Sweet Maria's Coffee Glossary

All Terms:
(A-C), (D-L), (M-S), (T-Z)

By Category:
   Brewing    Chemistry    Equipment    Flavor    Roasting    Origin
   Processing    Biology/Cultivars    Trade Terms    Sweet Maria's Terms    Defects


Macchiato
A simple espresso drink: a shot of espresso with a small dollop of foamed milk on top.
Related Terms:
Espresso Cappuccino
Categories:
Brewing


Maillard Reaction
The Maillard reaction is a chemical reaction between an amino acid and a reducing sugar, induced by heat in the coffee roasting process. It results in the browning color of coffee (from melanoidins, which are key to espresso crema too), as well as many volatile aromatics and flavors. It is not unique to coffee, and is at work in a variety of food conversion or cooking operations: toasted bread, malted barley, roasted or seared meat, dried or condensed milk.
Related Terms:
Caramelization Roasting Pyrolysis
Categories:
Chemistry


Malic Acid
Malic acid is yet another of the many acids that adds to favorable perceptions of cup quality; malic acid often adds apple-like flavors. In Kenya coffees, it reaches levels of 6.6 g/kg whereas robusta coffees measure about about one-third to one-half of that level.
Related Terms:
Acidity Brightness Liveliness Chlorogenic Acid Acetic Acid Phosphoric Acid Citric Acid
Categories:
Flavor Chemistry


Mandheling
A trade name used for wet-hulled Sumatra coffees. It is an area and a culture group as well (spelled Mandailing often) but there is little coffee production in this area anymore. Mandheling coffees might have originated from anywhere in North Sumatra or Aceh provinces. They are graded on flavor defects in a very loose way, so a "Grade One" Mandheling might, in fact, have many physical defects.
Related Terms:
Sumatra Grade Preparation
Categories:
Trade Terms


Manual Grinder
A burr grinder powered by hand-turning a crank. Manual grinders can be cheaper than their electric counterparts, and they produce comparable quality grinds, but since they require a fair amount of effort to operate, they are not for everyone. Finer grinds will require more revolutions of the crank, and so take more time and effort.
Related Terms:
Burr Grinder
Categories:
Equipment


Maracatu
As the name indicates cross between large-bean Maragogype and Catuai cultivars. It has a larger than average bean and interesting cup flavors, similar to Pacamara.
Related Terms:
Gesha Pacamara Mundo Novo Catuai Catimor Caturra Bourbon Typica Varietal Cultivar Maragogype Arabica Robusta Maracatu
Categories:
Biology/Cultivars


Maracaturra
As the name indicates cross between large-bean Maragogype and Caturra cultivars. It seems to be found most in Nicaragua, although I am not sure exactly why. It can be grown elsewhere, certainly. It has a larger than average bean and interesting cup flavors, similar to Pacamara.
Related Terms:
Cultivar Caturra Maragogype Bourbon Catuai Maracatu
Categories:
Biology/Cultivars


Maragogype
Maragogype is a mutation of Typica coffee and was discovered in Brazil. The Maragogype is a large plant with big leaves, low production and very large fruits (and seeds / green beans). It has been called the "Elephant Bean coffee." Maragogype adapts best between 2,000-2,500 feet. The mild cup characteristics and bean size were historically sought-after in Europe. Roasting can be difficult (not to mention feeding it into grinder burrs!), but sometimes Maragos can be fantastic. It benefits from gentle warm-up in the roaster, and long, gentle roast times temperature profiles.
Related Terms:
Gesha Pacamara Mundo Novo Catuai Catimor Caturra Bourbon Typica Varietal Cultivar Maragogype Arabica Robusta Maracatu
Categories:
Biology/Cultivars


Mark
Mark: We use this term to include any other significant proper name that tells of the coffee's origin. This might be an Estate name, but it can also be an Exporter, a Beneficio (mill), or other recognized Trade name, as long as it actually signifies the quality of the coffee ...and doesn't just make it sound fancier than it is.
Related Terms:
Dry Mill Preparation Processing Wet Process Dry Process
Categories:
Sweet Maria's Terms


MASL
Meters Above Sea Level, altitude that is...
Related Terms:
Cultivar Flavor Varietal Origin Flavor Elevation
Categories:


Mbuni
Also spelled M'buni or Buni, this is a Swahili term that refers to dry-process coffee. In Kenya, M'buni coffees are harvested at the end of the season and sell for much less than red rip cherry from the middle of the season, which are wet-processed.
Related Terms:
Dry Process Wet Process Kenya Uganda
Categories:
Processing Trade Terms


Mechanical Dryer
Mechanical dryers are used as an alternative to sun-drying coffee on a patio, either due to poor weather, or when the patio does not have enough capacity. It is not considered as good as sun-drying coffee. The drum type dryer, called a Guardiola, is considered better than the vertical dryers.
Related Terms:
Guardiola Patio-Drying
Categories:
Processing


Medicinal
A defective flavor characterized by a penetrating medicine-like, alcohol or chemical type taint flavor. This type of defect usually comes from poor processing or storage, but could indicate that the coffee has absorbed the smell of some industrial material: tainted jute bags, stored it plastic at high temperatures, etc.
Related Terms:
Defect Taint Sensory Analysis
Categories:
Defects


Melange
A blend containing a coffee that has been roasted to a different levels (or steps) - light to dark.
Related Terms:
Step Blend
Categories:
Roasting Trade Terms


Mellow
Coffee that has been hanging out in the warehouse, but not really helping out with the work, just relaxing over in the corner, can be described as "mellow coffee". If the coffee gets up and stretches its legs every so often, it is still mellow. But if it starts to complain about being bored, it is no longer mellow.
Related Terms:
After-dinner Roast Smooth Rich
Categories:
Flavor Sweet Maria's Terms


Methylene Chloride Decaf
The Methylene Chloride decaf method is a solvent-based process for washing the caffeine out of coffee. Called MC decaf for short. MC decafs have been shown to leave insignificant trace amounts of solvent that are fully dispatched in the roast process.
Related Terms:
Decaffeinated Coffee SWP CO2 Ethyl Acetate KVW
Categories:
Processing Trade Terms


Mexico
Mexican coffee originates from South-central to Southern regions of the country. For that reason, coffees from Coatepec and Veracruz are much different from Oaxacan Plumas, which are in turn much different from the Southernmost region of Chiapas. The later is a growing region bordering the Guatemalan growing area of Huehuetenango, and you will find similarities between those coffees. In general you can expect a light-bodied coffee, mild but with delicate flavors ...But there are exceptions of course. Mexican is one of the largest producers of certified organic coffees, and because of the US close proximity, we receive the bulk of fine Mexican coffees in this market. Mexican coffees are worth exploring for the variety of cup characteristics they present, and their great price! Mexicans are moderately priced, lighter bodied, and wide-ranging in their cup character. For this reason, you need to explore coffee selections from each of the regions to get a good sense of the possibilities of Mexican coffee. Unfortunately, I rarely approve of the cup quality of coffees from Coatepec and Atoyac, and have never carried a Veracruz. Most of the impressive coffees I find are from Oaxaca and Chiapas. See our Mexico Coffee Offerings for more information.
Related Terms:
Categories:
Origins


Mibirizi
A Bourbon cultivar variant from Rwanda and Burundi. Bourbon coffees are named for the island in the India Ocean where French colonists grew it.
Related Terms:
Cultivar Flavor Varietal Origin Flavor Bourbon Typica Caturra Catuai Catimor Yellow Bourbon Arusha Jackson
Categories:
Biology/Cultivars


Micro-Lot
Micro-Lot is a term ripe and ready to be abused. It already is. It's a term that designates not only a small volume of coffee, but a lot produced separately, discretely picked or processed to have special character. In other words, a Micro-lot should have been harvested from a particular cultivar, from a particular plot of land, from a particular band of altitude, processed in a separate way ...or a comination of these things. Ultimately, it is the result of some concerted effort to separate and carefully prepare a lot of coffee that will have special characteristics. If a large lot of, say 250 bags, is divided up into 25 bags lots and sold to small/medium roasters, that is NOT a Micro-Lot. It also implies some experimental or investigative input on behalf of the grower, the buyer or both working in relation with each other. Further, it implies cupping of lots and making qualitative selection, in an active relationship between farmer and buyer. Many lots sold in the trade as "Micro-lot" do not meet these standards, so it becomes a marketing word, as "natural" was in the '70s and '80s, used to imply a vaue to a product that it does not truly possess!
Related Terms:
Specialty Coffee Micro-Mill
Categories:
Trade Terms


Micro-Mill
A Micro-Mill is a tiny low-volume, farm-specific coffee producer who their lots separate, mill it themselves, gaining total control of the process, and tuning it to yield the best possible flavors (and the best price!) In Costa Rica, farmers usually belonged to large cooperative mills, or simply harvested cherry and sold it to a big mill. Large estates might have complete processing facilities. Now farmers of modest size can craft small micro-lots with complete control on scaled-down equipment from Penagos or Pinhalense.
Related Terms:
Micro-lot Penagos Pulp-Natural Process Pinhalense Wet Mill Dry Mill
Categories:
Processing


Micro-Region
Micro-Region is more specific coffee-producing zone. For example, if the Country for a specific lot is Nicaragua, the region might be Nueva Segovia (a state as well), the Micro-Region might be Dipilto, and then perhaps a nearby city name would locate the coffee even further.
Related Terms:
Country Micro-Region Department
Categories:
Origins


Mildewy
Off aroma and flavor that reminds one of a dank, moldy closet. This flavor can hint at a dangerous coffee mold and should not be consumed. Most common in Sumatra coffees that ship with a high moisture content, and industrial grade robusta coffees.
Related Terms:
Defect Taint Sensory Analysis Cappy Musty
Categories:
Defects


Mill
A coffee mill might mean a coffee grinder, but we usually use the term to refer to a coffee processing facility, either a Wet-Mill or a Dry Mill. A wet mill will be part of the wet-process, where coffee is pulped (peeled), fermented in concrete tanks, and then washed and dried. Then it is ready for the dry mill, which may or may not be at the same location. At the dry mill it is hulled out of the parchment skin that surrounds the green bean, classified by density and size, sometimes by color too, and bagged for export. A wet mill can be called a Washing Station or a Factory (Kenya) or a Beneficio Humido (as opposed to a Benificio Seco for a Dry Mill).
Related Terms:
Wet Mill Dry Mill
Categories:
Processing


Minerally
A flavor or aroma reminiscent of minerals, which can be a positive characteristic if it is a secondary flavor sensation. Salty coffees can be similar to minerally coffees. This is sometimes found in softer Brazils, but we have found it in high grown lots from Guatemala, Panama and other areas, when the coffee has good quality but is not sweet. There might be a relation between old coffee trees and this flavor as well.
Related Terms:
Salty Flavor Aroma
Categories:
Flavor


