Coffee & Tea


Acid. Tartness, snap, twist, dryness. Darker roasts contain less acid. The "backbone" of coffee.

Acidity. A measure of the acid content of the liquid; in fine coffees, results in a pleasant sharpness.

Aftertaste. The sensation of taste released after swallowing; can range from bitter to sweet or chocolaty to spicy.

Aroma. The fragrance ot freshly brewed coffee; can range from mild to pungent.

Bouquet. The complete Aromatic profile; resulting frum a combination of the aroma and aftertaste.

Blend. Any mixture of two or more coffees that complement each other.

Bitter. A coffee taste that is harsh and unpleasant. Bitterness can be the result of over extraction (when water spends too much time in contact with the coffee), over roasting or poor quality beans.

Body. A term describing a strong, full, pleasant characteristic (not necessarily related to acidity).

Carbony. A common "burnt" scent in dark roasted coffees.

Cupping. The physical process of tasting coffee to evaluate it; involves exaggerated spitting, slurping, and swallowing to experience each characteristic.

Caffeine. An odorless, bitter stimulant found in coffee beans, tea leaves, kola nuts and cocoa beans.

Cherries. The fruit of coffee arabica, so called because it growns bright red. Each cherry has two beans.

Dark Roast. A term applied to coffee beans that are roasted longer to develop a strong, almost spicy taste. The resulting coffee beans are very dark and oily.

Dirty. Unclean smell or taste such as sourness or mustiness, or a more generalized taint.

Delicate. Related to mellow; a fragile, subtle flavor perceived by the tip of the tongue.

Decaffeination. A process using either methylene chloride, carbon dioxide or water, which remove, 97% of the caffeine from the green beans.

Dry. Coffee, espresso without hot milk, coffee and foam only, opposite of "Wet."

Flat. 1) A term which describes a nondescipt bouquet; not a particularly flattering term. 2) Same as "Wet."

Flavor. The unique combination of acidity, body and aroma that characterizes each coffee.

Flavored Coffee. Coffees given specific flavors by the addition of oils and extracts.

Fruity. A term describing an aroma of citrus or berry fruit.

Light. Espresso with extra water, less strong, opposite of tight.

Mellow. A rounded smooth taste, characteristically lacking in acidity.

Musty. A taint often due to poor storage. Can also be due to lack of sufficient drying and aging or overheating.

Neutral. Lacking any strong main flavors; a characteristic desirable in good blends.

Nutty. An aromatic released as brew is swallowed, reminiscent of roasted nuts.

Rich. Describes a bouquet with intense aroma and aftertaste.

Thin. Related to under brewing (when water spends too little time in contact with the coffee). The brew lacks body and acidity.

Tight. Espresso with a less water content, stronger, opposite of light.

Wet. Coffee, espresso without foam, coffee and hot milk only, opposite of "Dry" or "Flat".

Deamer 11/19/96