  Dry processed coffees are particularly susceptible. Mouldy is also a word used when describing the flavour of ‘musty’ coffees during cupping.

  • Mouth-feel

    Used to describe how a coffee feels in the mouth or its texture: the tactile sensation in the mouth.

  • Mucilage

    The ‘fruity layer’ of the coffee cherry between the outer skin and the parchment layer around the seed.

  • Mundo Novo

    In Brazil during the 1940’s this cultivar was selected from a natural cross of Sumatra and Red Bourbon by the Instistut Agronomic de Campinas (IAC). It is susceptible to main pests and diseases, but has a standard quality and good productivity and hardness.

  • Muscovado sugar

    A really dark brown sugar that’s stickier then the average soft brown sugar but unlike brown sugar. Created by adding molasses to white sugar its flavour and colour is from the sugarcane juice.  It is also a flavour profile that can be found in most pulped natural coffees. 

  • Mutation

    A change of sequences in one or more nucleotides in DNA at a particular locus in an organism. These changes can alter organisms’ traits to have a better or lesser chance of surviving, as well as reproducing relative to other members of its species.

  • Naked Portafilter

    A portafilter with no spouts so that the bottom is exposed. The spouts are often machined off.

  • Nations

     A large group of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent or history.

  • Natural Coffee, Dry-Processed Coffee, Dry Method Coffee

    Coffee that’s been processed by removing the fruit after it has been dried (i.e. the cherries are dried intact with the coffee beans inside). The coffee cherry and mucilage impact the flavour profile of the bean through the sugars and alcohols present in the fruit. When drying is complete dry processed coffee can be complex, fruity, and deeply-dimensioned. However, the cup profiles of naturally processed coffees can be inconsistent. This method is the original manner in which coffee was processed, and is in contrast to the wet processed/washed method. The best and most celebrated natural coffees are Yemen coffees, the Harrar coffees of Ethiopia, and the finest traditional Brazil coffees.

  • Natural Selection

    Survival and reproduction in nature that favours individuals that are better adapted to their environment. This leads to an elimination of the lesser fit organisms.

  • NCA The National Coffee Association

    The NCA was founded in 1911 and is one of the oldest trade associations formed in the country. It provides market research, consumer information and lobbying for the coffee industry.

  • NCSE New York Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa Exchange

    Founded in 1882 as the Coffee Exchange in the City of New York.  In 1914 Sugar Futures was added, and then in 1979 they merged with the New York Cocoa Exchange to form the CSCE.

  • Nematodes

    All Arabica coffee varietals are susceptible to nematodes, which are among the most harmful coffee diseases and pests. Some of the most common species of the root-known coffee nematodes are: Meloidogyne exigua, M. incognita, M. coffeicola, Pratylenchus brachyurus and P. coffeae.

  • New Crop

    Coffee delivered for roasting soon after harvesting and processing. Coffees are at their brightest (or rawest) and most acidy in this state. Also see Old Crop.

  • NGO

    Non-governmental organisation.

  • Non-pressurised coffee

    In contrast to espresso which is produced under pressure, non-pressurised coffee is produced by adding non-pressurised water to coffee.

  • Nutty

    The aroma and flavor of fresh nuts in the final cup. We try to avoid using this flavour and aroma descriptor as it’s a sign of a defect called a quaker. It is however, a positive characteristic in South American coffee.

  • Old Arabicas

    Botanical varieties or cultivars of the Coffea arabica species that were developed by selection relatively early in the history of coffee, such as var. bourbon and var. typica, as opposed to hybrid varieties that have been developed more recently in deliberate efforts to increase disease resistance and production. Many experts contend that the modern varieties of Coffea arabica produce coffee that is inferior in cup quality and interest to the coffee produced by the more traditional old arabica varieties.

  • Old Crop

    Coffee that has been held in warehouses before shipping. Old crop differs from aged or vintage and mature coffees in two ways: First, it has not been held for as long a period, and second, it may not have been handled with as much deliberateness. Depending on the characteristics of the original coffee and the quality of the handling, old crop may or may not be considered superior in cup characteristics to a new crop version of the same coffee. See also New Crop.

