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Coffee Glossary


AA - These capitalized letters on coffee bags are grade indicators and usually describe a bean that is larger than normal.

Acidity - This term refers to the tartness of coffee and is one of the major categories used in professional coffee tasting. Along with flavor, body and aroma, acidity is helpful in determining the quality of a cup of coffee. When not used as a tasting standard, acidity can refer to the chemical pH present in coffee.

American Roast - Coffee that has been roasted to a medium-brown color; most popular roast level in America.

Americano/Caffé Americano - Espresso lengthened with hot water.

Aquapulp - The process by which sticky fruit pulp, known as mucilage, is removed from coffee beans by scrubbing machines. This process can be done mechanically or by hand in traditional wet processing procedures.

Arabica/Coffea Arabica - The earliest cultivated coffee tree that is still most widely grown. Arabica trees produce 70% of the world's coffee today. Arabica coffee is known for being superior to other species of coffee trees, producing all of the fine, specialty coffees popular today.

Aroma - This term refers to the fragrance produced by hot, freshly brewed coffee. Aroma is one of four main categories for tasting coffee. Along with flavor, body and acidity, aroma is helpful in determining the quality of a cup of coffee.

Auto Drip Coffee Maker - This term refers to a coffee maker that automatically heats and measures coffee into a filter containing ground coffee. Auto Drip can also refer to a grind setting on most professional grade coffee grinders.


Balance - A tasting term that is used to describe a coffee that has no single characteristic that outweighs another, while maintaining an intriguing flavor profile.

Barista - An Italian term that describes a professional espresso bar operator. Barista has become Americanized and now truly represents anyone working behind the counter at a coffee shop.

Bird Friendly - This term is commonly associated with Shade Grown coffee. Growing coffee in a shaded environment is essential to protecting the environment of wild, migrating birds around the world. The Smithsonian Institute has created a campaign to help preserve these habitats by narrowing the definition of "shade grown" to "shade provided by mixed native trees" - by labeling coffee as "bird friendly" consumers can be sure that the coffee they are purchasing has protective, conversationalist efforts behind it.

Blackbeard's Revenge - This popular Fresh Roasted Coffee artisan blend is known for its dark and smoky body and was inspired by the infamous legend of Blackbeard the Pirate.

Black Knight - Fresh Roasted Coffee's most popular artisan blend, Black Knight, is a dark and delicious coffee inspired by the Arthurian legend of Sir Lancelot.

Blend - A mixture of two or more single origin coffees.

Body - This term refers to the heaviness, richness and texture associated with tasting coffee. Body is one of four main categories used to evaluate coffee quality.

Bourbon - A varietal of Arabica coffee. Most of the highest quality South American coffees are of this variety.

Breakfast Blend - A Fresh Roasted Coffee artisan blend perfect for mornings with full flavor and high caffeine content.


Café Au Lait - A coffee beverage that is made up of one-third drip coffee and two-thirds frothed milk.

Caffé Latte - One serving of espresso combined with hot milk and topped with froth.

Caffeine - Alkaloid responsible for the stimulating effect in coffee and other products containing caffeine.

Caffiend - One of Fresh Roasted Coffee's addicting artisan blends, known for its impactful flavor and super smooth finish. Inspired by legends of werewolves in South America.

Cappucino - One serving of espresso topped with hot milk and froth.

Caracol - This term is another name for the "peaberry" - a small bean formed when one seeds form at the heart of the coffee fruit, rather than the traditional two. Coffee produced from caracol often produces a lighter, more acidic cup of coffee.

Chaff - Pieces of the innermost skin of the coffee fruit, known as the silverskin.

Cherry - Commonly referred to as the fruit of the coffee tree, the cherry is bright red when ripe and contains two coffee beans, or one peaberry.

Cinnamon Roast - Another name for Light or New England roast; lighter than the traditional American preference with a sour, acidic body.

City Roast - Another name for Light French roast or Viennese roast; slightly darker than the traditional American preference with a smooth, full body.

Clean - Coffee tasting term to describe a coffee free of flavor defects.

Coffea Canephora - Also known as Robusta, producing 30% of the world's coffee. The Canephora crop is a lower growing, higher-bearing tree. It produces an inferior cup compared to Coffea Arabica and is often used in instant coffees or to add flavor enhancement to Italian-style espresso blends.

