Essential Coffee Terminology: Part 2

Here's the second part of our Ultimate Coffee Glossary. We focus on common industry terms used in coffee growing, equipment, brewing and tasting. At Seven Miles we are commited to various issues facing the modern industry, from sustainability through to effective SCA training. Stay informated through our blog and podcast.

☕ Brewing & Tasting

Acidity('acids')

Acidity is a term used to describe the ‘brightness’ or ‘tangy’ sensation in coffee. These are often interpreted as fruit flavours, such as citrus or strawberry. Click here for more of coffee acidity.

⚙ Coffee Equipment

Aeropress

A simple, manual coffee brewer made by the Aerobie company. It can be used in a couple of different ways, the coffee is extracted through a paper of metal filter using pressure of a plastic syringe pushed by hand.

⚙ Coffee Equipment

Automation

Used in the industry to refer to any kind of machinery used to remove manual, repetitive processes and improve efficiency. Read more on automation.

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Barista

Italian for ‘bartender’. In English, this title refers to the person who makes coffee, usually in a café.

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Batch Brew

Filter Coffee, brewed in a ‘batch quantity’. Typically, 1 Litre or more, using an automated brewer such as a Moccamaster, Fetco or Bunn.

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Blend

Two or more coffee beans blended together to balance the different tastes of individual coffee varieties.

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Body

The mouthfeel of a coffee, or the ‘thickness’. An example is milk: full-cream milk is ‘thicker’ therefore has a ‘fuller’ body. Skim (Non-fat) milk is ‘thinner’ and has a ‘lighter’ body. Terms used to describe body include ‘full’, ‘thick’, ‘syrupy’ & ‘creamy’.

☕ Brewing & Tasting

Brew Ratio

For espresso brewing, this is the ratio of ground coffee (dry) to liquid espresso. E.g. An espresso ratio of 20g coffee to 40g espresso is 1:2. For filter brewing (or cold brew), this refers to the ratio of ground coffee (dry) to brewing water. E.g. a filter coffee recipe of 12g coffee to 204g brewing water is 1:17.

🌱 Coffee Growing

Coffee Cherry

The coffee fruit containing the coffee seeds, otherwise known as ‘coffee beans’. Each ripe coffee typically contains two ‘beans’.

🌱 Coffee Growing

Coffee Rust (Roya)

Coffee leaf rust is a fungal disease that affects many different varieties of coffee tree. There is currently no cure, however coffee producers manage the impact by planting resistant hybrid varieties.

⚙ Coffee Equipment

Chemex

A brand of manual pourover coffee brewer. Invented in 1941, this brewer has become a style icon and remains a favourite of baristas and coffee lovers due to the clean, refined flavours it produces in the coffee.

🌱 Coffee Growing

Cooperative

Also known as a coop, an organisation owned by a collective of coffee farms to produce and sell green coffee. Typically based around a processing mill, this structure allows small growers access to community & industry resources they might not otherwise have.

🌱 Coffee Growing

Cultivar

A ‘cultivated variety’ of coffee plant produced by selective breeding. These varieties can be used to increase yields, quality & disease resistance.

☕ Brewing & Tasting

Cupping

The professional process of coffee tasting. It involves steeping coffee grounds in a bowl, removing the floating layer of coffee (the ‘crust’), slurping the brewed coffee from a spoon before spitting out the coffee. We run regular cupping events where we invite the public to experience our coffee tasting process.

⚙ Coffee Equipment

Dial In

The process of adjusting the espresso machine and grinder to get the most out of a particular coffee. It often involves targeting a specific espresso recipe combined with tasting the coffee. In specialty cafes, this happens in the morning and throughout the day as conditions change.

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Espresso Recipe

An espresso recipe is a method of communicating recommended espresso brewing parameters. This typically includes the weight of ground coffee (‘in’), the weight of liquid espresso (‘out’) and the brewing time in seconds. An example looks like 20g in, 40g out, 25 seconds.

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Estate Coffee

coffee grown on one particular ‘estate’ (usually a large farm).

🌱 Coffee Growing

Fairtrade

Also called FTO. Coffee certified by the Fairtrade organisation. A non-profit organisation that audits the coffee supply chain to provide a fair price and working conditions for coffee producers. An example of a certified coffee is our Leaf & Berry blend.

