SAECO (Saeco Espresso) – See coffee companies.
SALTY – A primary taste sensation caused by solutions of chlorides nitrates, iodides, and sulfates of lithium and potassium.
SANANI COFFEE – See Mocha Sanani Coffee.
SAN MARCOS DE TARRAZU COFFEE – See San Marcos de Tarrazu Coffee.
SANTO DOMINGO COFFEE – See Dominican Republic Coffee.
SANTOS, BOURBON – See Brazil Bourbon Santos Coffee.
SARCHIMOR – The Sarchimor coffee plant varietal is a hybrid between the Timor varietal and the Costa Rican Villa Sarchi varietal (Coffea arabica var. villa sarchi). Sarchimor is known for its resistance to the coffee disease coffee leaf rust.
Due to traits inherited from the Timor varietal (which is itself a hybrid of Coffea canephora var. robusta and Coffea arabica), Sarchimor has a significant resistance to the coffee disease coffee leaf rust as well as the stem borer. The Sarchimor varietal grows in India as well as Costa Rica. Also see Costa Rica Coffee.
SCORCHED – A coffee flavor characteristic that is the result of subjecting coffee to excess heat during either the roasting process (e.g., excess heat may char the coffee bean surface), or during brewing, causing a bitter aroma/taste; possibly acrid. This scorched quality is a taste fault/aroma fault which also often produces an odor taint creating a slight aftertaste of pyridine and phenolic character; a contributing factor is the underdevelopment of the caramelization compounds.
SCOTT LABORATORIES – Now called National Agricultural Laboratories (NARL), this organization is 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.
SEATTLE’S BEST COFFEE – See coffee companies.
SECONDARY COFFEE FLAVOR CHARACTERISTICS/ SENSATIONS
(Secondary Flavor Characteristics; Secondary Taste Characteristics; Secondary Flavor Sensations; Secondary Taste Sensations; Secondary Coffee Taste Sensations; Secondary Coffee Flavor Sensations) – Qualities noticed in a cup of brewed coffee which are not primary flavors/tastes/qualities but instead secondary. These secondary coffee flavor characteristics include a variety of tastes including delicate, piquant, tangy, tart, rough, neutral, astringent, alkaline, and acrid as well as soft and hard.
Also see Basic Coffee Flavor Characteristics; Primary Taste Sensations; Basic Coffee Tastes; and Primary Coffee Flavor Sensations.
SECOND CRACK – This is a stage in the coffee roasting process and usually occurs several minutes after the “first crack” as the coffee beans once again, crack, crackle, or pop. Coffee beans roasted just to this point are usually considered a Full Roast (Medium-Dark Roast).
Coffee beans roasted to the second crack will be slightly shiny as oils begin rising to the surface. This denotes the full development of the coffee, and the flavor will be spicy, with a heavier body than a Light Roast or Medium Roast. The roast flavor is evident.
SEED – See Coffee Beans.
SEGOVIA – See Nicaragua Segovia Coffee.
SELECTIVE BREEDING – See Selective Breeding.
SELECTIVE PICKING – A method of harvesting coffee cherry (fruit) in which farmers hand pick only ripe red cherry. This ensures a high quality of coffee because on most coffee plants the cherry do not ripen all at once but instead ripen over several months, requiring the farmers to repeatedly revisit the fields for harvesting only optimal ripe cherry.
SHADE GROWN COFFEE (Shade-Grown Coffee; Shade-Grown Bird-Friendly Coffee; Shade-Grown Bird Friendly Coffee; Shade Grown Bird-Friendly Coffee; Shade Grown Bird Friendly Coffee) – See Shade-Grown Coffee.
SEMI-WASHED PROCESSING – See Semi-Washed Processing.
SENSEO – See coffee companies.
SENSEO PODS (Senseo Coffee Pods) – Pre-packed, self-contained coffee pods sold by the Senseo company to be brewed in their Senseo® single serve coffee pod system. See Coffee Pods; ESE Pods; Pod Coffee Makers.
SHARP – A primary coffee flavor sensation that is fairly common in dry processed (unwashed; natural) Robusta coffees which exhibit a salty quality that ranges from rough to astringent. This sharp quality is caused by the coffee’s acids combining with salts, resulting in an overall increase in the coffee’s saltiness.