Cold Brew - This method is used to make low-acid, delicate, cold coffee by soaking grounds in cold water for long periods of time.

Complexity - This term is used in tasting coffee and refers to the sensation of tastes shifting during the sampling process, giving depth to the coffee.

Crema - The light brown foam that covers the surface of a correctly brewed espresso serving.

Cupping - Method used by professional coffee tasters to evaluate the quality of certain coffees. This sensory evaluation helps to determine Aroma, Acidity, Body and Flavor.


Dark Nebula - A popular artisan espresso blend by Fresh Roasted Coffee, known for its dark chocolate body and smooth finish. The densest interstellar clouds in space inspired Dark Nebula espresso blend.

Dark Roast - Term used to describe any roast that is darker than the traditional American preference.

Decaffeinated - Term used to describe coffee that has had at least 97% of the caffeine removed by various processes.

Degassing - Natural process in which freshly roasted coffee releases carbon dioxide gas.

Demitasse - French for "half cup" -- a three-ounce cup normally used for espresso coffee.

Donut Shop - An artisan blend by Fresh Roasted Coffee that mimics a traditional breakfast blend coffee with high caffeine content and smooth, flavorful body.

Doppio - A double espresso; 3 to 6 ounces of straight espresso.

Drip Method - A brewing method that allows for hot water to settle through ground coffee.


Earthiness - An exotic and often desirable taste caused by the direct contact of wet coffee with the earth during the drying process.

Espresso - Used as a term to describe the roast of a coffee and also a method of brewing coffee in which pressurized hot water is forced through a tightly packed bed of finely ground coffee. Most beloved coffee shop drinks have espresso as their base.

Espresso Roast - A degree of roasted coffee that ranges from darker than the traditional American preference to a dark brown.

Estate-Grown Coffee - This term refers to coffee that has been produced by a single farm or farming group. It is more specific than a regionally named coffee and is popular among higher end brands.

Excelso - A grade of Colombian coffee that combines the best (supremo) with extra grades of coffee.


Fair Trade Coffee - Coffee purchased from farmers at a fair market price defined by international Fair Trade Certified agencies.

Filter Method - Any brewing method in which water flows through ground coffee, but typically describes drip method brewers that use a paper filter to separate ground coffee from the brewed, finished product.

Finish - The sensory experience of coffee as it just swallowed; some coffee can be extremely transformative on the palate from start to finish.

Flavor - The quality that describes the sensory experience once acidity, aroma and body have been evaluated.

Flavored Coffee - Whole bean coffees that have been mixed with flavoring agents.

Fog Kicker - An artisan blend by Fresh Roasted Coffee inspired by the legends of the Andes Mountains; known for having a high caffeine content and a light, but rich flavor.

Fragrance - Describes the scent of freshly ground coffee before it is brewed. This term is used in the overall sensory evaluation of coffee.

French Press -- A method of brewing in which spent, ground coffee is separated from brewed coffee by pressing the grounds to the bottom of the device with a mesh plunger.

French Roast - A roast considerably darker than the traditional American standard and also a flavorful and dark artisan blend by Fresh Roasted Coffee.

Frothed Milk - Milk that is heated at a high temperature and foamed with a steam wand element on a traditional espresso machine.

Full-City Roast - A roast that is lighter than a French Roast but slightly darker than the traditional American standard.


Green Coffee - Unroasted Coffee.


Hard Bean - Term used to describe coffee grown at high altitudes.

High Grown - Arabica coffee grown at altitudes 3,000 feet and higher; these coffees tend to be superior to coffees grown at lower altitudes.


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


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


Kona - Single origin coffee from the Kona coast on the island of Hawaii, prized for its classic balance and complex aroma and flavor.

Kopi Luwak - Green coffee that has been passed through the digestive system of a cat-like mammal called the civet (luwak) The civet eats the coffee cherries and then excretes the seeds which are gathered from the dry droppings. These seeds are then roasted and sold as a high-end coffee.


Latte - A serving of espresso with three times as much hot milk and topped with frothed milk.

Lava Java - An artisan blend by Fresh Roasted Coffee inspired by the legend of Krakatoa and known for its sweet and chocolaty base.