  • Open-Pot Method

    Brewing method in which the ground coffee is steeped (not boiled) in an open pot, and separated from the brewed coffee by settling or straining.

  • Ora Azteca

    With a similar rust resistance to most Catimor but a much better quality in the cup, this dwarf Catimor was selected by INIFAP in Mexico. It was released in 1996-97 and is protected by Plant Breeder Rights.

  • Organic Coffee, Certified Organic Coffee

    Coffee that has been certified by a third-party agency as having been grown and processed without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or similar chemicals.

  • Pacamara

    This one’s a cross between Maragogupe and Pacas which was developed in El Salvador. Released in 1984 but genetically unstable with up to 12% of all plants reverting to Pacas. Known to be susceptible to all main diseases and pests.

  • Pacas

    Discovered in 1949 in the Santa Ana region of El Salvador, this dwarf mutation of Bourbon excels at higher elevations and produces good yields. It was used as one parent in the cross that created the Pacamara cultivar in El Salvador. It is known to be susceptible to all of the main diseases and pests.

  • Panama

    Coffee from Panama didn’t have the best reputation in the past but in recent years has been attracting global attention for producing some of the best lots of the Gesha cultivar. The Gesha produced in some of the smaller coffee estates has gained a lot of attention for its very unique floral characters in the cup.

  • Papilla

    Projections that are mushroom-like on the tongue that contain tastebuds. These perceive the basic flavours, salt, sweet, bitter and sour, as well as textures.

  • Parchment Coffee, In Parchment, En Pergamino

    Describes wet-processed or washed coffee with the dried parchment skin still adhering to the bean. The parchment is removed prior to shipping and roasting, in a step called milling.

  • Parchment, Pergamino

    A final thin, crumbly skin covering wet-processed coffee beans after the coffee berries have been skinned, the pulp removed, and the beans dried.

  • Past crop

    See old crop.

  • Patio Drying

    Drying coffee directly after picking (in the dry-processed method), or after fruit removal (in the wet-processed method), by exposing it to the heat of the sun by spreading and raking in thin layers on open patios. A more traditional alternative to machine drying.

  • Peaberry, Caracol

    A small, round bean formed when only one seed, rather than the usual two, develops at the heart of the coffee fruit. Peaberry beans are often separated from normal beans and sold as a distinct grade of a given coffee. We cannot define with certainty any broad flavour characteristics that are different in all peaberry coffees versus their fully-formed siblings.

  • Percolation

    Technically, any method of coffee brewing in which hot water percolates, or filters down through, a bed of ground coffee. The pumping percolator utilizes the power of boiling water to force water up a tube and over a bed of ground coffee.

  • Pharisaer

    Hailing from Germany, this is a beverage consisting of ¼ cup of filter coffee, 2 shots of rum, 1 cube of sugar, and whipped cream on top.

  • Phenol

    A defect in coffee that presents itself as a pungent bitterness, with some similarities in aroma to turpentine.

  • Phenotype

    An observable trait that manifest from an organism’s genotype.

  • Phenotypic Plasticity

    When a single genotype has the capacity to exhibit variable phenotypes when it’s exposed to many different environments or conditions.

  • Piccolo

    This beverage with the ratio 1:3 or 1:4 espresso to milk is a ristretto shot of espresso topped with silky milk, served in a 100ml/3oz glass. Known as a ‘latte with the tide out’ in Australia, while in Spain it’s a Cataldo.

  • Piquant Acidity

    A sweet, zesty or spicy acidity.

  • Piston Machine

    An espresso machine using a lever-operated piston to force brewing water at high pressure through the compacted bed of ground coffee.

  • Plunger Pot, French Press

    Brewing method that separates spent grounds from brewed coffee by pressing them to the bottom of the brewing receptacle with a mesh plunger.

  • Polishing

    An optional procedure at the end of coffee processing and milling in which the dried, shipment-ready beans are subjected to polishing by friction to remove the innermost, or silverskin, to improve their appearance. Polishing does nothing to help flavour and may even hurt it by heating the beans, hence most specialty coffee buyers do not encourage the practice.