Mint
A flavor hint of mint found in coffee, which could indicate a clean and brisk mint hint, or a more rustic dried mint. It might even suggest a medicinal mint note, but this would be clear from the context it is used within. Most often we would use it to indicate a mouth-refreshing, clean, positive quality.
Related Terms:
Herbal Tenedam Sage
Categories:
Flavor


Moka Pot
Moka Pot stovetop brewers produce a dense concentrated cup that's something between espresso and Turkish coffee. Coffee is placed into a filter between the lower chamber (that you fill with water) and the upper chamber that will contain the finished beverage after brewing. Since the water is forced through the cake of coffee by pressure, the process bears more resemblance to espresso extraction that infusion (gravity-based) brewing.
Related Terms:
Espresso Brewed Coffee Emulsion
Categories:
Brewing


Mokha
Mokha Yemeni type of coffee, both in terms of the family of cultivars planted there, and the general trade name. The alternate spellings are Mocca, Moka, Mocha. The name refers to the former coffee port on the Red Sea called Al Mahka, and all the spellings are derived from a phonetic interpretation of the Arabic pronunciation for this town. It is no longer a coffee port, and most Yemeni coffee ships from Hodeidah, also on the Red Sea. In terms of cultivar, all types of Mokha coffee are proved to come from Harar, Ethiopia or other areas on the Eastern side of the Rift Valley. Yemeni Mokha coffee is the first commercially planted "farms" (the coffee is grown on stone walled terraces) and the souce for what would become Typica and Bourbon cultivars. So all coffee comes from West Ethiopia and the Boma plateau of Sudan, then to Eastern Ethiopia and Harar via the slave trade route, then to Yemen, then to the rest of the world. Moka is an established cultivar as well, found in many ICO coffee research gardens and grown in some locales (such as Maui, Hawaii).
Related Terms:
Yemen Ethiopia Bourbon Typica Cultivar
Categories:
Biology/Cultivars Trade Terms


Monsooned Coffee
Monsooned coffees are stored in special warehouses until the Monsoon season comes around. The sides of the structure are opened and moist monsoon winds circulate around the coffee making it swell in size and take on a mellowed but aggressive, musty flavor. Our source for Monsooned Malabar is the Coehlo's Gold brand from the Silver Cloud Estate. In thier monsooning process, arabica coffee is spread on the floor of the special monsooning warehouse in Mangalore, raked and turned around by hand to enable them to soak in moisture of the humid winds. The monsooning process takes around 12 to 16 months of duration, where in the beans swell to twice their original size and turn into pale golden colour.Then there are additional hand-sortings to remove any coffee that did not expand properly, and the coffee is prepared for export. This is an extremely earthy, musty, pungent cup with a unique combination of caramelly finish and potent flavors. It is not for those who like a "clean" cup, or sweet coffees! By all standard definitions, this is a defective set of cup flavors. But Monsooned Malabar get's a free pass by the coffee censors because of cultural tradition, history, and the fact that (while it doesn't conform to the traditional ideas of good coffee) it is in it's own right a unique coffee flavor. It has some use in espresso blending with a preparation of longer drum roasting and resting (after roasting) of 3+ days. There are Italian espresso roasting companies that use this coffee in their "exotic" blend offering, along with 2-3 other non-monsooned arabicas to even out the cup and provide aroma and some sweetness ... for example Cafes Trottet. Even as a drip/infusion brew, the coffee mellows after 2 days and the cup is more balanced so resting is key to best cup results.
Related Terms:
Categories:
Processing


Mouthfeel
A major component in the flavor profile of a coffee, it is a tactile sensation in the mouth used in cupping. quite literally can refer to how a coffee feels in the mouth or its apparent texture. In cupping mouthfeel is scored at light City roast level but mouthfeel can be directly affected in other ways by roast level as well, brew strength, and proper resting of the coffee after roasting. That is, Espresso and Dark Roast coffees have noticeably different mouthfeel than the same coffees at lighter levels. Body is synonymous with mouthfeel, but the latter implies a wider range of possible qualities, whereas body traditionally implies viscosity only. Mouthfeel is perceived by the trigemenal receptors, nerve fibers that surround taste buds.
Related Terms:
Aroma Body Cupping Flavor
Categories:
Flavor Trade Terms Sweet Maria's Terms


Mucilage
Indicating the fruity layer of the coffee cherry, between the outer skin and the parchment layer that surrounds the seed.
Related Terms:
Coffee Cherry Demucilage
Categories:
Processing Biology/Cultivars


Mulling Spice
A spice mix for adding flavor and aroma to a warm beverage, apple cider or wine. This mix might include all or an assortment of the following; allspice, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, star anise and various dried fruit peels. Also see warming spices
Related Terms:
Warming Spice
Categories:
Flavor


Mundo Novo
Mundo Novo is a commercial coffee cultivar; a natural hybrid between "Sumatra" and Bourbon, originally grown in Brazil. In my experience, when some farmers and brokers refer to "Brazilian Bourbon coffees", they might mean Mundo Novo. It has a rounded seed form. The plant is strong and resistant to disease. Mundo Novo has a high production, but matures slightly later than other kinds of coffee. It does well between 1000-1200 MASL, which suits Brazil coffee altitudes, with an annual rainfall of 1,200-1,800 mm.
Related Terms:
Maragogype Pacamara Mundo Novo Catuai Catimor Caturra Bourbon Typica Varietal Cultivar Arabica Robusta
Categories:
Biology/Cultivars


Muscovado
Also known as "Barbados sugar" or "moist sugar," it is very dark brown and slightly coarser and stickier than most brown sugars. Unlike most other brown sugars, which are made by adding molasses to refined white sugar, muscovado takes its flavor and color from its source, sugarcane juice. This is a flavor that can be found in the sweetness of dry-processed or pulp natural coffees, mostly.
Related Terms:
Refined Sugar Turbinado Sugar Rustic
Categories:
Flavor


Musty
Musty refers to an aroma and/or flavor that ranges from slight intensity to mildewy defect flavor. Unlike Mildew taint, musty can have a slight (VERY slight) positive connotation when it is extremely mild, and linked to foresty flavors in Indonesia coffees. It can also relate to the hidey, leathery flavors of dry-process Yemeni coffees. In any greater intensity, or in a coffee profile that should be clean, musty is NOT a positive quality.
Related Terms:
Sulawesi Sumatra Yemen Indonesia Foresty Hidey Leathery Mildewy Defect. Rustic
Categories:
Flavor Defects


Nematodes
Nematodes are a diverse phylum, but in terms of coffee agriculture, there are both beneficial and negative-acting nematodes. Depending on the species, a nematode may be beneficial or detrimental to plant health. From an agricultural perspective, there are two categories of nematode: predatory ones, which will kill garden pests like cutworms, and pest nematodes, like the root-knot nematode, which attack plants. Predatory nematodes can be bred by soaking a specific recipe of leaves and other detritus in water, in a dark, cool place, and can even be purchased as an organic form of pest control. Rotations of plants with nematode resistant species or varieties is one means of managing parasitic nematode infestations. For example, marigolds, grown over one or more seasons (the effective is cumulative), can be used to control nematodes.[11] Another is treatment with natural antagonists such as the fungus gliocladium roseum.
Related Terms:
Coffee Diseases CLR CBB
Categories:
Origins Biology/Cultivars


Nesco Coffee Roaster
A home air roaster with a 4oz capacity, a smoke reduction system, and auger-driven bean agitation. Formerly known as the Zach and Dani's Home Roaster (the same manufacturer made the unit under a private label). For more information, check out our Nesco product page.
Related Terms:
Roast Profiling Roasting Coffee Roaster
Categories:
Equipment


New Crop
Refers to fresh shipments of green coffee within the first month or two of the earliest arrivals ... not quite the same as Current Crop.
Related Terms:
Past Crop Current Crop Crop
Categories:
Trade Terms


New York "C"
The New York "C" market is the NYBOT (New York Board of Trade) trading platform for arabica coffees that determine base contract pricing. Prices on coffee futures are fixed against the C market.
Related Terms:
Coffee Trade
Categories:
Trade Terms


Nicaragua
Nicaraguan coffees from the Segovia, Jinotega and Matagalpa regions are underrated. They often possess interesting cup character along with body and balance, outperforming many other balanced Central American and South American high-grown coffees in the cup. Nicaragua coffees have a wide range of flavor attributes: Some cup like Mexican coffees from Oaxaca, others like Guatemala. Some are citrusy and bright, such as the coffees of Dipilto in Nueva Segovia department. For me, Jinotega and Matagalpa coffees can demonstrate their remarkable versatility in a wide range of roasts, from light City roast through Full City and into the Vienna range. The botanical cultivars utilized are traditional: Typica, some Bourbon and Maragogype dominate, along with Caturra and Paca. There is some of the dreaded Catimor varietal, but many farms have removed it after the "catimor craze" 10-20 years ago. Good Nicaraguan coffees are considered a "classic" cup: great body, clean flavor, and balance. They are unique among Centrals in the fact that the highest grown (SHG grade: Strictly High Grown) do not develop the pronounced and sharp acidity of other Centrals. In season, we offer some new "exotic" cultivar coffees too, a Pacamara Peaberry , a longberry "Java" cultivar, and the large bean Maragogype. Pulp Natural process is also a variation that gives the cup great body and a slightly rustic fruited layer. See our Nicaragua Coffee Offerings for more information.
Related Terms:
Categories:
Origins


Nitrogen Flushing
Pushing nitrogen, an unreactive gas, into a bag of coffee to force out oxygen, which is more reactive. Nitrogen flushing is often done as part of vacuum packaging, since vacuuming out oxygen is not sufficient to remove all oxygen in a bag.
Related Terms:
Coffee Storage Vacuum Packaging
Categories:
Equipment Processing Trade Terms


Nutty
Nutty is a broad flavor term, reminiscent of nuts. It is tied intrinsically to roast taste and the degree of roast, since a coffee that cups nutty at City+ will not be so at FC+. Nutty is usually a positive term but varies greatly as there are so many forms: hazelnut, walnuts, peanut, cashew, almond, etc. Occasionally, nutty can be a negative taste term, especially if it is out of character for a coffee. Some lower grown coffees can have less favorable nut flavors that imply a softness in bean density, and lack of quality. Nut skins is also a flavor tied to a drying, slightly astringent mouthfeel.
Related Terms:
Aroma Flavor Mouthfeel Cultivar Flavor Origin Flavor Cupping Sensory Analysis Chocolate Bittersweet
Categories:
Flavor


Onan Ganjang
Onan Ganjang is a locality in North Sumatra within the greater "Lintong" or Tapanuli growing area. It is also used as the name of a local cultivar from the area Onan Ganjang. The coffee has unique characteristics but the original heredity of the plant is not known. It is a pure arabica (not Catimor or Hibrido de Timor/Robusta in origin) and has some Bourbon and Typica-like features.
Related Terms:
Gesha Pacamara Mundo Novo Catuai Catimor Caturra Bourbon Typica Varietal Cultivar Maragogype Arabica Robusta
Categories:
Biology/Cultivars


