BALI COFFEE (Balinese Coffee) – See Bali Coffee.
BANI COFFEE – See Dominican Republic Bani Coffee.
BAGGY – A taste fault in weakly roasted coffee beans that were stored improperly for a long period of time.
BAKED – A taste fault/aroma defect in brewed coffee causing an insipid flavor and flat bouquet. This baked characteristic is created by improper roasting. More specifically, it occurs when the roasting proceeds for too long at too low of a heat. It may also refer to an unpleasant taste in over-heated coffee (e.g., over-baked).
BALANCED – Describes a coffee with very pleasant taste and aroma characteristics, yet with enough complexity to be interesting. A full-bodied, well-balanced coffee may be called mellow.
In a balanced coffee, no one quality or element (e.g., taste or aroma characteristic) dominates or overpowers/overshadows any other taste/aroma characteristic.
The flavor of a brewed coffee with good balance does not localize at any particular point on the palate and is not imbalanced toward one particular direction, and definitely not in the direction of an undesirable taste characteristic (e.g. a taste defect).
An example of this balanced quality is found in fine Yemen Coffees, which can be compared in many ways to Ethiopian Harrar, yet the Yemen is more balanced, possessing all of the basic taste characteristics (flavor, body, acidity, aroma, sweetness, bitterness, aftertaste) of a premium coffee to the right extent.
BAR – A measurement of pressure, which for brewing a proper shot of espresso should be 9 BAR, which is 132 pounds per square inch, or 8 atmospheres of pressure.
BARAHONA – See Dominican Republic Barahona Coffee.
BARISTA – A person whose career/livelihood centers around the making of coffee drinks, and who is a professional trained in the arts of preparing and brewing coffee.
Barista is an Italian word denoting a person with experience and skill in producing espresso and espresso-based specialty coffee drinks (espresso drinks) such as cappuccinos, caffe lattes, etc., and typically this occurs at a coffeehouse, coffee shop, coffee vending shop, or café. See Espresso Drink Recipes; How to make a Latte.
BASIC COFFEE TASTES (Basic Tastes) – The four basic tastes are sour (tartaric acid), sweet (sucrose), salty (sodium chloride), and bitter (quinine).
Also see Basic Coffee Flavor Characteristics; Primary Taste Sensations; Primary Coffee Flavor Sensations; and Secondary Coffee Flavor Sensations.
BASIC COFFEE FLAVOR CHARACTERISTICS (Basic Flavor Characteristics; Basic Coffee Taste Characteristics; Basic Taste Characteristics) – Cuppers (professional coffee tasters) analyze all of the basic coffee flavor characteristics/taste sensations including the coffee’s body (mouthfeel), fragrance/aroma, acidity, sweetness, bitterness, and finish/aftertaste – in order to analyze the coffee’s complete flavor profile and aromatic profile.
Also see Primary Taste Sensations; Basic Coffee Tastes; Primary Coffee Flavor Sensations; and Secondary Coffee Flavor Sensations.
BATCH ROASTER – A coffee roasting machine that roasts a specific pre-set quantity (batch) of coffee beans at one time.
BEAN – See Coffee beans.
BEAN DEFECT –
- BEAN DEFECT (Physical) – A coffee imperfection which may include overripe and underripe coffee beans as well as chipped, nicked, hollow, or deformed coffee beans. Also considered defects are coffee beans exhibiting moldiness, quakers, black beans, coffee beans that show signs of improper treatment during processing or harvesting, coffee beans with an improper moisture content during storage, or any other bean property causing a flavor and/or aroma fault/taint.
2) FLAVOR/AROMA DEFECT – See Coffee Defects.
BEAN IMPERFECTION – A coffee bean defect which may include hollow, deformed, chipped, nicked beans, underripe beans, or overripe beans, black beans, moldiness, quakers, improper processing or harvesting, improper moisture content during storing, or any other coffee bean property causing a flavor and/or aroma fault/taint/defect.
BEANY – A coffee aroma descriptor denoting a coffee that has not been sufficiently roasted and thus is not able to develop its full aroma.
BEBEKA COFFEE – Bebeka coffee is grown in Ethiopia at elevations ranging from 3,000 feet to 3,900 feet above sea level. Along with Teppi coffee beans, Bebeka coffee beans are typically used for blending and are known to offer a well-balanced cup of brewed coffee. Also see Ethiopian Coffee.
BED – Coffee grinds placed in a filter-drip coffee brewing machine or tamped in a filter basket in a portafilter of an espresso machine (espresso maker) previous to the brewing of the espresso shot(s). Also see Puck; Pack, Tamping Espresso Coffee.
