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Glossary of Coffee Terms

Acidity – A desirable flavor that is sharp, snappy and pleasing but not biting.

Aftertaste: A taste that lingers in the mouth after eating or drinking

Arabica – Coffee Arabica, one of the two main types of beans for all coffee. Arabica beans tend to make better coffee, though coffees that use them aren't necessarily equal in quality.

Aroma – The characteristic odors of coffee, normally pleasant smelling and indicative of what the coffee might taste like.

Balance –   Acidity and body are present in the coffee and work very well together.

Blend – A mix of two or more single origin beans.

Body -  Used to describe the mouth feeling or viscosity of the coffee. The thickness associated with taste.

Brew – To combine coffee and hot water together in the act of making drinkable coffee.

Burnt – A coffee that has been taken too far in the roast process; over-roasted.

Caffeine – C8H10N402; an alkaloid substance found in the coffee bean, the leaf, some tea leaf, yerba mate and cocoa bean.

Caffeine Content – determined by brew type, strength and volume of liquid; the amount of caffeine in the drink you are consuming.

Cherry – The ripe fruit found on the coffee plant that houses 2 coffee beans (seeds).

Clean – A typical characteristic of specialty grade coffee. Without defect, the opposite of dirty.

Cold Brew – To combine coffee and cold water together and steep for 12 or more hours.

Cold Brew Concentrate – Cold Brewed coffee in its concentrated form. Mixed with milk, water or other ingredients to create your own coffee beverage.

Complexity – A tasting term describing sensation shifts; resonance, depth of flavor.

Cupping – Coffee analyzing: judging the merits of a coffee by roasting, grinding, and brewing to exact specification and slurping the coffee for optimum tasting and evaluating opportunity.

Crema – A pale brown micro bubble foam covering the surface of a well brewed cup of espresso.

Darker Roast - A darker brown roasting of coffee that begins to caramelize the sugars inside the bean. At this stage oils begin to come to the surface of the bean.

Decaffeinated: Coffee that has had the caffeine removed.

Decaffeination Process: The process used to decaffeinate the coffee.

Espresso – A strong, short shot of coffee prepared by forcing live steam under pressure, or boiling water, through finely ground roasted coffee.

Finish – the after taste or lingering taste of the coffee.

Flavor – All of the elements from the coffee that you can taste.

French Roast – Coffee roasted at a high enough level to bring the natural oils to the surface.

Fruity – A coffee’s inherent nature do to origin, plant varietal and processing technique.

Grade – The measure of quality of the coffee.

Green Coffee – The coffee as we receive it from its origin- before roasting.

Kohana – The Japanese word for small white flower – in coffee terms it is the flower that  blooms on the coffee plant before the fruit.

Light – A descriptive term designating a delicate flavor, usually associated with aroma, body or acidity in the coffee.

Medium Roast - Coffee roasted in the medium range where the flavor shows at it’s brightest.

Natural / Dry Process – Where the fruit is actually dried on the cherry rather than pulping the fruit from the seeds and washing them before drying.

Nutty  Reminiscent of roasted nuts.

Pulped Natural – Where the fruit is removed from the seeds but the mucilage is kept in tact and dried on the beans.

Ready to Drink – A drink that is ready to drink straight from the container; as in Kohana’s new canned Coffee Drinks.

Rich  Having depth and flavor and body.

Robusta – A high yielding, disease resistant coffee plant used mostly in commercial coffee. Robusta beans are cheaper and easier to grow.

Roast Profile – The point in which the coffee is taken in the roasting process that brings out the coffees most pleasing characteristics.

Single Origin – Coffee sourced from one country of origin, not a blend of several different coffees.

Soft  Well-rounded and lacking in harshness or acidity.

Specialty Coffee – A term to differentiate between large commercial

Spicy – of flavor or aroma suggestive of spices.

Sweet  - An attribute specific to some coffees, with a slightly sweet, natural flavor

Washed / Wet Process – Where the fruit from the seeds is removed, then washed and dried to be readied for export.

Whole Bean – Coffee that has been roasted but not ground.

Winey  Rich, rounded and smooth, reminiscent of mature red wine.

Varietal - A species of coffee plant.

Aloha Spirit  A reference to the friendly, accepting attitude the Hawaiian Islands are known for. Goes beyond the “Aloha” expression to suggest a deeper way of living in the moment and sharing in life’s joy.