Orange Bourbon
A variation of Bourbon that ripens to an orange color. While the cup quality is excellent, the added challenge to harvest ripe cherries is daunting. (With red bourbon, determining ripe color is easier for the pickers). Found mainly in El Salvador. See Bourbon for the full definition.
Related Terms:
Bourbon Yellow Bourbon Pink Bourbon
Categories:
Biology/Cultivars


Organic
Organic coffee has been grown according to organic farming techniques, typically without the use of artificial fertilizers. Some farms have more local Organic Certification than the more well-known USDA Organic branding. In the US, when the "organic" label is used, it means (or it should mean) that the coffee is certified organic. There are plenty of areas where farmers are too poor to afford pesticides and so use other non-chemical methods to manage production and pests, but alas, they are also too poor to afford organic certification. In areas where coffee is handled many times between the farmer and the mill, and hence the exact location of its production is not known, organic certification is unavailable.
Related Terms:
Farm Gate Fair Trade
Categories:
Processing Trade Terms


Organoleptic
Organoleptic refers to any sensory properties of, in this case, the coffee beverage. It involves flavor, color, odor and mouthfeel. Organoleptic testing involves inspection through visual examination, smelling and tasting. In coffee we call this form of sensory analysis "Cupping".
Related Terms:
Cupping Sensory Analysis
Categories:
Flavor


Origin
In coffee talk, it refers to a coffee-producing region or country; such as, "I was just at origin."
Related Terms:
Country Micro-Region Department
Categories:
Trade Terms Sweet Maria's Terms


Origin Flavor
"Origin Flavor" is a term we started to use in distinction to "Roast Taste". Origin flavors (from specific fruit, berry, floral, herbal, confectionary, food-like, etc.) are broader in scope that roast-derived notes. Roast flavors are often described as sweet to bittersweet, caramel to chocolate to burnt, and might be found across coffee growing regions. These are conceptually useful, but we acknowledge they are flawed distinctions since the compounds that form "roast taste" flavors are inextricably linked to the compounds that result in the "origin" flavors. But to describe the way that dark roast tastes eclipse origin distinctness of coffee, it is useful. The term "Origin Distinctness" is a related concept, as well as Cultivar Flavor.
Related Terms:
Pyrolysis Second Crack Caramelization Roast Taste Degree Of Roast First Crack Roasting
Categories:
Flavor Origins


Outturn
An outturn is a term used in East Africa to describe a dry mill "batch" from a particular estate or coop. Each Outturn will be separated into AA, AB, Peaberry and other lower grades.
Related Terms:
Beneficio Mill Dry Mill Processing
Categories:
Trade Terms


Pacamara
As the name implies, Pacamara is a large bean cultivar, a cross between Pacas and Maragogype with unique flavor properties. This variant originated in El Salvador in 1958, and has spread to nearby Central American countries, but is still chiefly grown in El Salvador. It has unique flavors that range from chocolate and fruit, to herbal or, in the worse coffees, vegetal (green onion specifically).
Related Terms:
Cultivar Varietal Typica Bourbon Caturra Catimor Catuai Mundo Novo Pacamara Gesha Maragogype Arabica Robusta Maracatu
Categories:
Biology/Cultivars


Pacas
Pacas is a natural mutation of Bourbon cultivar that appeared in El Savador in 1949. It has good cup character, and is an input into Pacamara cultivar as well. Caturra and Villa Sarchi are also natural dwarf Bourbon mutations. In the cup, I find it similar to Bourbon in many ways, and the shrub is more wind-resistant than Bourbon.
Related Terms:
Arabica Cultivar Varietal Typica Bourbon Caturra Catimor Catuai Mundo Novo Pacamara Gesha Maragogype Robusta Maracatu
Categories:
Biology/Cultivars


Pache
Pache is a dwarf mutation of Typica coffee first observed at Finca El Brito, Guatemala. It is also called Pache Comun. A varitety called Pache Colis is a cross of Caturra and Pache Comun, and is extremely short in form.
Related Terms:
Cultivar Varietal Typica Bourbon Caturra Catimor Catuai Mundo Novo Pacamara Gesha Maragogype Arabica
Categories:
Biology/Cultivars


Panama
Panama coffee was historically under-rated and overlooked. That perception has been corrected in recent years with the outstanding Best of Panama competition held each year, attracting global competition for the best lots, and spectacular prices. The Gesha cultivar produced in some of the small coffee estates has also garnered heaps of attention for it's unique floral cup character. Panama coffees are brightly toned with vivid floral aromatics and clean fruited notes. They outcup many higher priced coffees and the cup character is obvious, quality is consistent. Cheaper Panamas sold as BEP are a staple of higher-end commercial roasters and lower-end specialty roasters. There are many lower-grown Panamas that are ubiquitous in the U.S. market and of little interest to us here. It's just the Boquete coffees from the Chirqui district, ones from small family-owned farms that produce the truly distinct, unique coffees. They employ N'gbe Indians for the picking season, who will come to the coffee farms to work under some of the best wage standards and work laws in Central America. See our Panama Coffee Offerings for more information.
Related Terms:
Categories:
Origins


Panela
Found in Colombia (and noted to be best in Pitalito and Pedregal), Panela is tan-colored cakes of sugar that are not fully refined. They can range from caramel-vanilla flavors to floral. From Wikipedia: The sugarcane plant is processed in a large press, to obtain the juice, which is cooked at very high temperatures. The panela can be manufactured in disc-shaped pieces or in cubic pieces of cake form and is usually gold or brown in color. Besides sugar, panela also contains large amounts of proteins, calcium, iron and ascorbic acid. In other countries I have heard it called Panocha and Chancaca. It is sometimes called Piloncillo in Mexico.
Related Terms:
Honey Sweetness Caramel
Categories:
Flavor


Papilla
Papilla (or Papillae in plural) mushroom-like projections on the tongue that contain taste buds. These perceive basic flavors and textures, whereas much of what is sensed as flavor is informed by the aromatics perceived by the olfactory. There are 4 types of papilla on the palate:
  • Circumvallate papillae (contains taste buds)
  • Fungiform papilla (contains taste buds)
  • Filiform papilla (does not contain taste buds)
  • Foliate papillae (contains taste buds)
Related Terms:
Aroma Flavor Mouthfeel Cultivar Flavor Origin Flavor Cupping Sensory Analysis
Categories:
Flavor


Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea is a distinct coffee among the Indonesians, even though it doesn't even have an entire island to call it's own. Papua New Guinea occupies the eastern half of the island it shares with the Indonesian provice of Irian Jaya (no organized coffee production originates from Irian Jaya). The small-farm "Coffee Gardens" have a unique wild note in the cup but are in no way as earthy as other Indonesian coffees such as Sumatra and Sulawesi. These small farms are often organized into coops that share wet-milling facilities and are Organic certified, The Plantation coffees are the larger farms and have the cleaner, more delicate and sophisticated cup character. While a lighter body than Javas, good PNG has the delicate notes, complexity, and sometimes the acidity or brightness of the best Central Americans. See our Papua New Guinea Coffee Offerings for more information.
Related Terms:
Categories:
Origins


Parchment
Green coffee still in it's outer shell, before dry-milling, is called Parchment coffee (pergamino). In the wet process, coffee is peeled, fermented, washed and then ready for drying on the patio, bed, or a mechanical dryer. It is called parchment coffee because it is protected by an outer shell, which will be removed as the first step of dry milling, when the coffee is ready to export. While in parchment, it is critical that parchment coffee is rested for between 30-60 days. In Spanish, parchment coffee is called pergamino.
Related Terms:
Wet Process Pulp Natural
Categories:
Processing


Passionfruit
It is native to South America and widely grown in India, New Zealand, the Caribbean, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia, California, southern Florida, Hawaii, Australia, East Africa, Israel and South Africa. The passion fruit is round to oval, yellow or dark purple at maturity, with a soft to firm, juicy interior filled with numerous seeds. The fruit can be grown to eat or for its juice, which is often added to other fruit juices to enhance aroma. It is known as Maracuya, or Maracuja in Latin America
Related Terms:
Guayaba Fruited Aroma Aftertaste Sensory Analysis Cupping Flavor Guanabana
Categories:
Flavor


Past Crop
Refers to an older coffee not from the "New Crop" or the "Current Crop". Cuppers will even use it as a general term for baggy, old hay or straw flavors; faded sensations of what it might have been when the green coffee was fresh; Past-Cropish
Related Terms:
Baggy Aged Coffee Straw Faded Defect
Categories:
Trade Terms Defects


Patio-Drying
Patio-drying is a term to indicate that a coffee was dried in the sun after processing, on a paved or brick patio. Drying in the sun is the traditional method and is slower and more gentle than mechanical drying techniques. Coffee is raked on the patio to ensure even drying from top to bottom. Even better is screen-drying on raised "beds" which allows for air movement through the coffee.
Related Terms:
Screen-drying Guardiola Mechanical Dryer Wet-process Dry-process Processing
Categories:
Processing


Paul Songer
Currently on the staff of Cup of Excellence, Paul is head judge for many of the competitions, and an expert in sensory analysis. He is known for his knowledge of scientific and statistic principles, and synthesizing these in a meaningful way in sensory exercises. His consulting company is Songer and Associates.
Related Terms:
George Howell Kenneth Davids Cup Of Excellence
Categories:
Trade Terms Sweet Maria's Terms


Peaberry
Coffee is the dried seed from the fruit of a flowering tree - each fruit having 2 seeds facing each other (the flat side of the coffee "bean") or in the case of the peaberry, a single rounded seed. On the coffee tree, there is usually a percentage of fruit that has one seed within, ie a peaberry, and many more that are "flat beans" with the usual 2 seeds per fruit.
Related Terms:
Caracol
Categories:
Biology/Cultivars


Peak Of Harvest
In some coffee-producing origins, there is a period of time in the middle of the crop where the higher altitudes mature, and where each tree has the highest percentage of mature cherry. Under the best conditions, this is a time when the cup is possibly better, because the pickers bring in fewer under-ripe green cherries, and because the most dense, slow-to-mature cherries are including in their pickings. Of course, other problems can emerge (too much coffee cherry, the mill can't keep up, ripe cherry sits) that actually work against this heavy load; it would be lazy to say "mid-harvest" coffee is better. But it is rarely true that the very first pickings, nor the last where the trees are being "cleaned" of cherry yield good results.
Related Terms:
Cup Quality Coffee Crop Cycle
Categories:


Penagos
Peñagos is a Colombian company that produces demucilage coffee processors. This is a forced demucilage machine that uses little water, and removes the coffee fruit layer from the parchment seed using friction and a small amount of water. It is key to the newer Micro-Mill facilities. With this machine, you can adjust the water pressure level, and control exactly how much mucilage to leave on the seed; you can produce a fully-washed style coffee, or a pulp-natural style coffee.
Related Terms:
Pulp-Natural Process Pinhalense
Categories:
Equipment Processing


Percolator
A type of coffee brewer where water is "percolated" through a mass of ground coffee to extract the flavor. Was much in use in mid-19th century US. Often associated with bad coffee, percolators can actually produce a good flavored brew when using good coffee and the equipment is kept clean. Still the best way to produce a large quantity of coffee at once, hence their use (usually as large urns) in hotels and catering.
Related Terms:
Categories:
Equipment Brewing


Peru
Organic Peru ... you can get it anywhere now. It is usually the cheapest certified Organic coffee on the market, it's the "blender" coffee of Organics, it's $4/Lb. roasted at Trader Joes. And it is threatening to lower prices for organic coffee farmers globally. The Peruvian coffee industry took note of the premium prices paid for Organic coffee, and realized they could produce Organic for less cost, focusing on quantity, not quality. They wanted to be to Organic coffee what Vietnam is to robusta. There are stories of forest being clear-cut for organic farm (it takes 3 years for an existing farm to become certified organic... not so with a "new" farm. I doubt the image of cutting forest to grow organic product is an image consumers have in mind ... then again, it's Organic and it's $4 per lb. roasted. Well, you get what you pay for. The problem is, the Peruvian organic coffee glut forces quality-oriented farmers within Peru and everywhere else too to accept lower prices for their crop in order to compete. And a farm that is trying to produce a truly excellent coffee in a conscientious way cannot compete with a larger quantity-oriented farm, whether its a co-op or not. Cup a Trader Joe's organic Peru versus a high quality Organic Peru and the differences are profound: not only do the cheap ones have little to no positive qualities, they also have defective taints in the cup, grassy, fermenty notes in particular. Okay, I am a little cynical about Peruvian coffee. It's not because there aren't good lots though. They do exist and it takes some detective work to find them. After all, Peru is a hugely varied land and they produce a lot of different coffees. It's the land of the Incas and by most measures a latecomer in the modern world coffee trade. Peruvian offerings are hardly mentioned in William Ukers 1936 edition of All About Coffee and have not been well thought of due to an indelicate, blunted acidity that doesn't have the refinement of the Centrals. I think a lot of this is historical bias because Peru can produce some very fine coffees. In general, these coffees have Central American brightness but in a South American coffee flavor package overall. The good organic lots do have more of a "rustic" coffee character. As long as it is kept in check and does not dominate the cup, this can add interest to the flavor rather than detract. The cup has it all, body, brightness and good depth in the flavors. While there are still mediocre arrivals, it doesn't take much cupping to find a really good one. The Chanchamayo is usually (but not necessarily) the top region, but good Norte and Cuzco from the south are out there. Buy the first Peru you are offered and you are bound for cup troubles. Poorly processed coffee, coffee with defects, might fool the cupper at first, but 2 months down the line the coffee fades, the acidity fails, baggy flavors emerge, and you know you made a bad decision. It's a lot of work to find a good lot among the abundance offered by brokers and other channels, and it takes slogging through a lot of samples to find them though. But hey, it's better slogging through samples at a cupping table than stacks of paper at a desk! See our Peru Coffee Offerings for more information.
Related Terms:
Categories:
Origins


Phenols
Phenols are a set of organic compounds, relatively stable, that contribute to coffee aroma and flavor. They can have negative characteristics: tarry, smokey, medicinal, woody, leathery. But, especially at lower levels, can be spicy, vanilla, clove, anise, even floral in nature. Phenols are mainly derived from Chlorogenic acids.
Related Terms:
Ketones Aldehydes
Categories:
Chemistry


Phosphoric Acid
One of many acids that contribute to positive flavor perception in coffee. More phosphoric acid might lead to the sense of higher acidity overall. Since perception of acidity gives a cup finer cup quality, brightness and vibrancy, phosphoric acid is considered desirable in arabica coffees. It itself, it is very tart. Also noteworthy is the fact it is not an acid that can be detected by smell, and is not an organic acid.
Related Terms:
Phosphoric Acid Malic Acid Acetic Acid Liveliness Brightness Acidity Citric Acid
Categories:
Chemistry


Piney
A slightly resinous pine sap flavor, unusual but attractive in some cases.
Related Terms:
Flavor Cupping Sensory Analysis Aftertaste Aroma
Categories:
Flavor


Pinhalense
A Brazilian coffee equipment manufacturer, that produces a wide range of equipment for wet-mills and dry-mills, coffee hullers, density sorters, graders, screening machines, roasters, dryers etc. They make a forced demucilage machine to compete with the Penagos from Colombia.
Related Terms:
Penagos
Categories:
Equipment


Pink Bourbon
A rare variation of Bourbon that ripens to a pink color. It is called Bourbon Roseado in some latin countries. The cup is purported to be fantastic, but finding stable plants that will consistently produce the pink fruit is difficult. The added challenge to harvest ripe cherries is daunting. (With red bourbon, determining ripe color is easier for the pickers). See Bourbon for the full definition.
Related Terms:
Bourbon Yellow Bourbon Pink Bourbon
Categories:
Biology/Cultivars


Piquant
Meaning pleasantly pungent or zesty in taste, spicy, provocative, sapid.
Related Terms:
Zesty Piquant Lively Spicy Tart
Categories:
Flavor


Pomelo
Ancestral grapefruit from Southeast Asia - it has mild grapefruit flavor but low bitterness. In a coffee description , this mean a mild and not-so-aggressive citrus flavor, or citric acidity.
Related Terms:
Citrus Acidity Citric Acidity
Categories:
Flavor


Portafilter
The part of an espresso machine which holds the filter basket, into which coffee grounds are placed.
Related Terms:
Espresso
Categories:
Equipment Brewing


Potato Defect
Research conducted by CIRAD and OCIBU over a six year period in Burundi has shown this off-flavor to be caused by a yet unidentified bacterial agent that enters the cherry skin and produces a pyrazine chemical toxin that binds to the forming green beans. They first thought it was caused by a bacterial transmission via an insect vector, the Antestia bug that pierces the coffee cherry wall and sucks sugars; but later they concluded that anything that pierces the cherry wall can allow the bacteria to enter and eventually release the the nasty pyrazine-based toxin. Because you can't detect it until you roast it, this defect is a real bummer for roasting companies and a real challenge for research. - Culled from Tim Schilling's blog post on the topic, since it is the best description of the defect that is out there...
Related Terms:
Sour Defect Cupping Black Bean
Categories:
Flavor Defects


Pour-Over Drip
New attention is being given to pour-over drip brewing, but the terminology is definitely not set yet. Pour-over drip brewing is simple and can yield great results based on technique. The older methods are Chemex and Melitta type filter cones. These use paper filters, usually. Newer types are the Hario V60, a modified ceramic come with a large orifice like the Chemex, and the Clever Coffee Dripper.
Related Terms:
Espresso Brewed Coffee SO Espresso
Categories:
Brewing Trade Terms


Pre-infusion
An espresso machine is said to use pre-infusion if it applies a moderate amount of pressure to the coffee before applying full brew pressure. Pre-infusion is often said to improve extraction by causing the coffee to swell, filling fissures in the puck that might otherwise cause channeling.
Related Terms:
Espresso E61 Channeling
Categories:
Equipment Brewing


Preparation
Preparation refers to the dry-milling steps of preparing coffee for export: hulling, grading, classifying, sorting. Sorting means using density sorters (like the Oliver table), optical color sorting, and hand sorting. Then the coffee is bagged and ready to load in the shipping container. EP is a standard called Euro Prep.
Related Terms:
Dry Process Wet Process Processing Preparation Dry Mill
Categories:
Processing Trade Terms


Prime Attribute
Part of our coffee reviews, we summarize the main (most obvious) sensory experience of a coffee. This is rated right after Intensity
Related Terms:
Sensory Analysis Flavor Cupping Aftertaste Afternose Aroma Intensity
Categories:
Flavor Sweet Maria's Terms


PROCAFE
Procafé is the Fundación Salvadoreña para Investigaciones del Café, a coffee non-profit research firm in El Salvador that advises farmers and maintains a cultivar garden
Related Terms:
Coffee Research CATIE CENICAFE
Categories:


Processing
Coffee is either wet-processed (also called washed or wet-milled) or dry-processed (also called wild, natural or natural dry, and we abbreviate it DP sometimes). The type of processing is chosen to produce different cup qualities, or sometimes is just a matter of tradition, logistics or economics. In a nutshell, washed coffees are brought to a mill soon after picking, the coffee cherry is depulped, allowed to ferment, washed to remove all pulp, laid on patios or run through an electric dryer, removed from their final skin called parchment, and sorted. Dry -processing involves laying out the cherries on patios or roofs, and later removing the skin, pulp and parchment in one fell swoop. Dry processed coffees are more yellowish-green because there's more silverskin (chaff) attached to the bean. They look rangy, but often have more body and character in the cup.
Related Terms:
Wet-process Dry-process Pulp-natural Parchment
Categories:
Processing


Puerto Rico
I have tried other Puerto Rican coffees but only bought Yauco Selecto in recent years. And we pick and choose the shipments because the really early lots have a greenish cast to the cup flavors, and the late lots turn a bit flat. When this coffee is on, in the mid-crop pickings, don't expect fireworks ... rather, think about the general term "island profile". These coffees, which include Jamaica and Kona, have a soft cup, not acidic, balanced, and mild. They are approachable coffees, and all happen to be quite expensive. (Be aware of the fact that higher priced coffees don't necessarily have a "better" cup, but rather that price is determined by the cost of production, and limited availability. Remember that this is a coffee grown in the U.S. so production costs are higher.) See our Puerto Rico Coffee Offerings for more information.
Related Terms:
Categories:
Origins


Pulp Natural
Pulp natural is a hybrid method of processing coffee to transform it from the tree fruit to a green bean, ready for export. Specifically, it involves the removal of the skin from the coffee, like the first step of the wet process, but instead of fermenting and removing the fruity mucilage, the coffee is dried with the fruit clinging to the parchment layer. Pulp natural can be performed with a traditional pulper, or with newer forced demucilage equipment, which allows for greater control of exactly how much mucilage is left to dry on the coffee. Pulp natural coffees tend to have more body and less acidity than their wet process equivalents, and can have a cleaner, more uniform quality than full natural dry-process coffees. This is called "Miel" process in Costa Rica, meaning "honey."
Related Terms:
Wet Process Semi-washed Penagos Demucilage Dry Process
Categories:
Processing


Pulping
The first step in processing wet-process coffee, pulp natural or forced demucilage coffees. Pulping simply refers to removing the skins from the coffee fruit, leaving parchment coffee.
Related Terms:
Pulp Natural Dry Process Wet Process
Categories:
Origins Processing