SHB – See Strictly Hard Bean.
SHORTBERRY HARRAR COFFEE (Shortberry Harar Coffee; Shortberry Harer Coffee) – See Ethiopian Harrar Shortberry Coffee.
SHORT-PULL ESPRESSO (Short Pull Espresso) – See Espresso Drink Recipes.
SHORT SHOT – See Espresso Drink Recipes.
SHOT-IN-THE-DARK (Shot In the Dark) – See Espresso Drink Recipes.
SHOT OF ESPRESSO – See Espresso Drink Recipes.
SHRINKAGE – A size change in green coffee beans due to the process of roasting, causing the coffee beans to lose approximately 16% of their weight (thus 16% shrinkage). The amount of shrinkage varies with roast type (e.g., light roast vs. dark roast).
SIDAMO COFFEE – See Ethiopian Sidamo Coffee.
SIDIKALANG COFFEE – A variety of Coffea arabica var. typica (Coffea arabica var. sidikalang) which survived the renowned 1880 coffee leaf rust outbreak which destroyed most all Typica plants in Indonesia.
SIGRI COFFEE – See New Guinea Sigri Coffee.
SILVER HILL COFFEE ESTATE – One of the most renowned Jamaica Blue Mountain estates which also include Mavis Bank, Wallenford, Old Tavern, and Moy Hall.
Some coffee processors who sell (e.g., export) whole green coffee beans leave the silverskin on the coffee bean since it provides a protective layer and then crumbles off naturally as chaff during the coffee roasting process. Other coffee processors polish off the silverskin.
Removing the parchment as well as the paper-thin silverskin (or most of the silverskin) beneath it is known as milling and is done with a machine called a huller that mills off the parchment and polishes the coffee beans.
SINGLE SERVE BREWING SYSTEM (Single Serve Brewer; Single Serve Brewing Machine; Single Serve Coffee Maker; Single Serve Coffeemaker; Single Serve Coffee Brewer) – See Single Serve Coffee Makers.
SINGLE SERVE COFFEE BREWERS (Single Cup Coffee Brewers; Single Serve Coffee Brewer; Single Serve Coffee) – See Single Serve Coffee Makers.
SKIN – The very outermost layer of the coffee cherry (fruit).
SIVETZ ROASTER – A type of coffee roaster which agitates and roasts the green coffee beans using a column of hot air. Sivetz Roasters, invented by Michael Sivetz, operate very similar to how popcorn poppers work. The Sivetz Roaster is also called a Fluid Bed Roaster.
SL28 – This coffee plant cultivar was developed (selected) in Kabete, Kenya at Scott Laboratories – thus the SL in the varietal name. The former Scott Laboratories is now called National Agricultural Laboratories (NARL).
The SL28 varietal is known to have a fine flavor with a distinct blackcurrant acidity, and grows well at both high and medium elevations. SL28 was derived from the Tanganyika Drought Resistant coffee plant varietal which itself was selected in 1931 in Tanzania. Also see Kenya Coffee.
SL34 – This coffee plant cultivar was developed (selected) in Kabete, Kenya at Scott Laboratories (thus the SL in the varietal name). Scott Laboratories is now called National Agricultural Laboratories (NARL). SL34 produces relatively high yields and while the flavor is not as respected as SL28 it is still highly regarded.
SL34 was selected as a mutant of the French Mission Bourbon varietal, a coffee plant varietal that itself was first cultivated in East Africa in 1897 and later in Kenya, originating with the Bourbon varietal (Coffea arabica var. bourbon).
SL34 is distinguished by its semi-erect laterals that are drooping (decumbent) on older primaries. Also distinguishing the SL34 varietal are the bronze shoot tipped plants (some strains are green).
SL34 grows well at higher elevations where there is plentiful rain though the varietal is vulnerable to certain coffee diseases such as coffee berry disease (Colletotrichum coffeanum) and coffee leaf rust (Hemileia vastatrix). Also see Kenya Coffee.
SLURPING – A method used by cuppers (professional coffee tasters) to take brewed coffee into the mouth with the goal of spreading the liquid over the entire palate (e.g., tongue surface) as the coffee releases the vapors and gases – the volatile organic compounds – which are suspended in the beverage.
SMITHSONIAN MIGRATORY BIRD CENTER – See Organic and Fair Trade Organizations.