  • Polyploidy

    Organisms that contain more than two haploid sets of chromosomes. Their chromosome number is a multiple greater than the content of diploid cells.  Also known as a heritable condition and quite common among plants.

  • Population

    A group of organisms that are of the same species living within a restricted geographical area so that any member can potentially mate with any other member.

  • Portafilter, Filter Holder

    Used in espresso brewing, a metal object often with a plastic or wooden handle that holds the coffee filter (basket) and clamps onto the group.

  • Potato defect

    The name for a cup taint characterised by a very strong smell of raw potato, most clearly detected when assessing the fragrance of dry ground coffee. Most commonly found in Rwanda and Burundi, this taint or defect is caused by bacteria.

  • Pre-infusion

    When a small amount of water is poured into the coffee grounds so that the coffee grounds are left to expand or bloom.

  • Preferential Clause

    Regulation in an agreement by which a country or group of countries concede special treatment to another country or group of countries.

  • Price or Quantity Safeguard

    A measure that may be imposed to temporarily protect domestic production of a certain good from imports: These measures may be triggered by a change in price or quantity. They may have the nature of a tariff or be of a quantitative type.

  • Price Safeguard Trigger Level

    Price of a good at which any further decrease permits the application of a safeguard measure.

  • Processing

    A broad term capturing the transitional processes that take coffee cherries through to green beans.

  • Protein

    A large molecule that consists of a chain of molecules which are called amino acids. The DNA thus determining a proteins specific function in the cells or organisms codes a sequence of amino acids and the molecule’s three-dimensional structure.

  • PTBF

    Price to be fixed.

  • Pulped Natural

    This is a processing method that consists of pulping a coffee but emitting the fermentation stage to remove the silverskin. This results in a beverage that is often sweeter than wet-processed coffees, but also has some of the body of a dry-processed coffee. This style of processing can only occur in countries where the humidity is low, so that the coffee covered in the sweet mucilage can be dried rapidly without fermenting. Brazil produces some of the best pulped natural coffees in the world and have made this processing method famous.

  • Pulping

    Process of removing the outermost skin of the coffee cherry or fruit.  See Wet-Processed Coffee.

  • Pulpy

    This can refer to either flavour or mouthfeel of the coffee in the final cup.

  • Pump Machine

    An espresso machine that uses a pump to force brewing water at high pressure through the compacted bed of ground coffee.

  • Pungent

    This term is used when describing aggressive, intense aroma or flavour.

  • Pure Line

    A line of plants that have been selected and are bred, then evaluated over time until a uniformed breed is established. The lines are relatively similar genetically and can be planted from seed with the assurance that they will grow to have a specific set of traits.

  • Pyrolysis

    The chemical breakdown during roasting of fats and carbohydrates, into the delicate oils that provide the aroma and most of the flavour of coffee.

  • Quakers

    Defective coffee beans that fail to roast properly, remaining stubbornly light-coloured.

  • Quantity Safeguard Trigger Level

    The volume of imports of a good at which any further increase permits the application of a safeguard measure.

  • Quinic Acid

    Its implicated in the perceived acidity of coffee.

  • Quota

    Quota or quantity of imports, in units or in value, that is subject to some kind of special treatment, normally with regard to tariffs.

  • Re-passed

    Also known as raisins, these coffee cherries are floaters and are usually discarded with the rest of the floaters.  The cherries float because they have dried for too long on the tree before being collected, allowing the bean to interact with the mucilage for a longer amount of time. They are removed from the rest of the floaters using a barrel system developed by Eduardo Sampio in Brazil, then are re-passed and pulped after which they can either be washed or used as pulped naturals. The availability of re-passed coffees are very limited since it is mainly experimental at this time.

  • Recessive

    This describes the relationship between different variants of a gene. If the alleles are different the dominant allele will be expressed, while the expression of the other recessive allele is masked.

  • Red Eye

    A beverage with the ratio 2:1 filter coffee to espresso, this style of coffee is more common in the USA.

  • Richness

    A satisfying fullness in flavour, body, or acidity.

  • Ristretto

    This is a very short shot of a double espresso, often utilising a finer grind and slower extraction than the espresso or doppio styles.