Pulpy
Can refer to flavor or mouthfeel. In terms of flavor, it means the negative flavor of fermenty coffee fruit, indicating there were errors in the coffee processing.
Related Terms:
Taint Sensory Analysis Defect
Categories:
Flavor Sweet Maria's Terms Defects


Pungent
Refers to an aggressive, intense aroma or flavor, often related to spices (pepper) or roast tastes. Pungent foods are often called "spicy", meaning a sharp or biting character, but not unpleasant. Bittersweet tangy roast flavors are something we sometimes call pungent, but otherwise it is strong spice notes.
Related Terms:
Sensory Analysis Flavor Cupping Aftertaste Aroma Intensity
Categories:
Flavor


Purpurascens
Purpurascens is a purple-leaf coffee mutant of limited value (production and cup quality-wise), but is maintained for genetic reasons.
Related Terms:
Cultivar Flavor Varietal Origin Flavor Bourbon Typica Caturra Catuai Catimor Yellow Bourbon Arusha Jackson Semperflorens
Categories:
Biology/Cultivars


Pyradines
Pyradines are a product of pyrolysis involving sugars and amino acids, and other routes. They are mainly responsible for harsh notes: bitter, astringent, roasty, burnt notes, but can also give hazelnut, tobacco, anise, floral and other aromas.
Related Terms:
Esters Ketones Aldehydes Phenols Furans Bitter
Categories:
Chemistry


Pyrans
Pyrans are related to Furans, aromatic compounds in coffee, derived from sugars. Also referred to as Pyranols and Pyranones, one of the more important is called Maltol, having fruity, caramel sweetness, jam-like, pineapple, strawberry descriptors attached to it.
Related Terms:
Esters Ketones Aldehydes Phenols Furans
Categories:
Chemistry


Pyrolysis
Pyrolysis is the chemical decomposition of a condensed substance by heating. It is a special case of thermolysis, and is most commonly used for organic materials. At lighter levels, caramelization of sugars is an important result of the pyrolysis of coffee, the release of CO-2, and a host of other chemical and physical changes in the coffee. There are two stages of pyrolysis in coffee which we call "First Crack" and "Second Crack." Extreme pyrolysis, which leaves only carbon as the residue, is called carbonization and leads to charred flavors in very dark coffee roasts. Pyrolysis often occurs spontaneously at high temperatures, for example in fires and when organic materials come into contact with lava in volcanic eruptions, and has been assumed to take place during catagenesis, the conversion of buried organic matter to fossil fuels. It is an important chemical process in several cooking procedures such as baking, frying, grilling, and caramelizing. It's important to note that chiefly involves the conversion of carbohydrates (including sugars, starch, and fiber) and proteins.
Related Terms:
First Crack Second Crack Roasting
Categories:
Chemistry


Pyrroles
There are 70 identified Pyrroles in coffee, important aromatic compounds, thermally formed by a reaction of aldoses with amino acids in the Maillard group of roast reactions. Pyrroles are derived mainly from trigonelline according on one source. In general they relate to unfavorable flavors characteristic of trigonelline bitterness; metallic, earthy, musty, oily, alliaceous, garlic, mushroom, etc.
Related Terms:
Pyradines Furans Phenols Aldehydes Ketones Esters
Categories:
Chemistry


Qishr
Qishr is an infused tea beverage that you make using the dried coffee husks of the coffee fruit, a by-product of of the natural dry-process method. How to brew it? The husks themselves do not need to be ground - you can brew it as it comes to you from us. Use the same proportions as coffee brewing, one SCAA coffee scoop of Qishr to 5 oz very hot water. I make it just as you "cup" coffee, put one scoop in a cup, pour over with water just off a boil. It benefits greatly from stirring during infusion. Steep 4-6+ minutes. The husks will (mostly) sink, and you can simply drink right from the cup. It actually improves as it steeps longer. Of course you can use tea-brewing devices, but a tea ball won't be large enough, generally. You can use a woven tea basket. But, you can make Qishr best in a French Press if you are preparing more than one cup. To make the flavored Yemen Ginger Tea with Qishr you boil it with the hot water and other additives. In Ethiopia, I am told they roast the Qishr first, but I am not familiar with this technique
Related Terms:
Categories:
Brewing


Quakers
A quaker is an industry term to describe under-ripe, undeveloped coffee seeds that fail to roast properly. These are most often the result of unripe, green coffee cherry making it into the final product. Normally, these are skimmed off as floaters (in the wet-process) or visually removed in the dry-process method. They are removed on the density table (Oliver table) as well. They occur much more often in dry-process coffees due to the lack of water flotation of the fruit, and the difficult task of removing them visually. Even the best coffees might have occasional quakers, and they can be removed post-roast when they are easy to see. Under-developed coffees do not have the compounds to have a proper browning reaction in the roaster (Maillard Reaction, caramelization), so they remain pale in color. My own theory on the term: Quakers are those resist fighting in war, quaker beans are those that resist roasting in the drum; coffee roasting re-imagined as war? hmmm...
Related Terms:
Maillard Reaction Floaters
Categories:
Processing Defects


Quinic Acid
Qunic acid is another double-edged proposition in coffee. In moderate amounts it adds a slight astringency, positive in brighter coffees such as Kenyas or high-grown Centrals. Because of how it reacts with salivary glands, this can lead to heightened senses of body. But too much leads to sour, unfavorable astringency. Chlorogenic acids are largely transformed to quinic acids in the roast process. Quinic Acid melts in pure crystalline form at 325 degrees E, well below the temperatures associated with the roasting environment. Quinic Acid is water soluble and imparts a slightly sour (not unfavorably as in fermented beans) and sharp quality, which adds to the character and complexity of the cup. Surprisingly, it adds cleanness to the finish of the cup as well. it is a stable compound at roasting temperatures.
Related Terms:
Chlorogenic Acid Acidity Brightness Liveliness Acetic Acid Malic Acid Phosphoric Acid Citric Acid
Categories:
Chemistry


Rainforest Alliance
Rainforest Alliance certification is a broad certification guaranteeing that an agricultural product has met certain economic, ecological, and social standards.
Related Terms:
Organic Fair Trade
Categories:
Trade Terms


Raised Beds
Raised beds, also refered to as "african-style beds" are elevated beds used for drying coffee when dry-processing. Coffee can either be dried on raised beds or patio-dried (dried on the ground). Raised beds promote airflow, and thus they may promote even and rapid drying.
Related Terms:
Dry Process Pulp Natural
Categories:
Equipment Processing


Rambung
An Ethiopia cultivar brought to Java in 1928, along with a type called Abyssinia
Related Terms:
Sidikalang Catimor Catuai Caturra Typica Bourbon Varietal Cultivar Bergendal Ateng
Categories:
Biology/Cultivars


Refined Sugar
Refined sugar refers to common white sugar. In coffee tasting, it refers to a clear, clean sweetness, with an absence of other characteristics, as might be found in Muscavado, Turbinado or Brown sugars.
Related Terms:
Cane Sugar Sweetness Brown Sugar Turbinado Muscovado
Categories:
Flavor


Region
Region is a more specific area within the country. Arabica coffee grows roughly between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. Country of Origin is where the coffee is grown in general terms. Micro-Region is more specific. For example of a Country for a specific lot is Nicaragua, the region might be Nueva Segovia ( a state as well, the Micro-Region might be Dipilto, and then perhaps a nearby city name would locate the coffee even further.
Related Terms:
Country Micro-Region Department
Categories:
Origins


Resting
Resting might refer to "reposo", the time after drying the parchment coffee, when it is held for 30-60 days to stabilize. In Brazil, the reposo time is longer. This step is critical for longevity of the coffee and occurs before processing/removal of the parchment. Coffee that is not rested in this way will fade quickly, becoming baggy. Resting might also refer to the step after home roasting a batch; coffee brewed immediately has so much C0-2 coming off it that it prevents good extraction or infusion of water. Also, certain characteristics are not developed immediately after roasting, such as body. A rest of 12-24 hours is recommended, or up to 3-5 days for some espresso coffees.
Related Terms:
Degassing Dry Mill Preparation Processing Wet Process Dry Process Roasting Storage Roasted Coffee Storage
Categories:
Roasting Processing


Restrained
A descriptive term I use to communicate a well-structured, classic, clean flavor profile from a wet-processed coffee. This would be in opposition to coffees with exotic character, flamboyant and "loud", a fruity dry process coffee, a gesha coffee, etc. But restrained coffees are great "daily drinkers", and more approachable as well.
Related Terms:
Classic Balanced
Categories:
Flavor Sweet Maria's Terms


RFA
Rain Forest Alliance designation for coffee grown under sustainable conditions working towards organic farming when possible. RFA certification is applied in a sensible way, working with farmers to employ best practices for water and soil management. It is considered at easier certification to receive than a USDA compatible Organic certificate, as the use of nitrogen fertilizers and moderate use of pesticide is allowed.
Related Terms:
Organic
Categories:
Trade Terms


Rich
Rich almost never refers to coffee, but instead to the coffee buyer who can afford over-priced Jamaica Blue Mountain and such.
Related Terms:
Strong
Categories:
Sweet Maria's Terms


Rio Zona
The lowest grade in the Brazil scoring system
Related Terms:
Brazil Coffee Grades Rioy Hard Soft Strictly Soft Coffee Grading
Categories:
Trade Terms


Rioy
Result of continued enzyme activity when coffee beans remain in the fruit and the fruit dries on the shrub. Usually associated with natural processed coffees grown in Brazil. The Brazil grading rates coffee as Strictly Soft (the best), Soft, 'Soft-ish', Hard (+1, +2), Riado, Rioy, Rio Zona (the worst).
Related Terms:
Brazil Coffee Grades
Categories:
Defects


Ristretto
A smaller version of espresso where extraction is restricted is called a Ristretto. While espresso averages 20 ml, a ristretto is 15 ml.
Related Terms:
Espresso Cappuccino Macchiato Latte
Categories:
Brewing


Roast Defect
Roast defects indicate a problem with the roasting machine or process, resulting in off flavors in the cup. These are distinct from flavor defects that are a result of green coffee processing, or other factors from the plant itself. While roasting cannot make bad coffee good, it can easily make good coffee bad! Roast defects are sometimes characterized by a lack of sweetness, whether that be caramel, sugar, chocolate, syrup, etc.
Related Terms:
Tipping Scorching Burnt Flavor
Categories:
Roasting Defects


Roast Profile
Roast Profile refers to the relationship between time and temperature in coffee roasting, with the endpoint being the "degree of roast". Roast profiling is the active manipulation of the "roast curve" or graphed plot of bean temperature during the roast, to optimize the results in terms of flavor. Two batches might be roasted to the exact same degree of roast, temperature endpoint or time, and have very different cup results due to different roast profiles. It's not just important how dark a coffee is roasted, it is equally important how it got there, and that is expressed in the roast profile.
Related Terms:
Roasting First Crack Second Crack Pyrolysis Caramelization Roast Taste Degree Of Roast
Categories:
Roasting


