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Lost in Translation: How to talk coffee

Lost in Translation: How to talk coffee

We have all been there. Hearing your local roaster or barista talking in another language, or so it seems.  So here are a few of the terms to start practising before your next trip to the coffee shop.

Acidity: A cupping term that describes either the high notes (bright, clean of coffee or unpleasant qualities (sour)

Aged Coffee: Also considered ‘vintage Coffee’ this has been stored in warehouses for years to reduce acidity and increase body

Aroma: The smell of freshly brewed coffee

Balance: When a coffee has no single characteristic that stands above the others

Body: The weight of the coffee: How it feels in your mouth, whether it’s watery, oily or grainy.

Clean: A coffee free of flavour defects

Crema:  The honey coloured surface layer of an espresso, formed by gas trapped bubbles of oil.

Cupping: Method used to judge the quality and characteristics of coffee beans

Density: Beans are sorted according to density before being exported. The denser the bean, the higher the quality.

Filter: Coffee brewed through the method of coffee beans steeped in water and passed through a filter.

Finish: The taste and texture of coffee before being swallowed.

Fragrance: The smell of freshly ground coffee

Hard: Low quality coffee

Pull: Before machines were lever operated, espresso shots were ‘pulled’

Richness: A full satisfying flavour of coffee

Single Origin: A term for coffee where all beans have come from the one ‘single’ origin whether that is a single farm or a broader region. Flavours will usually be identified through a generalisation of regions

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