30 Popular Coffee Terms Explained

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Coffee Terms Explained

Do you often get confused with words that regular coffee drinkers use? In this article, we will explain the 30 most commonly used coffee terms.

Affogato

Affogato is an Italian coffee beverage which is also famous as a dessert. The word affogato is derived from the Italian word affogare which means to drown. A scoop of vanilla gelato is drowned with a shot of espresso hence the name affogato.

Americano

An espresso diluted with hot water is known as Americano. It is a type of coffee drink. The word Americano is Italian for American coffee.

Arabica

Arabica or Coffea arabica is a type of coffee made using the beans of the Coffea arabica plant. The arabica has a 60-70% share of the world’s coffee production and is the most popular coffee bean.

Aroma

In coffee terms, aroma refers to the fragrance produced by a hot brewed coffee. Aroma plays an important part in the sensorial analysis of coffee.

Barista

A barista is a person who prepares and serves coffee-based drinks (mainly espresso drinks) in coffee shops. They have in-depth knowledge when it comes to preparing coffee and can adhere to different demands of the customers.

Bean

A bean or coffee bean is the seed of a Coffea plant. These beans are roasted and ground to make a coffee drink.

Bitter

Bitter or Bitterness is an attribute of the flavor of a coffee that is harsh in taste. An over-extracted coffee is going to be bitter.

Blends

A blend is the mixture of coffee beans having two or more different origins. Blends are less expensive in comparison to single origins and have a mixture of beans coming from different regions.

Bloom

Blooming is a process in which carbon dioxide from the coffee grounds is removed by pouring hot water over them and waiting for 30 seconds. Coffee beans have carbon dioxide from the roasting process which needs to be removed for the best flavor and aroma.

Caffeine

Caffeine is an alkaloid present in coffee. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and is one of the most commonly used psychoactive substances. The more caffeine in a coffee the more bitter it is going to taste.

Cappuccino

Cappuccino is an espresso-based coffee drink that has foamed milk on top. It originated in Italy.

Chemex

It is a type of coffee maker that uses the pour-over method for brewing coffee with the help of paper filters. Chemex coffees are sweet tasting and also quite aromatic.

Crema

Crema is a layer that sits on top of an espresso shot. A good layer of crema is a sign of a well-made espresso. 

Cold Brew

Cold Brew is a type of iced coffee that instead of using hot water uses cold or regular water during the brewing process. Cold-brew coffee tends to be less acidic and people with digestive issues should prefer it.

Dark Roast

A coffee bean that is roasted for a long time is known as a dark roast. Due to longer roasting, they lose a significant amount of their properties and coffee made using the dark roasts tends to be bitter tasting.

Doppio

A double shot of espresso is called a doppio. It is an Italian word meaning double.

Espresso

Espresso is a coffee-making method in which hot water is forced through the ground coffee at high pressures. Espresso is a base for many coffee drinks. Espresso is a strong and thick coffee.

French Press

French Press, also known as a coffee plunger is a type of coffee maker. This brewing method involves pressing spent grounds to the bottom using a plunger to separate brewed coffee from them.

Green Beans

Green Beans are coffee seeds that are yet to be roasted. After roasting the amount of chlorogenic acid in the beans is reduced.

Grind Size

Different brewing methods require different sized ground beans. For optimal extraction of flavors the beans need to be ground in different measures according to the coffee type. This measure is referred to as grind size.

Immersion

Immersion is a type of brewing style in which coffee grounds are immersed in water and allowed to steep. The immersion method allows the extraction of flavors and aroma from the ground coffee.

Latte Art

Latte is an Italian word meaning milk. It is a coffee drink made using espresso and steamed milk. Latte Art is the art of designing something on the surface of a latte drink by pouring microfoam.

Lungo

It is an espresso drink that has higher water content and uses a longer extraction time. Due to the usage of more water, the coffee is weak in comparison to other espresso drinks.

Mocha

Mocha is a type of espresso drink that consists of an espresso shot, chocolate syrup and steamed milk.

Roasting

Roasting involves heating green coffee beans which leads to the transformation of their physical and chemical properties. The roasting process allows the extraction of flavors of the bean.

Robusta

Robusta coffee is made using beans from the Coffea canephora plant. It is a species of coffee originating from sub-Saharan Africa. Robusta also has the second biggest share in the world’s coffee production. It has twice the caffeine levels than the arabica coffee and generally coffee made using the Robusta is bitter.

Single Origin

A coffee bean that comes from a single place instead of multiple regions.

Siphon

Siphon is a type of coffee maker that uses vacuum pressure for brewing the coffee. It consists of two chambers for brewing the coffee where vapor pressure and gravity are used.

Specialty Coffee

Coffee being sold based on the country of origin, roasting, blends and flavors is known as specialty coffee. Brand names or trademarks aren’t taken into consideration when it comes to specialty coffee.

Tamper

A Tamper is a tool to compress coffee grounds in the coffee basket before the extraction process.

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