Coffee Terms – N


NAIROBI COFFEE – Kenyan coffee grown on the hills of Mt. Kenya. Also see Kenya Coffee.

NARINO COFFEE (Nariño Coffee) – See Colombian Narino Coffee.

NARL – See National Agricultural Laboratories.

NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL LABORATORIES (NARL)-Formerly known as Scott Laboratories, this organization located in Kabete, Kenya and known for its pioneering coffee plant varietal development in Kenya as well as Tanzania.

From 1935 to 1939 Scott Laboratories gathered coffee plant varietals from throughout Central Africa and East Africa. Worthy varietals were selected (not cross-pollinated) and numbered. Also see Kenya SL28; Kenya SL34.

NATIONAL COFFEE ASSOCIATION – See Coffee Associations, Organizations, and Boards.

NATIONAL FEDERATION OF COFFEE GROWERS OF COLUMBIA (Colombian Coffee Federation) – See Colombian Coffee Federation.

NATURAL COFFEE – See Dry Processing.

NATURAL METHOD PROCESSING (Natural-Method Processing; Natural Coffee Processing; Natural Processing; Natural-Processed Coffee) – See Dry Processing.

NATURAL PREINFUSION (Natural Pre-Infusion; Natural Pre Infusion) – See Progressive Preinfusion.

NEAPOLITAN ROAST – This dark roast is even darker than a standard Espresso Roast though not as black. Also see Dark Roast; Roasting Coffee.

NESCAFE (Nescafe Taster’s Choice) – An instant coffee brand sold by the Nestle company, the Nescafe product was initially developed by scientists Vernon Chapman and Max Morgenthaler. Nestle began selling Nescafe on April 1, 1938.

Though the Nescafe brand was used well into the 1960s, it was eventually supplanted by the Nestle brand Taster’s Choice. The Nescafe brand was then reintroduced in 2003 in the United States and now goes by the name Nescafe Taster’s Choice available in either plastic packaging or glass.

The Nescafe brand now serves as an umbrella brand for various instant coffee products including the Blend 37 and Gold Blend freeze-dried coffee brands sold in the United Kingdom.

NESCAFE BLEND 37 – A Nestle company freeze-dried coffee product sold in the United Kingdom under the Nescafe umbrella brand.

NESCAFE GOLD BLEND – A Nestle company freeze-dried coffee product sold in the United Kingdom under the Nescafe umbrella brand.

NESTLE COMPANY – See Coffee Companies.

NEUTRAL – A secondary coffee taste characteristic which denotes a coffee with a very low acidity level, perhaps even bland, yet this neutral characteristic also implies that the coffee has no flavor defects/off-tastes.

A neutral coffee is characterized by the lack of any predominant taste sensation on any part of the tongue, yet it does cause a distinct parching sensation along the sides of the tongue.

Due to the absence of off-tastes, neutral coffee beans are considered good for blending with other varieties of coffee beans. This neutral quality is typical of many Brazilian Arabica Coffees as well as washed Uganda Robusta coffees.

The neutral quality is created by a concentration of salts that is high enough to neutralize sugars and acids, yet not high enough to cause a salty taste sensation.

NEW CROP COFFEE (New-Crop Coffee) – A taste taint that gives coffee beans a mild herbal character which reveals itself when the coffee is brewed. This new crop taste taint is due to an incomplete enzymatic change which, if it had been allowed to complete, would normally have eliminated the taste during the aging process.

Instead the coffee beans are roasted very soon after they have been harvested and processed when the beans are at their brightest (most acidic). Also see Old Crop Coffee; Aged Coffee; Mature Coffee; Vintage Coffee; Monsooned Coffee.

NEW ENGLAND ROAST – This very light roast is lighter than an American Roast, and is also called Cinnamon Roast and is often used by cuppers (professional coffee tasters) to help them discern the finer qualities of the coffee beans.

The stop temperature of a New England Roast is about 420 degrees Fahrenheit when the color is light cinnamon brown. The flavor of a New England Roast may be nut-like and with a distinct acidity. Also see Roasting Coffee.

NEW GUINEA ARONA COFFEE (Papua New Guinea Arona Coffee) – See New Guinea Arona Coffee.

NEW GUINEA ARUSHA COFFEE (Papua New Guinea Arusha Coffee) – Papua New Guinea Arusha is a market name for coffee beans from the Arusha varietal coffee plants that are grown in Papua New Guinea. Arusha is an Arabica coffee plant varietal that is either a Typica or French Mission variety. Also see Papua New Guinea Coffee.

NEW GUINEA COFFEE (Papua New Guinea Coffee) – See Papua New Guinea Coffee.

NEW GUINEA KIMEL COFFEE (Papua New Guinea Kimel Coffee) – See New Guinea Kimel Coffee.