BELAWAN COFFEE ESTATE (Blawan Coffee Estate) – One of the five largest Dutch colonial estates on the eastern end of the island of Java in Indonesia. The finest Java coffee comes from these large plantation estates established by the Dutch government in the 18th century when Java was part of the Dutch East Indies.
Together these large estates – Kayumas, Tugosari, Belawan (Blawan), Pancoer, and Jampit – encompass more than 4,000 hectares of coffee tree plantings.
BELT AGGLOMERATION – A process used during instant coffee production to turn extremely fine particles into larger particles.
BERGENDAL COFFEE – A variety of Coffea arabica var. typica (Coffea arabica var. bergendal) which survived the renowned 1880 coffee leaf rust outbreak which destroyed most all Typica plants in Indonesia.
BERRY – See Coffee Cherry.
BERRY DISEASE – A fungus (Colletotrichum coffeanum) that takes hold in the bark of coffee trees and then produces spores that attack the coffee fruit (cherry).
BEST VALUE BLEND – A moderately priced coffee blend which is usually purchased by restaurants, schools, government entities, and businesses.
BEVERAGE YIELD – The amount of coffee produced by a specific piece of coffee brewing equipment based on a particular water-to-coffee ratio.
BIRD FRIENDLY COFFEE (Bird-Friendly Coffee; Bird Friendly Shade-Grown Coffee; Bird Friendly Shade Grown Coffee; Bird-Friendly Shade Grown Coffee; Bird Friendly® Coffee) – See Bird Friendly Coffee.
BISCOTTI – See Espresso Cuisine.
BITTER/BITTERNESS – See Bitterness.
BLACK BEANS – Dead coffee beans which drop from the coffee trees previous to the harvest. These beans are considered a defect, and are due to one or more of the following causes: lack of nutrients to the coffee tree, inadequate pruning, insufficient water, or the plants being harmed by insects or diseases.
All of these may inhibit or stop the growth of the coffee cherry (fruit) and create a taste faults and aroma faults in the brewed coffee.
The New York Coffee Exchange uses black beans as a basic unit for determining the quantity of imperfections.
BLACK AND WHITE – See Espresso Drink Recipes.
BLACK-BROWN ROAST (Black Brown Roast) – See Dark Roast.
BLACK EYE – See Espresso Drink Recipes.
BLACK RUSSIAN – See Espresso Drink Recipes.
BLADE COFFEE GRINDERS (Blade Grinders) – See Blade Coffee Grinders.
BLAND – A pale or neutral flavor (primary taste sensation) that is common in Robusta coffee’s which are grown at low elevations. A bland coffee lacks significant flavor as well as the other major coffee quality characteristics (e.g., aroma, acidity).
One cause of a bland coffee is a combination of the coffee’s salts with its sugars, reducing the coffee’s overall saltiness. A bland coffee may also be the result of under-extraction during the brewing process. Bland coffees range from neutral to soft.
The bland coffee taste characteristic is typical of some washed Arabica Coffees (e.g., Guatemalan) which are grown below the 2,000 foot elevation.
BLEND 37 – A Nestle company freeze-dried coffee product sold in the United Kingdom under the Nescafe umbrella brand.
BLENDS (Blend, Blended, Blending) – Two or more types of coffee beans mixed together either to achieve a certain flavor, or to maintain a particular flavor at a particular price.
This blending of coffee bean types, often from different countries, may be done before or after roasting.
Sometimes blending is done to impart the fine taste of a gourmet coffee to a larger batch of coffee beans by mixing in a small quantity of the high-quality beans. This is often a controversial practice as sometimes the beans are marketed with the name of the high quality beans but the coffee contains so much inferior coffee that it doesn’t represent the quality of the premium beans.
The practice of blending just a tiny amount of premium coffee beans with a large amount of inferior coffee, and then advertising and marketing the blend as a premium coffee has led to restrictions on the practice in some areas.
Some premium gourmet coffee blends mix certain types of coffee beans that have contrasting flavor characteristics which complement each other. Often coffee beans from different countries are mixed to create a complex flavor.
Some coffee blends are chosen to produce a premium gourmet coffee that is considered better than each of the bean types alone, with the blend yielding an optimal balance of contrasting qualities of each component, resulting in a complex and flavorful brewed coffee.
For example, the renowned Mocha-Java blend contrasts the clean and bright Java coffee beans with the pleasant wildness of the Mocha coffee beans, making these two types of coffee beans a natural fit for a complex yet well-balanced blend.
