QUAKERS – Denotes coffee beans which are blighted, unripe, or otherwise underdeveloped, discolored, or deformed. Quakers may fail to properly roast and instead remain light-colored. Also see Coffee Defects.
QUAKERY – A taste fault in brewed coffee exhibiting a distinct peanutty flavor. This flavor defect is caused by harvesting unripe green coffee cherry and then roasting the underdeveloped, light-colored coffee beans.
QUALITY – The superiority or inferiority of coffee.
QUENCHING – The process of adding water to coffee beans which have reached their desired roast level (color) during the coffee roasting process.
QUININE – In solution with caffeine and particular alkaloids, quinine characterizes a primary taste – bitterness. In coffee this bitter quality is desirable to a degree. The level of bitterness is altered by the coffee roasting process (e.g., darker roasts are less bitter).
Bitterness (e.g., due to quinine) is also one of the four basic (primary) tastes perceived on the human tongue, along with sour (e.g., from tartaric acid), sweet (e.g., from sucrose), and salty (e.g., from sodium chloride).