  • Roast Defect

    When something goes wrong during the roasting profile resulting in “off” flavours in the cup!

  • Roasting

    The application of heat to green coffee beans.

  • Robusta, Coffea Canephora

    Currently the only significant competitor among cultivated coffee species to Coffea Arabica, Robusta produces about 30% of the world's coffee. A lower-growing, higher-bearing tree that produces full-bodied, but bland coffee of inferior cup quality and higher caffeine content than Coffea Arabica. It is used as a basis for blends of instant coffee, and for less expensive blends of pre-ground commercial coffee. It is not a factor in the specialty coffee trade except as a body-enhancing component in some Italian-style espresso blends. See also Coffea Arabica.

  • Romano

    More common in Italy, an Espresso with a slice of lemon in it. Might be worth a try!

  • Round

    This refers to the mouth-feel of a coffee. If the coffee tastes full and complete, then it is considered ‘round’.

  • Rubbery

    A taste fault that gives the coffee a very pronounced burnt rubbery flavour.

  • Ruiru 11

    A dwarf hybrid cultivar that was produced by hand pollination as a result of a breeding program in Kenya from 1970 until the late 1980’s. It is a cross between multiple coffee berry disease resistant varieties and a Catimor.

  • Rust Fungus

    This disease kills the fruit production and then the plant. It’s also known as La Roya in South America.

  • Salty

    One of the four basic tastes. 

  • Sarchirnor

    Sarchinor originated from a group of pure-line varieties from a cross between Villa Sarchi and Hibrido de Timor. The Sarchimor lines, for example the IAPAR 59 Tupi or Obata, show good resistance to coffee leaf rust, and for some lines, resistance to coffee berry disease. Not always known for its high cup quality.

  • SAS

    Subject to approval of sample.

  • SCAA, Specialty Coffee Association of America

    An important and influential association of specialty coffee roasters, wholesalers, retailers, importers and growers, headquartered in Long Beach, California. It was established in 1982 with the intention to create a common forum where issues could be discussed and quality standards could be set amongst coffee professionals. The SCAA is now the worlds largest coffee trade association.

  • Self-Contained Negotiation

    Negotiation characterised by an equivalence of concessions.

  • Semi-Dry-Processed Coffee, Pulped Natural Coffee, Semi-Wet-Processed Coffee

    Coffee prepared by removing the outer skin of the coffee fruit (a process called pulping) and drying the skinned coffee with the sticky mucilage and the inner skins (parchment and silverskin) still adhering to the bean. This processing method, situated between the dry method and the wet method, has no consensus name. It is one of three processing methods practised in Brazil and is used sporadically on a small scale by farmers in Sumatra and Sulawesi, Indonesia.

  • Shade Grown

    Describes coffee grown under a shade canopy.

  • Shakerato

    This is a more traditional iced coffee. Simplicity is the key here: espresso and ice cubes are put into a cocktail shaker and shaken.

  • Silky

    A mouth-feel and body descriptor used while cupping coffee that has a delicate smoothness to its texture.

  • Silverskin

    The thin, innermost skin of the coffee fruit. It clings to the dried coffee beans until it is removed, either by polishing or floats free during roasting and becomes what roasters call chaff.

  • Single-Estate Coffee, Estate-Grown Coffee

    These are coffees produced by a single farm, single mill, or single group of farms, and marketed without mixture with other coffees. Many specialty coffees are now identified by estate name, rather than the less specific regional or market name.

  • Single-Origin Coffee

    Unblended coffee from a single country, region, and crop.

  • SL28

    This tall variety was selected from Bourbon by Scott Labs in Kenya.  Reported to be an Ethiopian variety that was selected in Tanzania for its relative drought tolerance, its exact parentage isn’t widely known. However, it is considered by many to be a Bourbon-type variety. Producing a moderate yield while being susceptible to most main diseases and pests, it is known for its good cup quality’. It is most widely grown in Zimbabwe.