SNIFFING – A process used by cuppers (professional coffee tasters), which involves inhaling through the nose the coffee’s vapors and gases – volatile organic compounds – from freshly-ground and/or brewed coffee so that the aromatic qualities contact the nasal membrane.
SOFT – A secondary coffee flavor sensation exhibiting a subtle dryness and a lack of any predominant flavor sensation on any part of the tongue.
This soft quality is created by a concentration of the coffee’s salts that is high enough to have a neutralizing effect on the coffee’s acids, yet not high enough to have the same effect on the coffee’s sugars.
These lower elevation coffee beans tend to be less dense (and thus lighter) than coffee beans grown at higher elevations (e.g. hard bean coffee), and also more porous and faster maturing. Temperatures are generally lower at lower elevations, and the coffee cherry (fruits) mature faster on the coffee plant.
A primary characteristic of high quality coffees is how fast the coffee cherry matures, with slower maturing coffee cherry generally producing a higher quality coffee bean (e.g., brighter acidity and nicer flavor). Central American coffees in particular use the bean hardness as the basis of their grading system.
Also see Strictly Hard Beans; Good Hard Beans; Medium Hard Beans.
SOLIDAR’MONDE – See Organic and Fair Trade Organizations.
SOLO ESPRESSO – See Espresso Drink Recipes.
SOLUBLE COFFEE – A coffee bean product that is derived through manufacturing processes resulting in an extract of either powder, granules, or a liquid concentrate.
To make soluble coffee, first the green coffee beans are roasted to bring out their tastes and aromas. The roasting is typically done in a roasting plant where the coffee beans are placed in a rotating drum with hot combustion gases.
Roasting typically takes about 8 to 15 minutes at temperatures up to 165 degrees Celsius. Continuous fluid bed roasting may be used, and this only takes from 30 seconds to 4 minutes, and using lower temperatures. The benefit of the lower temperatures is better taste and aroma retention.
Scored rollers are used to crush (though not cut) the coffee beans to a finely ground to a particle size between .020 and .043 inches (.5 and 1.1 millimeters).
The roasted, ground coffee is then dissolved in water and percolates at 150 degrees to 180 degrees Celsius until the resulting concentrate is between 15 and 30 percent by mass. Either vacuum evaporation or freeze concentration (e.g. freeze-dried coffee) is then used to produce the final product.
Spray-driers or high-vacuum equipment may then be used to evaporate water from the extract of brewed coffee and create the soluble (instant) coffee.
To make freeze-dried coffee, the extract is frozen and then the water is removed by a process called sublimation – a solid transitioning directly from the solid to gas phase without the usual intermediate liquid stage.
Aromatization is the process of adding aromatic flavor materials back into the soluble coffee (instant coffee) after these materials are lost during the brewing and/or drying process, and before the product’s conversion into a soluble form.
The soluble coffee (instant coffee) is then typically packaged into cans, vacuumized sealed jars, or other sealed, airtight containers.
To prepare instant coffee powder or granules for consumption, just add hot water (this is called rehyrdration). If the instant coffee is a liquid concentrate rather than powder or granules, then it is kept refrigerated or in aseptic packaging until it is reconstituted by adding hot water. Also see History of Instant Coffee.
SOLUBLE SOLIDS – The coffee flavoring materials which are extracted from roasted, ground coffee beans. These soluble components are dissolved in the coffee beverage, producing its taste and aroma sensations.
SOLVENT-WATER DECAFFEINATION METHOD (Solvent Water Decaffeination Method; Solvent-Water Method; Solvent Water Method) – See Swiss Water Process of Decaffeination.
SONGBIRD FOUNDATION – See Organic and Fair Trade Organizations.
SORBET – See Espresso Cuisine.
SORBETTO – See Espresso Cuisine.
SORTING – Separating coffee beans, either by hand or by machine (e.g., vibrating air table), after they are hulled. Sorting is typically done by a variety of bean characteristics including color, size, density, and by noticeable imperfections in the beans (e.g., hollow, chipped, or nicked coffee beans, overripe or underripe coffee beans, etc.). Also see Grading Coffee Beans.
SOUND CUP – A coffee without any particular negative characteristics/qualities, yet also without any notable positive characteristics.
