Roaster List's Coffee Glossary

Coffee Terms and Definitions to help you on your journey to better understand specialty coffee.

Acidity
Coffee Acidity is used to describe a range of different flavors that relate to the amount of acid in a coffee bean.
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Aroma
Aroma can refer to specific flavor attributes of coffee smells (or tastes) such as sweetness, bitterness, saltiness or sourness.
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Astringency
Astringency refers to an unpleasant sour flavor when tasting coffee.
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Balance
Balance is an adjective used to describe how aspects of a coffee compliment each other.
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Black Coffee
A plain cup of brewed coffee served without any milk or add ons, usually referring to drip coffee.
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Brew Ratio
The ratio of coffee to water used when making coffee.
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Burr Grinder
A type of coffee bean grinder where beans are ground using flat or conical burrs, leading to a more uniform grind size.
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Cappuccino
A 5–6 oz espresso and milk beverage that should produce a harmonious balance of rich, sweet milk and espresso.
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Chemex
A glass brewing device used for making pour over coffee.
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Coffee Farm
A farm that commercially grows coffee in one of the coffee growing regions of the world.
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Coffee Flavor Wheel
The flavor wheel is an image that depicts the different flavors and aromas you might find in roasted coffee.
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Coffee Plant
A flowering shrub or tree whose fruit containts a seed that we roast and brew for coffee.
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Coffee Shrub
A flowering shrub or tree whose fruit containts a seed that we roast and brew for coffee.
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Coffee Tree
A flowering shrub or tree whose fruit containts a seed that we roast and brew for coffee.
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Cold Brew
Coffee made with coffee grounds and cold water. It can be immersion or made with the drip coffee method.
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Crema
A sweet, light brown layer of foam that develops on a shot of espresso.
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Cupping
A standardized process to taste and define the unique characteristics of a coffee.
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Degas
Letting gas escape from the coffee beans through a one way valve in the first few days after roasting.
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Drip Coffee
A coffee brewing process where water is poured over ground coffee inside of a paper filter.
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Drum Roaster
A type of coffee roaster where a rotating drum that holds coffee beans (or cylinder) is rotated above a heat source.
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Espresso
A drink that normally yields 1-2 oz. made by forcing a small amount of water through finely ground coffee.
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Extraction
Extraction refers to how well the water dissolves soluble flavors via coffee grounds into coffee through the brewing process.
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Fragrance
Fragrance is typically used in coffee to refer to the set of characteristics found in the smell of dry coffee. It is sometimes used synonymous with aroma.
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French Press
An immersion brewing device that consists of a cylindrical cup and a mesh filter (usually metal)
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Gram Scale
A scale that can measure in grams, used when brewing coffee to measure the amount of water.
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Immersion
A coffee brewing process where the coffee grounds are submerged in water for a set period.
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Latte
A drink made up of espresso, steamed milk, and a thin layer of microfoam on top.
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Latte Art
A design made in a coffee drink with steamed milk and microfoam being poured into espresso.
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Microfoam
Microfoam is milk foam that's created when steaming milk. It has tiny, uniform bubbles and a shiny appearance.
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Mocha
A drink made up of espresso, chocolate, steamed milk, and a thin layer of microfoam.
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Q Grader
A credential for coffee professionals that displays their overall knowledge of coffee.
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Roast Profile
A roast profile is the detail behind how a coffee is roasted - specifically it's temperature range, airflow, and other key metrics.
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Single Origin
Single origin refers to coffee that comes from one region, and usually one location or coffee farm.
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Specialty Coffee
Specialty coffee is the highest quality coffee in the world and is graded at 80 or higher by a licensed Q Grader.
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Specialty Coffee Association
An organization that acts as the head for the specialty coffee industry around the world.
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Tasting Notes
A term to describe the flavors in a particular coffee by tasting it.
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Third Wave Coffee
Refers to a movement within the coffee industry to focus on higher quality coffee.
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