  • SL34

    Another tall variety also selected from Bourbon by Scott Labs in Kenya. It is not widely known what its exact parentage is, but it’s said that it was a simple Ethiopian selection, while others say that it is a mutation of Bourbon. Its known to be heartier and more resistant than SL28, and also shows higher productivity in drought and other extreme climate conditions. Known to have a lower cup quality than SL28 it is also one of the main varieties of Kenya.

  • Smokey Steve

    Steve Hall after the chaff fire of 2012 in the Hangar.

  • Solar Coffee Dryers

    This is a new method of drying coffee. More efficient than the patio drying technique due to their hotter drying temperatures, coffee beans dry at a faster rate. While solar coffee dryers have great potential for saving energy, they are yet to be widely used.

  • Sour

    A sour flavour (often confused with acidic flavour), can be very sharp and even unpleasant. Sometimes overripe or over fermented cherries can cause these sour flavours.

  • Sour Bean

    A physical coffee bean defect due to excess fermentation where bacteria or mould attacked the seed.

  • Species

    A species that consists of individuals, which have the ability to breed with each other resulting in producing a viable offspring.

  • Spicy

    This term is used when describing aromas of sweet spices such as cloves, allspice and cinnamon. However, it doesn’t include the aroma of savoury spices.

  • Steam wand

    An essential part of the espresso machine. Steam is used to texturize and heat the milk. The wand is the delivery system of steam, from the machine's boiler, into the milk.

  • Steampunk (Alpha Dominche Steampunk)

    A coffee and tea brewing machine that allows the user to set specific brew parameters for each cup including temperature, time, volume, and agitation cycles.

  • Stovetop maker

    Also known as a Moka pot, coffee is produced by passing hot water that’s pressurised by heating on the stove in an enclosed tank, up through ground coffee, through a filter, and into an upper chamber. Invented by Luigi De Ponti for Alfonso Bialetti, and first patented in 1933. Alfonso’s son Renato Bialetti passed away in 2016 at age 93. His ashes were placed in an urn that was a large replica of the famous brewing device. The unusual urn even featured the famous "Omino con i baffi" (meaning "The little man with moustache" in Italian) pictogram that had been printed on every pot.

  • Stripping

    The coffee beans are pulled from the tree and fall to the ground where they land on sheets. The beans are separated from the tree debris by tossing everything into the air, allowing the wind to carry away sticks and leaves, leaving only the beans.

  • Swiss Gold Filter

    A brand of reusable filter that produces a clean extraction with minimal coffee residue through the use of gold in the filter.

  • Swiss Water Process

    A decaffeination method that uses a water filtration system. 

  • SWP

    See Swiss Water Process.

  • Syphon

    Invented by Loeff of Berlin in the 1830’s and also known as a Vac pot, or Siphon coffee maker, this brewing method uses two chambers where vapor pressure and vacuums produce the coffee.

  • Tamper

    A tool for compacting ground coffee into a portafilter basket for espresso.

  • Tangy

    A flavour descriptor which describes a sharp effect; tangy bittersweet flavour, i.e. tangy apple.

  • Tannic

    Tannins are plant polyphenols that are found right across the flora world.

  • Tea-like

    A term used to describe coffees that are light, aromatic and have an astringent body.

  • Tekisic

    A selection of Bourbon that was developed in El Salvador and then planted in other Central American countries. It develops small fruits and seeds with a low productivity. 

  • Tetraploid

    An organism of cell that contains four sets of chromosomes.

  • Tinto

    Brewed coffee (i.e. not espresso based) in South America.

  • Tipping

    This refers to a roast error that is visible on the roasted coffee where the end/ends of the bean appear burnt. It can also be tasted in the cup as burnt or smoky flavours or a lack of sweetness.

  • Traditional/Wild Variety (also see Landrace):

    A local variety of a cultivated plant species, which has developed by naturally adapting to the environment in which it lives.

  • Trait

    A physical or behavioural characteristic of an organism determined by DNA, that is measureable.

  • Transgenic

    Organisms that have been altered by introducing DNA sequences from another species by artificial means.

  • Transition Period

    Duration of the period of tariff elimination for a product within the framework of a free trade agreement: If the term refers to the FTA as a whole, this will be the duration of the longest tariff elimination period of the Agreement.