SOUR – Intense tart/briny flavor sensed on the sides, back, and tip of tongue; generally undesirable, perhaps sharp and biting. This sour coffee taste characteristic (a basic taste descriptor) is caused by the acidity level of the coffee, sometimes due to excess fermentation during the coffee processing, and often noticed in light-roasted coffees.
More specifically the sour quality is created by solutions of citric acid, malic acid, and tartaric acid.
It should be noted that while sour refers to a generally unpleasant acidity, it should not be confused with the natural levels of acidity that are pleasant and desirable in many premium gourmet coffees.
SOURY – A primary coffee flavor sensation caused by the coffee’s acids combining with its salts, resulting in an overall increase in the saltiness; often hard or even acrid. This soury quality is most often present in dry processed (natural; unwashed) Robusta coffee (Coffea canephora var. robusta).
SOUTH ITALIAN ROAST – The stop temperature of a South Italian Roast is from 450 degrees to 455 degrees Fahrenheit. This dark commercial roast, which is significantly darker than an American Roast, is also called Vienna Roast or Italian Roast, though the term South Italian Roast is often used when it is being used in espresso blends. An Italian Roast is dark brown to black in color (sometimes almost burned), and the flavor also may range from rich and bittersweet to nearly burned tasting. Also see Dark Roast; Roasting Coffee.
SPANISH ROAST – This dark roast, which is also called Spanish Roast or Heavy Roast, is darker than an American Roast and almost as dark as Espresso Roast. The color of a French Roast may vary from dark brown to almost black with flavors that range from range from rich and bittersweet to burned. Also see Dark Roast; Roasting Coffee.
SPARKLING WATER DECAFFEINATION PROCESS/CO2 WATER DECAFFEINATION PROCESS – In the Carbon Dioxide Process of decaffeinating coffee, green coffee beans (milled but not yet roasted) are soaked in supercritical carbon dioxide (highly compressed carbon dioxide) at 73 to 300 atmospheres of pressure for about ten hours. This extracts the caffeine from the coffee beans.
Next the pressure is reduced and the CO2 either evaporates or goes through water (in the Sparkling Water Process) or activated carbon filters (in the Carbon Dioxide Process) to eliminate the caffeine. CO2 is then used again.
The supercritical state of carbon dioxide is preferable to water in this process since it has the desirable diffusive properties of a gas yet an increased density like a liquid.
An advantage of this decaffeination method is the avoidance of the use of potentially harmful chemical solvents. The Sparkling Water Process is also called the Supercritical Fluid Extraction Process; Carbon Dioxide Method and CO2/Water Process, with variations.
SPECIALTY COFFEE (Specialty Gourmet Coffee) – The terms premium coffee, gourmet coffee, premium gourmet coffee, and specialty coffee are all used somewhat interchangeably to refer to the very finest coffee beans.
Some of the world’s top specialty coffees include Tanzania Peaberry, Hawaii Kona, Java Arabica, Sumatra Lintong, Sulawesi Toraja, Arabian Mocha Mattari, Ethiopian Harrars and Yirgacheffes, and Jamaica Blue Mountain and Kenya AA.
SPECIALTY COFFEE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA – See Coffee Associations, Organizations, and Boards.
SPECIALTY COFFEE CHRONICLE – The monthly newsletter of the Specialty Coffee Association of America, the Specialty Coffee Chronicle is published bi-monthly.
SPECIALTY COFFEE DRINKS – See Espresso Drink Recipes.
SPECIFICATION – Written details which describe precisely a particular product desired by blend, the grind size, type of packaging, quantity (volume), schedules of delivery, equipment and service requirements for equipment, as well as terms of payment.
SPICY – A flavor/aroma descriptor denotes a sweet and savory taste and/or smell. This spicy quality is produced by moderately volatile hydrocarbon compounds in the aftertaste of the brewed coffee, creating aromatic sensations that suggest various sweet spices such as wood-spice (cinnamon), allspice, or wood-seed (clove) though not spices such as oregano, pepper, and Indian spices; typical of Indonesian and Guatemalan coffees.
SPICY VIENNESE ESPRESSO – See Espresso Drink Recipes.
SPLIT SHOT ESPRESSO (Split-Shot Espresso) – See Espresso Drink Recipes.