Roast Taste
"Roast Taste" is a term we started to distinguish it from "Origin Flavor". We use the "roast taste" term define the set of flavors that result from the degree-of-roast, how light or dark a coffee is roasted. These are flavors related to caramelization, the browning of sugars, or other roast reactions. The wide range of flavors from sweet to bittersweet, from caramel to chocolate to carbony burnt tones, are the ones most often assigned to the set of "roast tastes". These are conceptually useful, but flawed distinctions since the compounds that form "roast taste" flavors are inextricably linked to the compounds that result in the "origin" flavors. But to describe the way that dark roast tastes eclipse origin distinctness of coffee, it is useful.
Related Terms:
Maillard Reaction Pyrolysis Origin Flavor Second Crack First Crack Roasting Caramelization
Categories:
Flavor Roasting


Roasted Coffee Storage
As coffee rests after roasting, it releases CO2. This process is called "out gassing". This generally prevents staling, or oxidation, for the first few days of a roast. Dark roasts will out gas longer than medium or light roasts, and hence they can benefit from a longer resting period. Generally coffee is best rested for 24 hours before brewing. Once cool, roasted coffee is best stored in an air tight container or container with a one-way valve designed to release CO2. Roasted coffee can be double wrapped and placed in a freezer and left there to prolong its freshness. Once you are using the coffee, it is best to leave it out at room temperature and not store it in the freezer as the temperature changes are not good for the coffee.
Related Terms:
Rest Out-gassing
Categories:
Roasting


Roasting
Coffee roasting is a chemical process induced by heat, by which aromatics, acids, and other flavor components are either created, balanced, or altered in a way that should augment the flavor, acidity, aftertaste and body of the coffee as desired by the roaster. Pyrolysis, Caramelization and the Maillard Reaction are several thermal events that are important to the conversion of the many complex raw materials in the green coffee seed to positive flavor attributes in the roasted coffee bean.
Related Terms:
Pyrolysis Caramelization Maillard Reaction First Crack Second Crack Roast Taste
Categories:
Roasting


Robusta
Robusta usually refers to Coffea Robusta, responsible for roughly 25% of the world's commercial coffee. Taxonomy of Robusta is debated: some sources use “Robusta” to refer to any variety of Coffea Canephora, and some use "Robusta” as a species name. Caffeine content of Robusta beans is about twice that of Arabica. Robusta can be used in espresso blending to increase body and crema content.
Related Terms:
Cultivar Varietal Origin Flavor Bourbon Typica Caturra Catuai Catimor Arabica
Categories:
Biology/Cultivars


Round
Usually referring to mouthfeel, a sense of completeness and fullness
Related Terms:
Body Mouthfeel Aftertaste
Categories:
Flavor


Rubbery
A taste fault giving the coffee beans a highly pronounced burnt-rubber character. Result of continued enzyme activity in the coffee bean when it remains in the fruit and the fruit is allowed to dry on the shrub. Usually associated with natural processed robusta coffees grown in Africa.
Related Terms:
Defect Taint Sensory Analysis
Categories:
Defects


Ruiru 11
Ruiru 11 is named for the station at Ruiru, Kenya where it was developed in the '70s and released in 1986. The initial test were with Hibrido de Timor (a cross between Arabica and Robusta, resistant to Coffee Leaf Rust) and Rume Sudan, an original coffee strain resistant to CBD, Coffee Berry Disease. Later they added SL-28 and SL-34 imputs due to poor cup character of the early tests. The Robusta content of Ruiru 11 is still an issue, and the cup does not match the quality of the SL types
Related Terms:
Cultivar Flavor Varietal Origin Flavor Bourbon SL-28 Scott Laboratories French Mission Cultivar
Categories:
Biology/Cultivars


Rust Fungus
Rust Fungus is a big problem in Colombia, but is found in many coffee producing countries. Known as La Roya in the Americas, this disease diminishes fruit production and ultimately kills the plant. Combating the disease with selectively-applied fungicides, especially in seasons with heavy rains, is key to saving the coffee plants.
Related Terms:
Defects Origin
Categories:
Chemistry Biology/Cultivars Trade Terms


Rustic
What is Rustic? This is a general term we came up with: A general characterization of pleasanty "natural" flavors, less spohisticated and less refined, but appealing. Dried Apricots from Sunmaid at the supermarket, vs. unsulphered dried apricots from the bin at the Health Food Coop. White sugar vs. Muscovado natural dry brown sugar. Buckwheat pancakes vs Bisquick. Bacon from the supermarket vs bacon from the farm. None of those are what I am talking about with the Robusta, but rustic is a lower process level in general, and might involve more earthy, woody, foresty, mushroom, mossy hints like a Sumatra, or might be more fruity, pulpy, winey, ripe fruit, light ferment, balsamic vinegar etc etc in a fruited natural coffee. Sometimes I refer to lemonade from a mix and homemade honey lemonade, hand-pulped, etc. So it's a very general and broad comparison. It could be made along many flavor lines, such as fruity, or sweet, or herbal (which tends to be weighted toward rustic), or even floral. Very clean coffees, traditional wet process types, would rarely have rustic flavors. Natural dry-process coffees would almost always have rustic flavors. Hybrid processes such as pulp natural (miel or honey coffees) range between wet- and dry-process. Mechanical demucilage coffees can be very clean, very rustic, or anything inbetween depending on process conditions.
Related Terms:
Sensory Analysis Flavor Cupping Aftertaste Afternose Aroma Intensity
Categories:
Flavor Sweet Maria's Terms


Rwanda
Rwandan coffee was, at one time, rarely seen in the United States as either a Specialty grade or low-end commercial coffee. There simply was not that much coffee produced in Rwanda that went anywhere besides one particular importer in Belgium, the former colonizer of the country. It is believed that coffee was introduced in Rwanda in 1904 by German missionaries. Around 1930, a considerable interest in coffee developed as it was the sole revenues generating commodity for rural families. The government encouraged (actually, they mandated) low quality, high-volume production. Even with this low grade coffee production, coffee played a considerable role in the economic development of the country because it was one of the few cash crops. See our Rwanda Coffee Offerings for more information.
Related Terms:
Categories:
Roasting


S-Line
S-line coffees include the heavily planted S795 and the earlier S288, which have good rust (CLR) fungus resistance. In Indonesia they are planted widely as well, and called Linie S, found in Lintong, Aceh, Flores, Sulawesi, Papua, Bali and Java.
Related Terms:
Cultivar Varietal Typica Bourbon Caturra Catimor Catuai Arabica Bergendal Rambung USDA Ateng S795
Categories:
Biology/Cultivars


S.288
Selection 288, a coffee leaf rust (CLR) resistant strain of arabica released by the Coffee Board of India in 1937
Related Terms:
S.795 CLR Cultivar Varietal Typica Bourbon Caturra Catimor Catuai Mundo Novo Pacamara Gesha Maragogype Arabica Robusta Ateng Bergendal
Categories:
Biology/Cultivars


S795
S795 is a hardy variety developed in India, and stands for Selection 795, a cross of S288 and the older Kent variety. It has strong CLR Rust fungus resistance, and is widely planted in India. S-line coffees are also in Indonesia.
Related Terms:
Maragogype Gesha Pacamara Mundo Novo Catuai Catimor Caturra Bourbon Typica Varietal Cultivar Arabica Robusta Ateng Bergendal
Categories:
Biology/Cultivars


Sage
A flavor hint of sage found in coffee, either leafy sage, dried sage, or sage flower. This could indicate a more rustic cup quality, or even defect flavor in dried sage, or a very clean floral aspect.
Related Terms:
Herbal Tenedam Mint
Categories:
Flavor


Sailor
As the name intimates, these berries float. They are white or nearly white, not having the waxiness of normal coffee, appearing as though deficient in fat. Goes well with Quakers.
Related Terms:
Floater
Categories:
Defects


Salty
Salty is one of four basic sapid (in the mouth) tastes: Sour, Sweet, Salty, Bitter (and possibly a 5th called Umami which indicates savory flavors). In coffee, saltiness is not usually a positive quality, but more moderate amounts related to minerally flavors can be positive. We have found some Brazil coffees to have salty and mineral-like character.
Related Terms:
Sour Sweet Salty Bitter Umami Minerally
Categories:
Flavor


Sapid Flavors
Pleasant tastes, referring to "in the mouth" sensations derived from the basic flavors: salty, sweet, sour, bitter, savory (umami). In a broader sense, sapid means "pleasing to the mind", referring to the intersection between pleasant sensory input and mental enjoyment.
Related Terms:
Cupping Aroma Flavor Mouthfeel Sensory Analysis
Categories:
Flavor


Sarchimor
Sarchimor is a disease-resitant Catimor-relative, crossed between Villa Sarchi and Hibrido de Timor
Related Terms:
Cultivar Varietal Typica Bourbon Caturra Catimor Catuai Mundo Novo Pacamara Gesha Maragogype Arabica Villa Sarchi Hibrido De Timor
Categories:
Biology/Cultivars


SCAA
The SCAA stands for Specialty Coffee Association of America, and is a trade group. The SCAA was formed by a group of roasters and importers who felt they did not have a trade association that represented their interests. The main commercial coffee group is the the NCA (National Coffee Association), which tends to cater to larger roasters, although that has changed over time. The annual SCAA trade show in one of the major gatherings for coffee people from all parts of the business, and all over the world. There is also the SCAE for Europe and SCAJ for Japan, who also have smaller trade shows each year.
Related Terms:
ICO CHOP
Categories:
Trade Terms


Scale
Mineral buildup formed over time as hard water is heated in a boiler. Excess scale causes brew problems and eventually shortens the life of a machine, so espresso machines and brewers should be regularly descaled.
Related Terms:
Descaling
Categories:
Equipment Brewing


Scorching
Scorching refers to a roast error that can be discerned by inspecting the roasted coffee, where darker burn marks appear in patches, especially on the flat surfaces. These can be seen as the coffee reaches 1st crack, but can sometimes be hidden by roast color at darker roast levels. But the flavor defect that results will remain. It can easily be tasted in the cup; burnt or smoke flavors, or a lack of sweetness. It is usually the result of an over-heated roast environment (initial drum temperature too high), or over-charged roast drum (too much coffee in the drum, or possibly not enough air movement. Natural coffees from lower-grown sites can be more susceptible to tipping and scorching. Scorching is also called Facing.
Related Terms:
Roast Defect Tipping Burnt Creosol Facing
Categories:
Roasting Defects