  • Transparency

    This word has two meanings when referring to coffee. Firstly, transparency is a flavour character that’s identified with clarity, while secondly, it is a business ethics term, which implies that as much information as possible about a coffee is made available to the consumer.

  • Trigonelline

    A bittering compound that slowly reduces as the roast gets darker.

  • Turkish Coffee

    This traditional way of making coffee in Turkey requires the coffee beans to be ground to a very fine powder, sweetened, then brought to the boil before serving.

  • Typica

    This is a general name commonly used for tall varieties. Its predecessors were originally brought to Java from either Yemen or India via Yemen, and the plants most similar to what we today call Java were spread from Java in the early 1700’s. They produce cherries and beans that are large with bronze-tipped young leaves, and are known to have quite low productivity as well as being susceptible to all main pests and diseases. In Latin America typical varieties include Blue Mountain, Guatemala, Sumatra, Pache, Java and Kona Coffee.

  • U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission

    An independent agency of the United States government that regulates options and futures markets, including coffee. 

  • Umami

    This is a Japanese word that indicates savoury flavour and scent, and is considered by some as the 5th core flavour along with sour, bitter and sweet.

  • Under-developed

    When referring to roasting coffee, this term is associated with a roast that is to light.

  • V60

    The name V60 comes from the v-shaped 60-degree angle of the dripper. Made by a Japanese company, Hario, the V60 uses paper filters.

  • Variegated Coffee Bug

    This is a common name that along with Antestia refers to a genus of shield bug, Antestiopsis.  Antestia is also the name of the coffee bean defect that is caused by Antestiopsis. 

    The result of an Antestia infestation ranges from the coffee bean becoming slightly discoloured, to almost entirely black and shrivelled up, with the beans gaining a distinctive 'potato taste', which is thought to be caused indirectly by bacteria entering through wounds created by the insects, leading to an increase in the concentration of isopropyl methoxy pyrazine.

    Throughout history, Antestiopsis was controlled in Kenya using pyrethrum powder. The organophosphate fenthion has been used to control the pest in Burundi. Laboratory experiments have found the essential oils of Thymus vulgaris, Ruta chalepensis and Chenopodium ambrosioides cause around 90% mortality in Antestiopsis.

  • Variety

    A term used by plant breeders and in legal texts. It’s synonymous with cultivar and can have legal implications.

  • Velvety

    Mmmm - a mouth feel description that describes an elegant softness and a refined smoothness.

  • Vienna

    A doppio with whipped cream on top. As the name indicates, originating in Austria.

  • Vienna Roast

    The lightest ‘style’ of roasting and also known as ‘full city’ or ‘full flavour,’ with roasting finished just after the first crack.

  • Villa Sarchi

    Found in Costa Rica in 1957 this is a dwarf mutation of Bourbon.  Unfortunately it’s known to be susceptible to most pests and diseases.

  • Washed Coffee

    A relatively new method of removing the four layers surrounding the coffee bean. The flavours that result from this method are cleaner, brighter and fruitier.  Most countries with coffee valued for its perceived acidity will process their coffee using this process.

  • Washing station

    In some East African countries, a wet mill is called a washing station.

  • Wet Mill

    This is the first stage of the transformation process from coffee cherries to dried green coffee. The wet mill utilises water to process and transport the coffee. Happily, the newer wet mills use a lot less water which is better for the environment.

  • Wet-Processed Coffee

    See Washed Coffee.

  • Wiener Melange

    A beverage made of black coffee, an egg yolk, 2 Tbsp. of brown sugar, and whipped cream.

  • Winey

    No this isn’t a flavour descriptor that we use when describing a sour or over fermented flavour, rather it is used when describing a combined sensation of smell, taste, and the mouth-feel experience similar to that when drinking wine.

  • Yellow Bourbon

    This is a sub-type where the fruit ripens to a yellow colour. It’s mainly found in Brazil where it was first grown.

  • Yuanyang

    A beverage from Hong Kong made of coffee, tea, and condensed milk.

  • Zesty

    The flavour, or mouth-feel descriptor that describes the acidity in the final cup.

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