SPOUT – The exit area of an espresso machine portafilter where the freshly-brewed espresso pours out and then flows into a demitasse or other receptacle. Most portafilters have two spouts so that two espresso shots may be brewed simultaneously.
SPRAY-DRIED COFFEE (Spray Dried Coffee) – A soluble powder product derived from coffee beans which involves spraying a coffee concentrate solution down into a heated tower in order to effect the evaporation of water molecules and leave only the coffee flavoring material in powder form at the bottom of the tower. Also see Instant Coffee.
SPRAY DRYING (Spray-Drying; Spray Drier; Spray-Drier) – Spray drying involves using hot gas to rapidly dry a liquid or slurry and create a dry powder. This is one of the most economical methods of producing instant coffee (soluble coffee).
Spray drying is an ideal method for drying thermally-sensitive materials, and utilizes a relatively short drying time, avoids heat damage, and results in very fine, spherical particles about .012 inches (300 micrometers) in diameter with a density of about .22 grams per cubic centimeter.
Spray drying includes one of several methods of nozzle atomization, which may include either high speed rotating wheels or spray wheels. The high speed rotating wheels reach 20,000 rpm and are capable of processing up to 60,000 pounds (27 tons) of solution each hour.
Spray wheels utilize drying towers with a wide radius that prevents the atomized droplets from collecting on the wall of the drying chamber.
Nozzle atomization takes anywhere from five to thirty seconds depending on the size of the particles, the diameter of the drying chamber, and the amount of heat applied. The coffee goes into the chamber at about 270°Celsius and 80% moisture and comes out at about 110°Celsius and 3.25% moisture.
Spray drying produces extremely fine particles which must be converted into larger particles by either belt agglomeration or by steam fusing in towers.
Also see Instant Coffee.
SPRING PISTON ESPRESSO MACHINE (Spring-Piston Espresso Machine; Spring Piston Machine) – A type of piston-driven espresso machine (espresso coffee maker) in which the user’s efforts create tension on a spring which then in turn creates the pressure to push the water through the roasted, ground coffee to brew the espresso.
A piston-driven espresso machine is powered by the operator (e.g., the barista) pumping a lever which pressurizes the hot water and forces it through the coffee grounds to brew the espresso. These lever-style machines are where the term “pulling an espresso shot” came from, because the barista had to pull the long handle.
STALE – An undesirable flavor characteristic/odor taint in brewed coffee caused by overexposure to oxygen, and resulting in an adverse effect on particular organic materials which would usually exist in a gaseous state creating the coffee’s aromatic bouquet and nose.
A coffee attains the stale taste fault (e.g., flat, one-dimensional) either during a staling (oxidation) process after roasting (when oxygen and moisture penetrate the coffee bean fibers degrading the taste) during storage, or in holding after the coffee has been brewed. Suggestive of cardboard. Also called vapid, flat.
STALING – The deterioration of a coffee’s flavor due to oxidation, reducing the coffee’s aromatic qualities and degrading its taste. Staling creates an undesirable coffee flavor characteristic/odor taint (e.g., flat, one-dimensional) in brewed coffee due to the adverse effect on particular organic materials which would usually exist in a gaseous state creating the coffee’s aromatic bouquet and nose.
Staling gives the coffee a flat or vapid taste fault due to oxidation after roasting (e.g., due to improper storage), when oxygen and moisture penetrate the coffee bean fibers degrading the taste, or in the holding period after the coffee has been brewed. Suggestive of cardboard. Also see Stale; Vapid; Flat.
STALL/STALLING – An unfortunate occurrence that may happen when brewing espresso using an espresso machine that cannot produce enough pressure to force water through the roasted, ground coffee that has been tamped into the filter basket of the portafilter and has been either tamped too hard, or the coffee ground too finely.
Stalling occurs most often during attempts to brew the espresso drink called espresso ristretto.
STANDARD AMERICAN ROAST – Also called a Medium-Brown Roast or American Roast, a Standard American Roast is a fairly light roast though not quite as light as a New England Roast (Cinnamon Roast).
STARBUCKS COFFEE COMPANY – See coffee companies.
STATE OF HAWAII CERTIFICATION (Hawaii State Certification) – A State of Hawaii certification of Hawaii Kona Coffee bean quality based upon the size, weight, color, and number of defects of the Kona coffee beans.