Scott Laboratories
The Kenya research organization that was contracted with cultivar development from 1934-1963. Scott Labs was responsible for the development of the SL varieties, based on the Mokka and Bourbon types brought by the Scottish Mission and French Mission to Kenya from Yemen and Bourbon island.
Related Terms:
Cultivar Flavor Varietal Origin Flavor Bourbon SL-28 SL-34
Categories:


Scottish Mission
The Scottish Mission introduced Mokka coffee from Yemen to their site in Kibwezi Kenya in 1893, and later at Kikuyu. These were called the St. Austin and St. Augustine types in Yemen, but morphed into something new in Kenya. The French Mission coffee introduced from Tanzania to Kenya a few years later (1897) was more popular and had better characteristics.
Related Terms:
Cultivar Flavor Varietal Origin Flavor Bourbon SL-28 Scott Laboratories French Mission Cultivar
Categories:


Screen-drying
Screen-drying is also called Raised Bed or Africa Bed drying because of it's original use in Ethiopia. It is a method of drying coffee in the sun, laying it on elevated screens or mats to allow air movement through the coffee. It is now used in many countries because it allows for even drying with both sun and convective air movements through the elevated coffee beds. It is considered better than Patio-drying by many.
Related Terms:
Patio-drying Processing
Categories:
Processing


Screening
Running coffee through a screen with holes of a fixed size to sort beans for size.
Related Terms:
Grading
Categories:
Processing


Second Crack
Second Crack is the second audible clue the roaster-operator receives about the degree-of-roast, following First Crack. Whereas First Crack sounds a bit like popcorn popping, Second Crack has a faster, shallower patter, much like Rice Krispies in milk, electrical sparking, a snapping sound. Second crack is a further stage of the pyrolytic conversion of compounds in coffee and occurs around 440 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. The 2nd crack is a physical fracturing of the cellular matrix of the coffee, and results in an eventual migration of oils to the outside of the bean, as they are freed from their chambers within the coffee. When second crack is volatile, it can blow small discs off the coffee bean.
Related Terms:
Pyrolysis First Crack Roasting
Categories:
Roasting Trade Terms


Semi-Washed
Semi-washed has been used, most commonly in Brazil, to describe a hybrid coffee process. But it is uncertain if the term always indicates the same method. Semi-washed coffees are also very common in Sumatra, where they are called Giling Basah. Semi-washed coffees are best described as "wet-hulled", and will have more body and often more of the "character" that makes Indonesians so appealing and slightly funky. In this process, the parchment coffee (the green seed with the parchment shell still attached) is very marginally dried, then stripped of the outer layer, revealing a white-colored, swollen green bean. Then the drying is completed on the patio (or in some cases, on the dirt), and the seed quickly turns to a dark green color.
Related Terms:
Pulp Natural Dry Process Wet Process
Categories:
Processing


Semperflorens
Semperflorens is a mutant cultivar with Bourbon genetic background, named for the fact it flowers year round (is resistant to photoperiodism). It was found in Brazil in 1934.
Related Terms:
Cultivar Flavor Varietal Origin Flavor Bourbon Typica Caturra Catuai Catimor Yellow Bourbon Ateng Purpurascens Semperflorens
Categories:
Biology/Cultivars


Sensory Analysis
Sensory Analysis is a broader term for all qualitative evaluation of food and beverage. In coffee, it is a better term for what we call "cupping"
Related Terms:
Cupping Cupper
Categories:
Flavor


Shade Grown
An ambiguous term used to describe coffee grown under shade. Shade grown coffee is said to better preserve animal habitats and avoid mono-culture on farms, but the truth of this may depend on the growing region. If a farm exists on the top of an arid plateau, for instance, it might be above the tree-line and, hence, naturally exposed to the sun. "Shade Grown" is also not an official certification (e.g. "Organic," "Fair Trade"), so no official standards for determining "shade grown" status exist.
Related Terms:
Organic Fair Trade Rainforest Alliance
Categories:
Trade Terms


Sidikalang
Sidikalang is found less and less frequently in Sumatra and other parts of Indonesia. Much of the Typica was lost in the late 1880s, when Coffee Leaf Rust swept through Indonesia. However, both the Bergendal and Sidikalang varieties of Typica can still be found in Sumatra, Sulawesi, and Flores, especially at higher altitudes and in remote areas.
Related Terms:
Gesha Pacamara Mundo Novo Catuai Catimor Caturra Bourbon Typica Varietal Cultivar Maragogype Arabica Bergendal
Categories:
Origins Biology/Cultivars


Silky
A mouthfeel description indicating a delicate, light, elegant softness and smoothness. Usually refers to a lighter body than terms such as velvety, or creamy.
Related Terms:
Body Mouthfeel Aftertaste Sensory Analysis Cupping Buttery Velvety
Categories:
Flavor


Silverskin
On dried green bean coffee, the thin inner-parchment layer that clings to the bean and lines the crease on the flat side. Silverskin becomes chaff and falls off the bean during roasting. It is a fine inner layer coating the seed, between the thicker parchment and the bean. Formerly, dry mills would polish coffee to remove the silverskin, since the coffee looked better to the buyer. But this generates heat that damages cup quality, so the polishing step is discouraged.
Related Terms:
Chaff Green Coffee Dry Mill
Categories:
Processing Trade Terms


Single Origin
"Single Origin" refers to coffee from one location, in contrast to blended coffee. This term is particularly useful in discussing espresso, since most commercial espressos are made from blends. This is what the term "SO Espresso" means.
Related Terms:
Origin Flavor Blended Coffee Sensory Analysis Espresso
Categories:
Brewing Trade Terms Sweet Maria's Terms


Skunky
Skunky is a defect term related to improper roasting; tipping or scorching of coffee. It relates to a lack of sweetness, a presence of bitterness, and a particular skunk-like animal character
Related Terms:
Scorched Tipped Sour Baggy
Categories:
Roasting Defects


SL-28
Scot Labs selection 28 Kenya cultivar, a preferred type with Bourbon and Mokka heritage. It supposedly is selected from Tanganyika DR cultivar, found by A.D. Trench on a trip through Tanzania, and has similar drought resistant properties. DR is of French Mission Bourbon origin. Many prefer SL-28 to the other successful, sidely used cultivar, SL-34.
Related Terms:
SL-34 Bourbon Origin Flavor Varietal Cultivar Flavor Scott Laboratories
Categories:
Biology/Cultivars


SL-34
Scott Labs selection 34 Kenya cultivar, a preferred type with French Mission Bourbon heritage. It supposedly is selected from French Mission Bourbon trees at Loresho Estate in Kabete Kenya. SL types are responsible for 90% of Kenya coffees. SL_34 has better yields than SL-28, and is grown at lower altitudes than SL-28
Related Terms:
Cultivar Flavor Varietal Origin Flavor Bourbon SL-28 Scott Laboratories
Categories:
Biology/Cultivars


SM
Our shorthand for Sweet Maria's.
Related Terms:
Categories:
Sweet Maria's Terms


Smokey
This smell and flavor is similar to fireplace effluence, campfire, or burnt food. Dark-roasted or oven-roasted coffees can have smokey flavors, or roasters where the air is recycled in the roast drum (or does not vent at all). Sometimes green coffee can have a smokey hint, and this might be found in the roasted coffee too, suggesting bad mechanical drying at the coffee mill. Smokey hints might be a positive quality in certain exotic coffees (Monsooned India, Aged Java and Aged Sumatra come to mind) or in rustic Yemeni coffees.
Related Terms:
Burnt Scorching Tipping Aged Coffee Defect
Categories:
Flavor Defects


SO Espresso
Short for Single Origin espresso, meaning using one origin specific coffee to make espresso, as opposed to using a blended coffee.
Related Terms:
Espresso Pour-Over Drip
Categories:
Brewing Trade Terms Sweet Maria's Terms


Soft
Brazil has it's own grading system for coffee, and Soft is the grade just under Strictly Soft, meant to describe clean, mild cup flavors, and as opposed to "Hard" the grade below it.
Related Terms:
Brazil Coffee Grades Rioy Hard Soft Strictly Soft Coffee Grading
Categories:
Trade Terms


Sorting
Sorting refers to several steps performed in the preparation of coffee for export. Coffee is sorted by size on a grader or screener (and peaberry is sometimes removed as well). It is sorted by density on a density table (Oliver table, or rarely an air density sorter). It is sorted by color with a high tech optical color sorter, and/or by hand, visually.
Related Terms:
Dry Mill Preparation Processing Wet Process Dry Process Density Sorting Color Sorting Size Sorting
Categories:
Processing


Sour
Sour is one of four basic sapid (in the mouth) tastes: Sour, Sweet, Salty, Bitter (and possibly a 5th called Umami which indicates savory flavors). In coffee, sourness in moderate amounts os favorable, although the term has negative connotations. Sourness can result from too-light roasts, which have a corresponding bitterness. It can also be the result of acidity, which is usually a favorable characteristic.
Related Terms:
Acidity Brightness Liveliness Chlorogenic Acid Acetic Acid Phosphoric Acid Citric Acid
Categories:
Flavor


Sour Bean
A "sour" is a physical coffee bean defect due to excess fermentation where bacteria or xerophilic mold attack the seed. They range from yellow to brown in color, and can occur from several conditions: over-fermentation, falling to the ground, excessive time between harvest from the tree and processing. The favor from sours is (no surprise) sour, fermented, acetic, fruity, sulfurous, vinegary.
Related Terms:
Coffee Grading Coffee Defects
Categories:
Defects


South American Coffee
South American coffee varies widely from country to country, from chocolaty semi-washed Brazils to lighter Colombias, Organic Peru coffees to high grown Bolivia. No specific flavor can be attributed to South American coffees.
Related Terms:
Origin Flavor Coffee Growing Regions Bolivia Brazil Colombia Ecuador Peru Central America
Categories:
Origins


Sparkles
Sparkles is a key coffee quality term, and refers to brightness in the cup. Bright things often shine, both visually and in a gustatory sense, and that is expressed among tradespeople as sparkley, sparkles, or "this coffee is well-sparkled." It is not related to crystals, as in the proprietary "flavor crystals".
Related Terms:
Bright Acidity Effervescent
Categories:
Flavor Chemistry Sweet Maria's Terms


Specialty Coffee
Specialty coffee was a term devised to mean higher levels of green coffee quality than average "industrial coffee" or "commercial coffee". At this point, the term is of limited use, since every multi-national coffee broker opened a "specialty division" and because, under the same term, coffees of highly varying quality, high to low, are imported. Some say Erna Knutsen, the San Francisco coffee broker, coined this term. Some say it was Rod Lazar's grandfather, Frenchie Lazar. At the time the SCAA was formed, it certainly meant something more than now. And some called this "Gourmet Coffee" which means ?@$# ???
Related Terms:
Micro-Lot SCAA
Categories:
Trade Terms


