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River Blend Coffee Glossary A-Z All You'll Need




A

  • Acid - A sour or tart flavor in coffee.

  • Affogato - A scoop of ice cream topped with a shot of espresso.

  • Americano - An espresso diluted with hot water.

  • Arabica - The most popular type of coffee bean.

  • Aroma - The smell of coffee.

B

  • Barista - A person who prepares coffee drinks.

  • Bean - The seed of the coffee cherry.

  • Bitter - Bitterness in coffee is a characteristic of the flavor which is harsh and not sweet, for example: dark roasts are made intentionally to give a bitter taste.

  • Bloom - The process of pouring a small amount of water to the coffee grounds to prepare the process of extraction saturating and degassing the grounds.

  • Body - The weight or texture of coffee.

  • Brewed coffee - Coffee that has been made by pouring hot water over ground coffee beans.

  • Brewing Ratio - It is expressed as the ratio of ground coffee mass to e=water mass used during extraction. It can be expressed with the European standard which is g/l (grams per liter/ e.g. 60g/l for pour-over coffee) or with the American standard 1:x(e.g. 1:16 it’s the same as 60g/l)

  • Brewing temperature - One of the most important parameters during the extraction phase is the water temperature. It substantially affects the organoleptic characteristics of the coffee cup. Usually, temperatures between 92 ° C and 98 ° C are preferred: low temperatures emphasize the acidity and the fruity scents, while higher temperatures mostly extract the chocolaty and toasted notes up to the bitter. It is possible to precisely control the water temperature by using electric boilers with temperature setting or special thermometers for traditional boilers.

  • Brewing time - It refers to the period of time in which the water comes in contact with the ground coffee, this is when the extraction happens.

  • Briny - Briny is a salty flavor caused by the excessive exposure of Coffee to heat.

C

  • Caffeine - A stimulant found in coffee beans.

  • Cappuccino - An espresso drink with steamed milk and foamed milk.

  • Chemex - A pour-over coffee maker.

  • Cherry - The coffee plant produces a fruit which is very similar to a cherry, and inside it contains the bean.

  • Clean - A term used to describe coffee with no defects in its flavor.

  • Coffee - A brewed drink made from roasted coffee beans.

  • Coffee berry borer - The berry borer is a beetle-like insect native to Africa which is causing a lot of problems to coffee farmers all over the world because it infests the cherries ruining the beans.

  • Coffee grinder - A machine that grinds coffee beans.

  • Coffee leaf rust – Coffee rust, or “la roya” in Spanish is a fungus that is affecting the coffee plantations in Central and South America, causing the plant to lose its leaves thus rendering the plant unable to produce fruits.

  • Coffee maker - A machine that makes coffee.

  • Coffee plant - A plant that produces coffee beans.

  • Coffee roasting - The process of roasting coffee beans.

  • Coffee shop - A place where coffee is sold and consumed.

  • Coffee tree - A tree that produces coffee beans.

  • Cold Brew Coffee - a type of coffee that instead of being brewed with hot water it is done with cold water at a very slow rate, this method can be drip or immersion. Cold brewed coffee is much less acidic and it is characterized by a particular flavor development. The cold infusion method exalts all the characteristics in the coffee, both positive and negative. This is why it is fundamental to use a high-quality coffee to make sure that the resulting cup is a great one.

  • Cold Drip Coffee - Cold Drip is an extraction method which consists of leaving cold water dripping over the grounds of the coffee at a slow rate for many hours, resulting in a brew with many different characteristics as those of hot water coffee extraction methods.

  • Cortado - Cortado literally means “cut” in Spanish, it was born in Argentina and has now become popular all over Latin America, Spain, and Portugal. It’s an espresso with a little dash of milk and can be also prepared with condensed milk.

  • Crema - The foam that rests on top of an espresso cup, its color ranges from golden to dark-tan.

  • Cup of excellence - Cup of excellence or (COE) A contest to decide which is the best coffee grown in a particular country. The COE uses the Specialty Coffee Association protocol to grade the coffee. Only coffees with a grade of 90/100 or higher can obtain this qualification.(Approximately 10% of specialty coffee)

  • Cupping - A method of tasting coffee.