BLEU COFFEE (Bleu Green Coffee) – See Haitian Bleu Coffee.
BLIND ITEM – Refers to coffee beans of unknown origin (e.g., the location where the beans were grown is unknown). The term “blind item” may also refer to a coffee blend that includes beans of unknown origin.
BLUE MOUNTAIN COFFEE – Blue Mountain is a Coffea arabica coffee plant varietal (Coffea Arabica var. blue mountain) which is a natural mutation of the Typica varietal. The Blue Mountain varietal thrives at higher altitudes and is very resistant to coffee berry disease.
Jamaica’s Blue Mountain Region is north of Kingston and south of Port Maria, with coffee-growing estates located at elevations between 3,000 feet and 5,500 feet above sea level. This unique growing region features an ideal coffee-growing terrain and climate, and contains some of the Caribbean’s highest coffee-growing areas.
A sophisticated coffee grown in the Blue Mountain District of Jamaica, Jamaica Blue Mountain is a wet processed (washed) coffee that is silky smooth and well-balanced, with an excellent full body, a classic and refined mild taste with a slightly (and unusually) sweet flavor, very rich (sometimes almost creamy) and with a complex taste that is sometimes almost chocolaty and has been described as similar to beef-bouillon.
A good Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee, despite how smooth and mild it tastes, exhibits a bright and vibrant yet smooth acidity, a clean taste with virtually no bitterness, and a bold yet sparkling aroma with a profusion of floral notes and sweet herbal and nutty overtones.
At its best, Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee produces the quintessential cup of coffee that is one of the world’s top premium gourmet coffees.
A Full City Roast or City Roast is recommended for Blue Mountain, as it will free the beans’ flavors and fragrances without losing their best qualities.
Most all of Jamaica’s coffee plants today are direct descendants of Arabica Coffee plants brought to Martinique by the French in the 1700s. (See Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee for the full story.)
The first place coffee plants were cultivated in Jamaica was in the foothills of St. Andrew. Eventually cultivation of the plants extended into the Blue Mountains where they responded well to the unique climate and soil conditions.
Eventually Jamaica’s coffee plants developed into a distinct coffee plant varietal now known as Coffea Arabica var. blue mountain, commonly referred to simply as Blue Mountain.
Also see Jamaica Coffee; Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee.
BLUE MOUNTAIN VALLEY COFFEE – A wet processed (washed) coffee, Blue Mountain Valley coffee is grown north of Kingston and south of Port Maria.
Blue Mountain Valley coffee is grown below 1,500 feet while Jamaica High Mountain is grown between 1,500 and 3,000 feet and the renowned Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee estates are located at elevations between 3,000 feet (914 meters) and and 5,500 feet (1,676 meters).
Blue Mountain Valley coffee is also called Jamaica Supreme coffee and Jamaica Low Mountain coffee. See Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee for a full flavor description of the Blue Mountain varietal.
The spent grounds are then separated from the brewed coffee by pushing a mesh plunger to the bottom of the coffee pot.
The Bodum, or French Press is widely considered as the best method for brewing premium gourmet coffee and enjoying all of its best qualities (e.g., body, aroma, acidity, bitterness, aftertaste, sweetness).
A typical Bodum coffee maker is a cylindrical glass container with a round, metal screen filter/plunger that is tightly fitted to the cylinder.
To brew the coffee, remove the mesh plunger from the Bodum and then place the ground coffee in the bottom of the glass container. Typically a course coffee grind size is used in the Bodum method. Next add hot water and then stir or shake it just a bit to immerse the grounds in the water.
Since the Bodum method doesn’t filter the coffee through a paper filter, the volatile oils of the coffee are not removed, and this helps the coffee retain its natural body. The Bodum method is also the best brewing method for controlling the coffee’s brewing time and brewing temperature.
After about four minutes the Bodum coffee will be ready. Push the mesh plunger down to force the water through the screen mesh to separate the extracted coffee from the coffee grounds.
The Bodum is also called French Press, Cafetiere, or Plunger Pot.
BODY (Of Brewed Coffee) – See Body.
BODY (Of An Espresso Shot) – The components of a shot of espresso include the heart, body, and crema. The body is the espresso’s middle layer, and it is normally a caramelly-brown color. For tips on producing an excellent body, see Pulling A Perfect Espresso Shot. See Espresso Drink Recipes.
BOILER (Steam Boiler) – The primary heat-producing unit on an espresso machine (espresso coffee maker). Typically boilers are constructed from steel, brass, aluminum, or copper.
