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