  • Current Crop - A term indicating the harvest of the current year emphasizing the freshness of the product. Only these coffees are allowed for the Qualification of Specialty.

D

  • Dark roast - A type of coffee roast that is dark in color and has a strong flavor.

  • Decaffeinated coffee - Coffee that has had most of the caffeine removed.

  • Drip coffee - A type of coffee made by pouring hot water over ground coffee beans in a filter.

E

  • Earthy - A characteristic of some coffees who tend to taste like earth or soil, normally Indonesian coffees have this kind of flavor, but many others do so too.

  • Espresso - A strong, concentrated coffee made by forcing hot water through finely-ground coffee beans.

  • Espresso machine - A machine that makes espresso.

  • Extraction - The process of drawing the properties of ground coffee with hot or cold water.

F

  • Fairtrade - A program intended for the protection of the farmers that certifies that the coffee farmers had been paid a fair price for their coffee.

  • Fair trade coffee - Coffee that is certified by a fair trade organization.

  • Filter coffee - A type of coffee made by pouring hot water over ground coffee beans that are held in a filter.

  • Flat White - An espresso with a high quantity of steamed milk.

  • Flavor - The taste of coffee.

  • French press - A type of coffee maker that uses a plunger to press hot water through ground coffee beans.

G

  • Green coffee - Coffee beans that have not been roasted.

  • Grinding - The process of grinding coffee beans.

  • Grind size - In order to correctly extract all of the coffee flavors and the caffeine, coffee beans must be ground. The ground measure varies according to the brewing time and the extraction method and the utilized tools.

  • Ground coffee - Coffee beans that have been ground.

H

  • Habitat - The natural environment of a plant or animal.

  • Hand picking - A harvesting method which consists of selecting only the mature beans by hand, it guarantees a much higher quality. This is the only accepted method by the Specialty Coffee Association.

  • History of Coffee - Early evidence says that coffee was first discovered in Ethiopia and then exported to Yemen. If you want to know more you can read our blog post about the History of Coffee.

I

  • Immersion - As its name implies immersion is an extraction method which consists of immersing the coffee grounds in water and letting the water extract the flavors and aroma. One well-known immersion coffee maker is the French press, also there’s a cold brew immersion method.

K

  • Kopi Luwak - Also known as “World’s most expensive Coffee” is a type of Coffee made with the help of a little cat-like animal named Asian palm civet (Paradoxurus Hermaphroditus) native to southeast Asia. Coffee cherries are eaten and then excreting the partially digested beans, and theoretically, it makes the flavor of the coffee even better. Given the difficulty of finding the civet droppings in the wild, and having to collect them by hand the price is inflated so much that it has been renamed as the most expensive coffee. The problem with this coffee is that because of its high demand, some farmers started caging the animals and feeding them only coffee cherries thus restricting their diet and making them suffer in the process, that’s why many activists have called out companies that sell that coffee and asking the public to not consume this product.

L

  • Latte - An espresso drink with steamed milk and foamed milk.

  • Latte art - The art of creating designs on the surface of a latte.

  • Light roast - A type of coffee roast that is light in color and has a mild flavor.

  • Lungo - An espresso with a longer extraction time, it contains more water so its flavor is less strong than the regular espresso.

M

  • Macchiato - Macchiato means stained in Italy, it consists of a shot of espresso topped (stained) with a dab of foamed milk.

  • Medium roast - A type of coffee roast that is in between light and dark roasts.

  • Micro-lot - Artisanal coffee that comes from a single farm, regularly of a higher quality than the standard.

  • Milk - A dairy product that is used in coffee drinks.

  • Mocha - A chocolate-flavored coffee drink.

  • Moka -The traditional Italian home coffee maker, it was invented by Engineer Alfonso Bialetti in 1933, this classical coffee maker can be found in most Italian households and all over the world.

N

  • Natural/dry processing -It is a process in which the coffee cherries are left to dry under the sun before being pulped and de-hulled. The result is a very sweet coffee compared to the washed process.



O

  • Old Crop - A term indicating the harvest of the previous year. This coffee can still be roasted and consumed but its organoleptic profile will be much poorer than a Current Crop.

  • Organic coffee - Coffee that is grown and processed without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.