BOLIVIAN COFFEE (Bolivia Coffee) – See Bolivian Coffee.
BONE DRY CAPPUCCINO (Bone-Dry Cappuccino) – See Espresso Drink Recipes.
BOR BOR COFFEE – An Indonesian name of Timor coffee, an interspecific hybrid of Robusta (Coffea canephora var. robusta) and Coffea arabica. Bor Bor was first discovered in the 1940s on the island of Timor in Indonesia. Timor coffee plants began to be cultivated due to their strong resistance to coffee leaf rust, a disease that afflicts most coffee plant species.
The Bor Bor varietal has 44 chromosomes and resembles the Arabica Coffee plant. The coffee beans are respected for their vibrant yet low-toned acidity and full body though if poorly processed there may be an unpleasant hardness or musty taste. Also called Bor Bor; Hybrido de Timor.
BOSTON TEA PARTY – This famous event took place in 1773 and caused coffee to become the beverage of choice that also symbolized support for the revolt against England’s tea tax and the rule of King George leading to the American Revolution.
BOTANICAL VARIETY (Botanical Varietal; Botanical Origin) – See Coffee plant varietals.
BOTTOMLESS CUP – An expression that refers to a coffee shop’s or restaurant’s policy of offering free, unlimited refills of coffee after paying for the first cup.
BOUQUET – The coffee’s fragrant aroma/smell and finish/aftertaste – including the total aromatic profile of the coffee. In gourmet coffees the bouquet is often referred to as the coffee’s “nose.”
The bouquet, which may range from nutty to caramelly to malty, and is created by the coffee’s vapors and gases – volatile organic compounds – when they touch upon the olfactory membranes as they are being exhaled during swallowing. Also see Aroma; Nose.
BOURBON COFFEE – A coffee plant varietal (Coffea arabica var. bourbon) that has a yield that is less than many other coffee plant varietals, though it is still about 25% greater than the yield of the Typica coffee plant varietal (Coffea arabica var. typica).
Bourbon, like Typica, produces an excellent brewed coffee known for its smooth and mild flavors, which are often sweet and nutty, and with a low acidity and light to medium body along with a very pleasant aroma.
The first Coffea arabica varietals are thought to be Bourbon (Coffea Arabica var. bourbon) and Arabica (Coffea arabica var. arabica). Virtually all other coffee plant varietals are thought to have originated from these two varietals.
Bourbon coffee plants grow in a shape that is less conical than Typica. Bourbon also has more secondary branches and they grow closer together off the main coffee plant stem and at less of an angle than Typica branches. Bourbon coffee plants grow best at elevations between 3,500 feet and 6,500 feet above sea level.
The Bourbon coffee plant varietal has broad leaves with wavy borders. The coffee cherry are notably dense compared to many other coffee plant varietals, and somewhat small compared to other varietals. The cherry ripen fairly quickly and may fall off the plant quite easily, thus the Bourbon varietal is vulnerable to bad weather including windy conditions.
The Bourbon coffee plant varietal had its origins when the French first cultivated the plant’s parent stock in 1708 in Bourbon, which is now called Reunion Island. Reunion is located in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
After being planted on the remote island, the coffee plant underwent a slight mutation, and this created the Bourbon varietal that was later widely planted in Brazil (in the late 1800s), then throughout Latin America.
BOURBON SANTOS – See Brazil Bourbon Santos Coffee.
BRACKISH – A coffee flavor defect causing a salty taste sensation. This brackish quality is caused by alkaline inorganic materials and salts that remain in the brewed coffee after water has evaporated due to excess heat after brewing.
BRAZIL BOURBON COFFEE – Bourbon is a coffee plant varietal (Coffea arabica var. bourbon) that first arose on the island of Bourbon (now called Reunion) after the French brought the parent stock and planted it there in 1708. The plant slightly mutated creating the Bourbon coffee plant varietal.
During the last part of the 1800s Bourbon was widely planted in Brazil and later it was planted throughout Latin America. The plants grow well at elevations from 3,500 feet to 6,500 feet above sea level.
Though the yield of the Bourbon varietal is less than many other varietals, it still produces about 25% more than the Typica varietal (Coffea arabica var. typica).
Bourbon is renowned for producing a fine cup of coffee (as is Typica), with qualities including a pleasant aroma and medium to light body with moderate acidity and a smoothness and mildness that is often sweet and nutty.
