Coffee Words - What Does It All Mean?
Here at Coffee In My Face Ltd, we want to keep coffee simple and accessible.
Ultimately, there is no escaping jargon completely but by keeping this to a minimum, you can concentrate on the enjoyment of your brew without the confusion.
For all the coffee related words you will encounter on our site, here's a handy guide.
The sensation on your tongue when you taste your coffee.
Low / no acidity is referred to as a ‘dull’ cup.
High acidity is referred to as a ‘bright’ cup.
Most coffee beans come from either the Arabica or Robusta plant species. Arabica accounts for the largest majority of this and is generally of a higher quality with more complex tastes and flavours.
A brewing method which only takes minutes. Its very easy to use, is highly rated and portable.
See our handy guide.
The collective name for bitterness, acidity, and saltiness. Balance is achieved when these elements combine so no ‘one’ characteristic stands out.
A mixture of coffee beans brought together to achieve unique flavours.
Our blends use only high-quality roasts of Arabica and Robusta coffee beans.
The pockets of carbon dioxide being released in freshly ground and brewed coffee (looks like a foam on top).
The overpowering flavour of a roast. Usually associated with over roasted beans which have been taken to a darker level.
A stimulant found in coffee naturally, which leads to activeness in the brain.
The amount of caffeine present is dependent on many factors – the bean origin, the coffee species, the altitude it is grown at and your grounds coffee to water ratio.
Free from stimulant.
Our caffeine-free blend 'Brew-tiful & Caffeine Free' is made from 100% Arabica beans.
Also known as a French Press.
A coffee plunger brewing method where hot water is poured onto ground coffee. After steeping it is plunged with a metal filter to separate the grounds from the water, leaving brewed coffee behind.
See our handy guide.
Naturally occurring gas built up during the roasting process.
This needs time to dissipate from the roast before it is palatable. This is usually 7-14 days after roasting.
Large, fancy pants brewing vessel.
Manual - pour over brewer using thick filter papers.
What you know as coffee beans are the seeds of cherries.
The seeds are processed in various ways to produce various tastes.
Pre-filled, coffee bags which are used exactly as a ‘tea’ bag would be.
Our coffee bags are plastic free and biodegradable - so better for the environment.
Coffee, but cold.
Cold water and the fridge are used instead of hot water.
A technique used to quality test a coffee batch.
Each batch is scored out of 10 on its characteristics.
This includes balance, flavour, acidity, sweetness, and mouthfeel.
Green coffee beans go through a process to remove the caffeine before roasting.
The 'Swiss Water Technique' is a popular method for doing this.
The amount of ground coffee used for your brew.
Hot water is passed through a filter paper holding ground coffee.
Home coffee makers and V60 are examples of this.
Drip Coffee Bags
A modern, portable coffee filter filled with ground coffee.
It is attached to your cup via its cardboard 'ears' and hot water is added and allowed to ‘drip’ through.
Due diligence is carried out to ensure coffee producers are receiving fair and adequate prices for their crops.
Historically, farmers were severely underpaid for their beans which were sold on for huge profits which they didn't receive a cut of.
A strong shot of coffee using minimal water.
Highly concentrated and forms the basis for many coffee drinks.
The process of pulling the flavours from the coffee grounds.
Effected by the brewing method, grind size used, time taken to brew and water ratio.
Introduced to ensure farmers get a ‘fair price’ for their crop.
In reality, this is well under value for the effort and investment the farmers give to their beans.
Many speciality coffee buyers prefer to pay much higher prices at wholesale to reflect the quality of the beans. This enables a much better way of life for the farmers and their communities.
A strong coffee made with a double shot and warm steamed milk.
Flavour aromas come from the nose and tongue.
Hundreds of possible flavour attributes exist in coffee, with most being broken down to a handful of flavours.
These include florals, fruits, nuts and chocolate.
Green coffee has been harvested and processed, but it has not been roasted.
We offer medium, medium-fine and coarsely ground coffees.
Your grind requirement depends on the way you brew your coffee.
See our guide to grind sizes.
A dose of coffee at your required grind size.
Not involving actual honey.
The golden, sticky layer of mucilage that surrounds the coffee seed dries out in the sun, creating a sweet taste which some liken to honey.
Low quality coffee in the form of granules or powder which has been freeze dried or spray dried. It often contains chemicals.
A process of using the AeroPress upside down.
This is done to enhance the coffee contact with water in order to improve extraction.
An espresso with steamed milk on top, often served in a tall glass cup.
Another word for body.
How does the coffee feel in the taster’s mouth? E.g. light and crisp? Heavy?
The layer of fruity covering between the outer skin of the coffee cherry and the protective parchment covering the green bean.
This refers to the country / area that the coffee is grown and processed in.
The environment that the coffee is grown in has a distinct impact on the taste and quality of the coffee.
Taking the roast level of the beans past the point where their characteristics are identifiable beyond that of the roast.
Usually reserved to disguise sub-par beans.
Protective layer of ‘skin’ attached to the coffee bean.
An alternative to dairy.
Increasingly popular and expansive collection of milks obtained from plants. E.g oat milk, soy milk.
See our plant milk guide.
The method of removing the green bean from the coffee cherry.
There are several coffee processes including washed, natural and honey.
Each process has a different impact on the resulting coffee bean.
Further information can be found here.
Nutrient rich shell of the coffee bean. Often used to support forest regrowth.
Coffee is scored out of 100 points.
To be considered speciality grade, the coffee must score a total of 80 points or above.
Here at Coffee In My Face Ltd, we prefer to keep things simple. So although we offer speciality coffees, we prefer drinkers to find their own preferences and not be influenced by scores.
‘Cooking’ your coffee beans.
The roasting process is what brings out the distinctive flavour of coffee and taste.
Robusta coffee plants contain a much higher caffeine content than Arabica.
As they are also easier and faster to grow, their quality isn’t as high as Arabica and their price reflects this.
Small Batch Roasted
Coffee beans which have been roasted in small quantities to ensure consistency and quality.
Speciality coffee is rated by the Speciality Coffee Association (SCA).
To be considered speciality it must score at least 80/100 and it must not have any taste or flavour defects.
The process of putting coffee cherries/ beans out in the sun to dry through.
The coming together of flavour, mouthfeel and acidity to create a perceived sweetness.
A variety of coffee is a sub-species of the Arabica plant. Each variety has specific traits to do with cup quality, production yield and disease resistance.
A drip brewer, which is quick and easy to use.
See our quick guide.
Also known as a de-gassing valve.
A one-way valve which enables carbon dioxide to leave whilst restricting other gases from entering.
This process produces the best clarity of flavour.
Coffee cherries are put into a de-pulper, the skin is taken off the outside along with most of the pulp and the beans are left to ferment for 12-36 hours.
After the fermentation, the coffee is washed using fresh water and put out to dry on raised beds for 1 - 2 weeks.