  • Over Extracted - Coffee that has been brewed for too long and has a bitter flavor.

P

  • Peaberry - A single coffee bean that is round in shape.

  • Pests - Animals that damage or destroy plants.

  • Portafilter -The filter basket and handle on an espresso machine.

  • Pour-over coffee -An extraction method invented in Germany by Melitta Bentz which consists of pouring water in a steady and slowly manner over a filter cone which contains the ground coffee.

  • Puck - The small black disk created when the coffee is compressed in the portafilter, it is called puck because it looks like a hockey puck.

Q

  • Q Grading - Q grading is the process of the coffee being analyzed by professionals called Q graders, whose job is to evaluate the coffee and in that way determine its quality and its market value.

R

  • Ristretto - Ristretto means restricted in Italian, it is an espresso pulled short, less water quantity, creating a super-concentrated shot of espresso. To be considered a ristretto it can have a maximum of 20 ml of drink.

  • Roast date - The roast date is used to keep an eye on the freshness of the beans, a rule of thumb is that roasted coffee lasts fresh for about 2-3 months, depending on the type of roast and the way it is stored, but if you want to be more precise you should ask your roaster directly how long it stays fresh.

  • Roast profile - A roast profile represents the effects of how the airflow and the heat are controlled during the roasting which determines how quickly the beans arrive at a roasting degree.

  • Roasting Degree - Roasting degree refers to how light or dark is the bean after the roasting process, there are many types of roasting such as first crack, city roast, full city, second crack, Vienna, French roast, charcoal, etc..

  • Roasting - The process of heating coffee beans to develop their flavor.

  • Roaster - A machine that roasts coffee beans.

  • Robusta - The second of the two main species of coffee, its scientific name is Coffea Canephora and it is characterized by having a smaller and rounder bean. Its organoleptic profile is less rich and complex compared to that of the Arabica. Usually, it is used in mixes intended for espresso because it gives a strong bitter note and a more consistent crema. It has a higher index of caffeine than arabica and because of this motive, it is usually not used for the filter coffee. From a botanical point of view, the Robusta plant is more studier and more productive than its similar Arabica.

S

  • Seasonal coffee - Coffee is an agricultural product with its own seasonality, that varies depending on the producing countries. A seasonal coffee refers to the small/medium production lots. Because its processes are less industrialized and normally a higher quality it means that these beans will not be available all year long. Seasonal coffee is different from commercial coffee because commercial coffee has such great volumes that it can be available all year long.

  • Semi-washed honey process - This style of processing the coffee which is a mix of the dry processing and the washed

  • Single Origin - A type of coffee which is not a blend, to be considered single origin it has to come from only one producing country, sometimes from a specific region or plantation

  • Siphon - A coffee maker that utilizes vacuum pressure and a series of containers for brewing the coffee.

  • Sourness - A tart or acidic flavor in coffee.

  • Specialty coffee - Coffee that is of high quality and has been produced with care.

  • Steeping - The process of allowing coffee grounds to soak in hot water.

  • Strip picking - A harvesting method which consists in stripping all the coffee cherries in a branch, usually also the leaves. In this way, the harvest is not homogeneous because alongside the mature cherries there will also be unripe and over mature cherries. This method is usually used for massive plantations with low quality. Strip picking can be done by hand or with mechanical devices made for this purpose.

T

  • Tasting - The process of evaluating the flavor of coffee.

  • Tamper - A device that is used to press the ground coffee into the coffee basket to prepare it for extraction.

  • Terroir - The geographic and environmental factors that affect the growth of coffee plants.

  • Trigonelline - Another natural alkaloid present in coffee, it is responsible for the diuretic properties of this drink.

U

  • Under Extracted - Coffee that has not been brewed for long enough and has a weak flavor.

V

  • V60 - V60 is Hario’s signature drip brewer, it is name comes from the 60-degree angle of the cone’s profile.

W

  • Water - The liquid that is used to make coffee.

  • Weight - The heaviness or density of coffee.

  • Wet/washed processing - This method involves using water through most of the steps of Coffee processing, and it is considered to be the best method to achieve high-quality coffees.

Y



  • Yeast - A fungus that is used in the fermentation process of coffee.

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