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Finish (aftertaste)

The flavour of coffee remaining after the coffee has been swallowed or spat out in the case of cupping. Described either by its length (e.g. ‘long’ finish) or flavour notes (e.g. ‘notes of caramel on the finish’)

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Flavour Wheel

The industry standard set of flavour descriptions for specialty coffee as published by the Specialty Coffee Association.

⚙ Coffee Equipment

Gravimetric

Relating to coffee equipment, where the espresso machine or grinder measures the output by weight rather than volume.

🌱 Coffee Growing

Green Bean

The unroasted seed of the coffee cherry. This is the form that is shipping from the producing country to the roaster.

⚙ Coffee Equipment

Grinder

A machine that cuts coffee beans into a fine powder using a set of burrs. Read our review of the Mythos 2 grinder.

⚙ Coffee Equipment

Heat Exchange

A type of espresso machine with only one water boiler. These machines heat the brewing water using a pipe that runs through the steam boiler ‘exchanging’ the heat to the brewing water. Read more about the different types of espresso machines here.

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Honey Process

A method of processing the coffee cherry where the skin is removed, and the rest of the fruit is sundried with the sticky flesh remaining.

🌱 Coffee Growing

Microlot

A small quantity of coffee picked from a specific ‘lot’ on the farm. This is separated from the rest of the production of that farm and sold separately, usually for its distinct flavour attributes.

⚙ Coffee Equipment

Multi-Boiler

A type of espresso machine with separate boilers for steam production and coffee brewing. Read more about the different types of espresso machines here.

🌱 Coffee Growing

Natural (Dry Process)

The original method of processing coffee. The ripe cherries are dried whole in the sun, either on raised beds (typical in Africa) or on a concrete patio (typical in Latin America). This method typically produces a coffee with more body and fruity ferment flavours than a washed (wet process) coffee. An example of natural coffees is our Wilde blend.

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Nitrogen Flush

The process of flushing coffee packaging with Nitrogen gas to remove oxygen. This results in less oxidation of the coffee and a more stable shelf life.

🌱 Coffee Growing

Organic

Coffee grown without the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides. An example of a certified organic coffee is our Leaf & Berry blend

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Pourover Brewer

A type of filter coffee brewer where the water is ‘poured over’ the grounds. These devices can be manual, such as the v60 (see below) or automatic (aka. batch brewer).

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Pressure Profiling

The process of adjusting the water pressure during brewing in an espresso machine to manipulate flavour. An example of this is a lever espresso machine, such as the La Marzocco Leva or a machine with a variable pump, such as the La Marzocco Strada EP. Read more about the impact of water pressure here.

☕ Brewing & Tasting

Q-Grader

a professional coffee taster who has passed the Q-grader exam and is certified by the Specialty Coffee Association. At Seven Miles, we have a number of certified Q-Graders, including Sharon Jan.

🌱 Coffee Growing

SCA

Specialty Coffee Association. The world’s premiere association for the specialty coffee industry. Formed when the SCAA (specialty coffee association or America) and the SCAE (Specialty Coffee Association of Europe) merged.

🌱 Coffee Growing

Single Origin

Coffee that has been sourced from one location or region, as opposed to a blend.

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Small Batch Roasting

Coffee roasted in small quantities, typically under 20kg per batch.

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Tamping

Process of packing ground coffee into the espresso basket prior to brewing. This is done in order for the water to be distributed evenly when the espresso is brewed.

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v60 Brewer

A popular brand of manual pourover filter brewer product by Hario

🌱 Coffee Growing

Varietal

The specific ‘variety’ of coffee plant.

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Volumetric

An espresso machine feature where the brewing water is measured by volume at the press of a button. Read more about the different types of espresso machines here

🌱 Coffee Growing

Washed (Wet Process)

Coffee produced by fermenting the coffee fruit for a short period of time (typically 24-48 hours) in a pool of water and washing through concrete channels to remove the soft parts of the fruit. This is the typical processing method throughout Latin America and typically produces a ‘cleaner’ tasting coffee with less ferment than ‘Natural’ processed coffee.

🌱 Coffee Growing

Waves

A business term. Segmented into five waves of coffee industry development over time. More details on the waves of coffee development