The first Coffea arabica varietals are thought to be Arabica (Coffea arabica var. arabica) and Bourbon (Coffea Arabica var. bourbon), and virtually all other varietals are thought to have originated from these two varietals, including Typica which comes from Coffea arabica var. arabica.
The overall shape of Bourbon varietal coffee plants is distinctly less conical than Typica plants, and Bourbon plants have more secondary branches which also grow at a smaller angle off the main stem and closer together than Typica branches. Bourbon coffee plants grow best at elevations between 3,500 and 6,500 feet.
The broad leaves of the Bourbon coffee plant varietal have wavy borders and the fruits (cherry) are very dense compared to many other varietals, and also relatively small. The cherry ripen rather quickly and fall off the plant fairly easily, making the plants vulnerable to wind and weather.
BRAZIL BOURBON SANTOS (Brazilian Bourbon Santos) – See Brazil Bourbon Santos Coffee.
BRAZIL CERRADO COFFEE – See Brazil Cerrado Coffee.
BRAZILS – Arabica Coffees grown in the western hemisphere are subdivided into the Milds and the Brazils. The principal Brazil coffees, which are named after the ports where they are shipped from, include Rio, Santos, and Parana (Paraná). See Brazil Coffee.
BRAZIL COFFEE – See Brazil Coffee.
BREADY – A coffee taste fault resulting from a roast time or roast temperature that is insufficient to bring out the coffee’s flavor oils.
BREAKFAST ROAST – See Medium Roast.
BREVE (Espresso Breve) – See Espresso Drink Recipes.
BREW COLLOIDS – The micro-sized particles which are suspended in brewed coffee. Brew colloids are created by different combinations of water-soluble constituents and oils that contribute to the coffee’s overall flavor/taste sensations as well as the coffee’s mouthfeel (texture).
BREW GROUP – The part of an espresso machine (espresso coffee maker) that includes the portafilter, filter baskets, and grouphead. The brew group may be actively or passively heated via contact with the boiler. In some Automatic Espresso Machines, the brew group refers to a removable assembly inside the machine.
BREW HEAD – The part of an espresso machine (espresso maker) which the portafilter clamps into. Typically the brew head sticks out the front of the espresso machine. The brew head is also called the group or delivery group.
BREW TEMPERATURE (Brewing Temperature) – For optimal extraction when pulling a shot of espresso using an espresso machine, the proper brew temperature at sea level is between 190 degrees Fahrenheit and 205 degrees Fahrenheit.
BREW TURBULENCE – Agitation of coffee grounds within the coffee bed during coffee brewing. The brew turbulence is created by the rate of the water flow during brewing as well as the water’s spray pattern and the configuration of the brew basket on the brewing equipment.
BREWING FORMULA – The ratio of water to coffee used to create the optimal coffee beverage strength from a particular type of coffee brewing equipment.
BRIGHT – Denotes a coffee with a sharp yet pleasant amount of acidity (perhaps tangy), creating a dry finish/aftertaste.
BRINY – An undesirable quality that creates a salty taste sensation in the mouth. Usually caused either by over-roasting the coffee beans, over-brewing the ground coffee, or exposing the coffee beverage to excess heat after it is brewed.
BRIOCHE – See Espresso Cuisine.
BROWN ROAST – Also called an American Roast, Medium-Brown Roast or Standard American Roast, a Brown Roast is a fairly light roast though not quite as light as a New England Roast (Cinnamon Roast).
BUCARAMANGA COFFEE – A coffee plant varietal grown in Colombia and known for its low acidity. Also see Colombian Coffee.
BUGISHU (Bugisu) – See Uganda Bugishu Coffee.
The term burnt is often used by cuppers (professional coffee tasters) to denote dark-roasted or oven-roasted coffee beans, and is used interchangeably with Smokey.
BURR COFFEE GRINDERS (Burr Coffee Mills) – See Burr Coffee Grinders.
BURUNDI COFFEE – See Burundi Coffee.
BUTTERY – Oily, rich coffee flavor characteristic/taste sensation that is created by relatively high levels of coffee flavor oils suspended in the brewed coffee. Substantial amounts of fat in the coffee beans produces the buttery quality, which is reminiscent of the smooth, rich taste of butter.
The buttery quality is more pronounced if the brewing method extracts oils into the coffee (e.g., as in the French Press brewing method), and less pronounced if a coffee filter is used (e.g., as in the drip/filter method) because the filter removes many of the coffee’s oils.
A buttery quality is often characteristic of brewed coffee with a high ratio of coffee to the water that is used in brewing. Gourmet coffee that have a full body are also sometimes described as buttery.