Spongy
A reference to the mouthfeel of a coffee when it leaves a tactile impression of sponges. This is often found in Liberica coffees, and can be unpleasant if excessive.
Related Terms:
Strecker Degradation Body Mouthfeel Umami
Categories:
Flavor Sweet Maria's Terms


Stenophylla
Coffea Stenophylla is a distinct Species in the Genus Coffea originating in West Africa, endemic to foothill elevations in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast, and taken into Ghana and Nigeria. It is slow to mature and has mild to poor cup character. It has unique purple fruit when ripe.
Related Terms:
Cultivar Varietal Arabica Robusta Liberica Excelsa Coffea Canephora
Categories:
Biology/Cultivars


Storage
Green coffee in general can be stored up to one year from the date of processing with no noticeable changes in flavor. Bright, delicate coffees can fade faster; earthy coffees can last a bit longer. Very often the type and quality of the processing methods used on the coffee will determine how long a coffee will hold up. For example, "Miel" or pulped natural processing very often shortens the storage life of a coffee - you will see changes in flavor sooner and in a more pronounced way than with other processing methods. Coffee ought to be stored in a cool dry place, ideally in a breathable container like burlap, or cotton. For a hundred years or more coffee has been transported the same way, in large burlap or jute bags. More recently, producers have experimented with vacuum packaging and storage in special multi-layer poly bags to extend the life of the coffee. It has been more recently that Storage has become a greater factor in the processing chain of coffee.
Related Terms:
Green Coffee Storage Roasted Coffee Storage
Categories:


Straw
A dried hay-like character due to age of the green coffee and the corresponding loss of organic material storage.
Related Terms:
Baggy Past Crop Faded
Categories:
Defects


Strecker Degradation
The Strecker Degradation is an interaction of amino acids (AKA proteins) with a carbonyl compound in an environment with water, resulting in the creation of CO2 and an Aldehyde or Ketone. The later two components are important for volatile aromatics and flavors, and the Strecker Degradation contributes to browning. It involves compounds formed in the Maillard reaction and is therefore necessarily linked to it in coffee roasting.
Related Terms:
Pyrolysis Maillard Reaction Roasting
Categories:
Chemistry


Strictly Hard Bean
In Costa Rica, a classification/grading for specialty coffee. indicates the coffees was grown at an altitude above 1200 meters/4000 feet. Beans grown at a higher altitude, have a greater density, and thus a better specialty cup.
Related Terms:
SHG Grade Altitude Strictly High Grown
Categories:
Origins Trade Terms


Strictly High Grown
a general Specialty Coffee classification/grading. It indicates the coffees was grown at an altitude above 1200 meters/4000 feet. Beans grown at a higher altitude, have a greater density, and thus a better specialty cup. It is pretty much synonymous with SHB, Strictly Hard Bean, the classification used in Costa Rica for the same grade of coffee.
Related Terms:
SHB Grade Altitude Strictly Hard Bean
Categories:
Trade Terms


Strictly Soft
Brazil has it's own grading system for defects in the cup - Strictly Soft is the highest grade in the schema. Hard is considered a middle grade defective/commercial level coffee, so the term soft expresses clean, mild flavors
Related Terms:
Brazil Coffee Grades Rioy Hard Soft Strictly Soft Coffee Grading
Categories:
Trade Terms


Strong
Many people say that they like "strong coffee" but this term needs to be pulled apart a bit to have any meaning. Some origins can be more pungent or intense than others, usually due to the processing methods or the preparation. Dry-processed coffees will in general have more earthy and potentially wild flavors. Aged coffees definitely have strong flavors - pleasant to some, not so much to others. We refer to this as "Bold" in our reviews - a vague term, but opposed to mild. Strong is in opposition to "weak" and can only mean brew strength, the intensity of the brewed coffee, if it is brewed in a more concentrated way, with too much ground coffee in respect to the amount of water used. Espresso is obviously one of the strongest coffee drinks since by definition it is a coffee extract, i.e. very little water in proportion to a large dose of coffee. Strong might also be interchangeable with "Bold", another vague descriptor and both of these could also refer to a dark roast level.
Related Terms:
Bold Brewing
Categories:
Brewing


Structured
Like Balance, structure is an esoteric term. After all, you can't taste a "structure" nor can you taste a "balance." They come from a sense of all the sensory components of a coffee, characterizing the relation between flavors, acids, mouthfeel and aftertaste as well-defined and comprehensive. Well-structured coffee has an architectural feel, as something that is "built", well-founded, solid, with flavors and sapid experiences that relate well to each other. Usually it refers directly to the acidity, or perhaps we might say the acidity is a core component of structure, since a coffee with weak acidity tastes limp and flat.
Related Terms:
Well-knit Balance
Categories:
Flavor


Sucrose
Sucrose is largely destroyed by the roasting process through various reactions and thermal caramelization. It is destroyed at this rate: 2.9% remains in a light roast; 0.9% in a medium roast, 0% in a dark roast. Sucrose is sweeter before caramelization, but perhaps more aromatic after caramelization. Still, if there is no sweet taste, the perception of caramelized sucrose will not be sweet. "Sucrose is the principle sugar in coffee. The melting point of pure crystalline sucrose is in the 320-392 degrees F with 370 degrees F most commonly accepted. Degradation of dry sucrose can occur as low as 194 degrees F. and begins with the cleavage of the glycosidic bond followed by condensation and the formation of water. Between 338 and 392 degrees F, caramelization begins. It is at this point that water and carbon dioxide fracture and out-gassing begins causing the first mechanical crack. These are the chemical reactions, occurring at approximately 356 degrees F, that are exothermic. Once carmelization begins, it is very important that the coffee mass does not exotherm (lose heat) or the coffee will taste "baked" in the cup. A possible explanation is that exothermy of the charge mass interrupts long chain polymerization and allows cross linking to other constituents. Both the actual melting point of sucrose and the subsequent transformation, or caramelization, reaction are effected by the presence of water, ammonia, and proteinatious substances. Dark roasts represent a higher degree of sugar caramelization than light roasts. The degree of caramelization is an excellent and high resolution method for classifying roasts."
Related Terms:
Sweetness Trigonelline Roast
Categories:
Flavor Chemistry


Sulawesi
Sulawesi coffees are low-acid with great body and that deep, brooding cup profile akin to Sumatra. The coffee is sometimes known as Celebes, which was the Dutch colonial name for the island. Indonesians are available as semi-washed (or wet-hulled) coffees and less frequently as washed coffees. While a fully washed coffee may appear to have less defects, it may not satisfy the expected flavor profile of this coffee origin. People look to Sulawesi and Sumatra for heavy body, low acidity, intense foresty or earthy flavors, chocolate roast notes. Those flavors are largely the result of how the coffee is processed after the coffee cherry is harvested, and more specifically, these types of flavors come from the wet-hull method, called Giling Basah in Indonesia. There are risks with this type of process. The green coffee is dried further on the patio or (in the worst cases) on the dirt! And if a suddent rain comes along and the coffee is not quickly gathered, it can develop musty off notes. Even without added moisture, the fruity mucilage layer can ferment into a very undesirable off cup flavor. Giling Basah method requires as much care as any other type of processing to acheive the best results, and a rigorous cupping regimen can distinguish between positive fruited or earth notes, and rank dirty or fermented defects. See our Sulawesi Coffee Offerings for more information.
Related Terms:
Categories:
Origins


Sumatra
Arabica coffee production in Sumatra began in the 18th century under Dutch colonial domination, introduced first to the northern region of Aceh around Lake Tawar. Coffee is still widely produced in these northern regions of Aceh (Takengon, Bener Mariah) as well as in the Lake Toba region (Lintong Nihuta, Dairi-Sidikalang, Siborongborong, Dolok Sanggul, and Seribu Dolok) to the southwest of Medan. In the past, Sumatra coffees have not been sold by region, because presumably the regional differences are not that distinct. Rather, the quality of the picking, preparation and processing of the coffee determines much of the cup character in this coffee. In fact, Sumatras are sold as Mandheling (Mandailing) which is simply the Indonesian ethnic group that was once involved in coffee production (see note on origin page). The coffee is scored by defects in the cup, not physical defects of the green coffee. So a fairly ugly-looking green coffee can technically be called Grade 1 Mandheling. Indonesians are available as a unique semi-washed process and (rarely) fully-washed coffees. Semi-washed coffees are best described as "wet-hulled", localy called Giling Basah, and will have more body and often more of the "character" that makes Indonesians so appealing and slightly funky. In this process, the parchment coffee (the green seed with the parchment shell still attached) is very marginally dried, then stripped of the outer layer, revealing a white-colored, swollen green bean. Then the drying is completed on the patio (or in some cases, on the dirt), and the seed quickly turns to a dark green color. See our Sumatra Coffee Offerings for more information.
Related Terms:
Categories:
Origins


Supremo
A Colombian coffee grade referring to screen size of 17-18 screen. In the traditional bulk Arabica business, Supremo was the top grade Colombia, with Excelso one step below at 15-16 screen. Neither of these refer to cup quality, only bean size.
Related Terms:
Excelso Coffee Grading FNC
Categories:
Trade Terms


Sweaty
Usually a taste defect, reminiscent of the smell of flavor of sweat, sometimes considered mildly positive. It can be the result of bad storage conditions for green coffee, but we have also experienced it from roast profiles where the seed is overroasted on the interior due to too much conduction in the thermal transfer. It is an unsweet taste. Some Kenyas can be mildly sweaty, i.e. akin to minerally, not with a stench of foul sweat. It can be found in Yemeni coffees as well, along with leather and hide notes, and has some relation to musty flavors in Indonesia coffees.
Related Terms:
Musty Leathery Hidey Defect
Categories:
Flavor Defects


Sweet
Sweetness is one of four basic sapid (in the mouth) tastes: Sour, Sweet, Salty, Bitter (and possibly a 5th called Umami which indicates savory flavors). In coffee, sweetness is a highly desirable quality, and the green bean has many sugars and polysaccharides. However, the main sugar, sucrose, is largely destroyed by roasting, with only 2.9% remaining at a light roast, and 0% at a darker roast. When caramelized sugars have aromatic sweetness, but not sapid sweetness on the palate. Hence, over-roasting is to be avoided to preserve some sweetness.
Related Terms:
Sour Sweet Salty Bitter Umami
Categories:
Flavor


SwissGold Filter
A brand of reusable metal filter for drip coffee brewing. Swissgolds are alternatives to paper coffee filters. They have the advantage that they do not impact a taste to the cup (paper filters can give a paper-y taste), and they are reusable. Swissgolds have larger pores than paper filters, which means larger particles make their way into the cup.
Related Terms:
Brewed Coffee
Categories:
Equipment Brewing


SWP
Swiss Water Process is a patented water filtration decaf method, not a chemical solvent method. The plant is in Vancouver, Canada.
Related Terms:
CO2 Decaffeinated Coffee Ethyl Acetate
Categories:
Processing Trade Terms