Vocabulary and glossary to help people navigate the coffee world.
The world’s most popular species of coffee plant, accounting for approximately 65% of
global production. Its ideal climate is a tropical-mountainous one, preferably over 900
metres above sea level.
Characterized by intensity and quality, aroma is detected when the nose approaches the
cup and the olfactory cells come into contact with the volatile chemical compounds
released by the drink.
The taste that remains in the mouth after swallowing a sip of coffee; this may have hints of
chocolate, caramel, spices, fruit, smoky and roasted notes as well as other flavours.
Coffee blends are mixtures of different coffee bean crops from around the world or a
specific region. An expert roaster will typically use beans from 2 to maximum 4 different
The layer beneath the crema with most of the rich and delicious flavours and aromas
associated with espresso. Soft, syrupy, creamy, buttery/oily, silky when it’s good, dry or
astringent when it’s not.
The process of pouring hot water onto ground coffee beans. Water infuses the ground
coffee, absorbs its chemical elements then passes through a filter to make the coffee
The name given to the band of subtropical regions crossing around 50 countries where
coffee is grown. Principally mountainous regions that lie between the Tropic of Cancer and
the Tropic of Capricorn.
The evolution of coffee over time: - 1st wave: air-tight cans and pre-ground portion packs were introduced. - 2nd wave: focused on coffee origins, artisans and roasting styles. - 3rd wave: consumers understand the specifics of their coffee.
Extraction is what determines the quality of the final result of the coffee in cup, defining the
thickness of the crema on the surface and giving the coffee its fine and persistent texture.
Transformation of the roasted coffee beans into a coarse to fine powder, allowing the oils
and flavours to be extracted. Can be done with a basic, blade-type grinder or with a higher
quality burr one.
The process of gently soaking the puck of ground coffee in the filter after the full desired
brewing pressure has been applied to ensure that water evenly penetrates the ground
once extraction begins.
Roasting is the ‘cooking’ of the green coffee beans through the application of heat for a
certain time. Only after roasting are beans are ready to be ground.
Coffea Robusta is the most popular coffee variety of the Coffea Canephora. Mostly grown
in Vietnam, but also in Africa and Brazil, it generally has a much higher caffeine content
than other species.
The beans come from one place only, usually from a certain country, region or even the
same farm or estate. Supporters of single origin argue that mixing destroys the essence of
The act of compacting ground coffee with a tamper to restrict water flow, forcing the coffee
and water to interact at the right pressure. Tamping should be firm, even and
perpendicular to the filter.
Four basic flavours are used to describe coffee: bitter, sour, salty, and sweet. The
predominance of one or more over the others depends on the blend composition.
Sometimes, umami is also perceived.