NEW GUINEA SIGRI COFFEE (Papua New Guinea Sigri Coffee) – See New Guinea Sigri Coffee.

NEWMAN’S OWN ORGANICS – See Coffee Companies.

NEW ORIENTE – See Nuevo Oriente.

NEW ORLEANS COFFEE – The traditional (historic) recipe for New Orleans coffee consists of approximately sixty percent dark-roasted coffee with the rest being roasted, ground chicory (root of endive).

Modern New Orleans coffee for sale in specialty coffee shops, however, often eliminates the chicory and provides instead a blended dark roast coffee that typically includes Brazil Coffee that is dry processed (unwashed). A popular brand of New Orleans coffee is Café Du Monde.


NEYBA – A coffee growing region (one of seven) in the Dominican Republic as designated by that country’s government. Also see Dominican Republic Coffee.

NGANDA – A spreading form of the Canephora (Coffea canephora) coffee plant species. Also see Robusta Coffee.

NICARAGUA COFFEE (Nicaraguan Coffee) – See Nicaragua Coffee.

NICARAGUA JINOTEGA COFFEE (Nicaraguan Jinotega Coffee) – See Nicaragua Jinotega Coffee.

NICARAGUA MATAGALPA (Nicaraguan Matagalpa) – See Nicaragua Matagalpa Coffee.

NICARAGUA SEGOVIA (Nicaraguan Segovia) – See Nicaragua Segovia Coffee.

NIPPY – A secondary coffee flavor sensation typified by a mostly sweet, nipping sensation on the tongue tip. This nippy quality is created by an excess of sour acids in the coffee.

NITROGEN FLUSHING – A packaging technique that flushes nitrogen gas over the coffee beans in a sealed package to displace the oxygen.

NONVOLATILE TASTE COMPONENTS – Nonvolatile chemicals which are extracted from roasted, ground coffee beans by adding hot water.

Among the nonvolatile taste components are chlorogenic acid, amino acids, phenolic acids, trigonelline, minerals, carbohydrates and the alkaloid caffeine, which is the principal cause of coffee’s physiological effects on the human body. Caffeine has a mild to strong stimulating effect depending on the amount consumed.

NORTH ITALIAN ROAST – A medium-dark roast that denotes a stopping temperature of about 440 to 445 degrees Fahrenheit. Also called Full City Roast, particularly when it is used in espresso blends. Also see Medium-Dark Roast; Roasting Coffee.

NOROESTE – A coffee growing region (one of seven) in the Dominican Republic as designated by that country’s government. Also see Dominican Republic Coffee.

NOSE – The coffee’s fragrant aroma/smell and finish/aftertaste – including the total aromatic profile of the coffee. In premium gourmet coffees the nose is often referred to as the coffee’s “bouquet.”

The nose, which may range from nutty to caramelly to malty, is created by the coffee’s vapors and gases – volatile organic compounds – as they touch upon the olfactory membranes as the vapors are being exhaled during swallowing of the coffee. Also see Aroma; Bouquet.

NOZZLE – An external tube on an espresso machine (espresso coffee maker) which provides live steam used for steaming milk, heating it and also aerating the milk to create a frothy, creamy steamed milk as well as foam for use in an espresso-based specialty coffee drink (espresso drink).

The nozzle on some espresso machines is also used to dispense hot water and to heat the cup (e.g., demitasse) for an espresso shot. The nozzle may also be used to heat water.

The nozzle is controlled by the steam knob which opens and closes the espresso machine’s steam valve. The nozzle is also called the stylus, pipe, and steaming wand. Also see Steaming and Frothing Milk; Foam.

NUEVO ORIENTE – Coffee growing region in eastern Guatemala along the border with Honduras. Clay and metamorphic volcanic soils along with an ideal climate produce quality coffee with a good body and distinct acidity.

Nuevo Oriente coffee grows at elevations from 4,300 feet to 5,500 feet above sea level where the rainfall averages about 1,900 mm annually and temperatures range from 64 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 25 degrees Celsius). The coffee cherry (fruit) are harvested from December into March.

Coffee plant varietals grown in Nuevo Oriente include Bourbon (Coffea arabica var. bourbon), Caturra (Coffea arabica var. caturra), Catuai (Coffea arabica var. catuai), and Pache (Coffea arabica var. pache). Also see Guatemala Coffee.

NUTTY – A distinct taste sensation and/or aromatic sensation that is reminiscent of the flavor and aroma of fresh-roasted nuts such as peanuts, hazelnuts, almonds (not bitter almonds), or other nuts.

This nutty quality is caused by a mildly volatile set of ketones and aldehydes found in poor quality coffee beans which remain light in color, and also float. This is a common trait among South American coffees.

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