Light Roast - A roast considerably lighter than the traditional American standard, known to produce coffee with a sharp acidity and a grain-like taste.


Macchiato - Either a serving of espresso marked with a small amount of frothed milk or a tall glass of hot frothed milk marked with espresso.

Mature Coffee - Coffee held in warehouses for two or three years.

Mild - Trade term for high quality Arabica coffee.

Mocha - Both a single origin coffee from Yemen and a café drink combining chocolate and espresso.

Mocha Java - An artisan blend from Fresh Roasted Coffee inspired by some of the oldest coffees on earth; this blend is known for its perfect balance of acidity and sweetness.

Monsooned Coffee/Malabar - Dry processed coffee from the south of India that is exposed to monsoon winds in warehouses to increase the flavor and reduce the acidity of the coffee.

Montezuma Sunrise - An organic artisan blend from Fresh Roasted Coffee inspired by the legend of Mesoamerican ruler Montezuma; known for its perfect balance and clean flavor.


Neopolitan Roast - A term for coffee roasted darker than a traditional espresso roast.

New Crop - Coffee delivered for roasting directly after being harvested and processed; coffees are most bright and acidic at this point.

New Orleans Coffee - Dark roast coffee blended with forty percent roasted ground chicory root.


Octane - An artisan blend by Fresh Roasted inspired by notorious biker gangs; known for its unbelievably dark and pungent flavor.

Old Crop - Coffee that is held in warehouses before shipping.

Organic Coffee - Coffee certified by a third-party agency that has been grown and processed without pesticides, herbicides or chemicals.


Parchment - A thin skin that covers the wet-processed coffee beans after the berries have been skinned, de-pulped and dried.

Patio Drying - A method of drying coffee directly after it has been picked or after fruit removal by exposing it to direct sun and raking it over thin layers on open patios.

Percolation - Any method of coffee brewing that allows for the hot water to percolate through ground coffee.

Polishing - Optional procedure at the end of the processing in which the silverskin of the beans is removed to improve their appearance.

Pyrolysis - The chemical breakdown of fats and carbohydrates into oils during the roasting process that provides the aroma and flavor of coffee.


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


Richness - Tasting term used to describe fullness in flavor, body or acidity.

Robusta - A coffee variety that produces about 30% of the world's coffee and is considered inferior to Arabica due to its usually bland or bitter flavor.


Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) - Important association of specialty coffee roasters, wholesalers, retailers, importers and growers stationed in Long Beach, California.

Silverskin - The thin, outermost skin of the coffee fruit.

Single Origin Coffee - Coffee that has not been blended hailing from a single country, region or crop.

Soft Bean - A term used to describe coffee grown at low altitudes, usually considered inferior to hard beans grown at higher altitudes.

Specialty Coffee - Practice of selling coffees by country of origin, roast, flavor, or special blend, rather by a brand or trademark.

Steam Wand - Small pipe protruding from a traditional espresso machine that is used to steam and froth milk.

Sun Grown - Coffee that is not grown under a shaded canopy.

Supremo - Highest grade of Colombian coffee.

Swiss Water Process - A trademarked process of removing caffeine from coffee by using hot water, steam and activated charcoal rather than chemicals.


Tamper - A small device used to compress coffee when brewing espresso.

Tiger Nebula - An artisan espresso blend by Fresh Roasted Coffee inspired by striking tiger nebulae in outer space; known for its nuanced flavors and swirling multicolored crema.

Turkish Coffee - Coffee ground into powder and traditionally sweetened, brought to a boil and served with grounds included.

Typica - One of the oldest varieties of Arabica coffee; some of the best Latin-American coffees are of this variety.


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


Varietal Coffee - Another term for unblended coffee from a single origin.

Viennese Coffee - Describes coffee brought to a roast darker than the traditional American standard but lighter than a French or Espresso roast; also any coffee roast that is topped with whipped cream.


Washed Coffee - Another name for wet processed coffee.

Wet Processed Coffee - Coffee prepared by removing the bean's skin and pulp while the fruit is still wet.

Whole Bean - Roasted coffee beans that have not yet been ground.

Wicked Owl - An artisan blend by Fresh Roasted Coffee crafted around the custom legend of the Wicked Owl; known for it's flavorful, light body.




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



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