Inspectors also “cup” the coffee, sampling the brewed coffee to assess its aroma and flavor. The Hawaii state certification is required by Kona coffee processors and farmers who want to sell the gourmet coffee beans outside of the Kona district.
Type I Kona coffee beans have two seeds (half-beans) per coffee cherry (fruit) and they are oval (football-shaped) on one side and flat on the other side.
The primary grades of Type I Hawaii Kona Coffee beans are: Prime (the lowest grade); Kona #1, a mid-grade coffee bean often sold in bulk and used in many restaurants; Fancy (also a high grade); and Extra Fancy (the highest grade).
STEAM-DRIVEN ESPRESSO MACHINE (Steam Driven Espresso Machine) – See Steam-Driven Espresso Machines.
STEAMING MILK/AERATING MILK – See Steaming and Frothing Milk.
STEAM KNOB (Steaming Knob) – The knob on an espresso machine (espresso maker) that is used by the operator (e.g., the barista) to control the amount of steam pressure released from the steaming wand, which is typically used for steaming milk for use in an espresso–based specialty coffee drink (espresso drink).
The steam knob controls the steam valve which releases the steam built up in the internal boiler or thermoblock of the espresso machine.
STEAMING PITCHER – A stainless steel pitcher that typically holds at least 12 ounces of milk and is used (e.g., by a barista) for steaming/aerating milk to create frothed milk and foam for an espresso-based specialty coffee drink (espresso drink).
A steaming pitcher typically has a pour spout. A steaming pitcher is also called a frothing pitcher or milk warming pitcher (milk warmer). Also see Steaming and Frothing Milk; Foam; Espresso Drink Recipes.
STEAM 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 steam 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 steam nozzle may also be used to heat water.
The steam nozzle is controlled by the steam knob which opens and closes the espresso machine’s steam valve. The steam nozzle is also called the stylus, pipe, and steaming wand. Also see Steaming and Frothing Milk; Foam; Espresso Drink Recipes.
STEAM PIPE – An external tube on an espresso machine (espresso 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 steam pipe on some espresso machines may also be used to dispense hot water in order to heat the cup (e.g., demitasse) for an espresso shot. The steam pipe may also be used to provide hot water.
The steam pipe is controlled by the steam knob which opens and closes the espresso machine’s steam valve. The steam pipe is also called the stylus, nozzle, and steaming wand. Also see Steaming and Frothing Milk; Foam; Espresso Drink Recipes.
STEAMING TIP (Steam Tip) – The perforated tip at the end of the steaming wand. This steaming tip usually has from one to four holes which are either straight or angled, and which create jets of hot steam that emit into the milk to heat the milk while also agitating and aerating it (injecting air into the milk) to create a creamy and velvety, rich-textured steamed milk and high-quality foam for use with an espresso-based specialty coffee drink (espresso drink).
The volume of the milk in the steaming pitcher should double or even triple if it is steamed and aerated properly. The foam on top should not end up being dry (e.g., like a meringue), and there should not be any large bubbles in the foam.
A high-quality foam should not merely sit atop the liquid, but instead it should merge with the espresso drink are serve to harmonize all of the flavors. Also see Steaming and Frothing Milk; Foam; Espresso Drink Recipes.
STEAM VALVE – Controlled by the steam knob, the steam valve lets the steam out of the thermoblock or internal boiler of an espresso machine (espresso maker) to provide steam to the steaming wand, which is typically used for steaming milk for use in an espresso-based specialty coffee drink (espresso drink).
STEAM WAND / STEAMING WAND – 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 steam wand on some espresso machines is also used to dispense hot water and to heat up your demitasse that you will use for your espresso shot(s).
The steam wand is controlled by the steam knob which opens and closes the espresso machine’s steam valve. The steaming wand is also called the stylus, pipe, and nozzle. Also see Steaming and Frothing Milk; Foam.
STEEP – To soak a material (e.g., coffee grounds or tea) in water that is heated to just below boiling temperature.
STINKER – Refers to a coffee without any distinct negative or positive qualities or characteristics.
STORING COFFEE – See Storing Coffee.
STRAIGHT COFFEE – An unblended quantity of coffee beans from one place (e.g., country, region) and from a single crop.
STRAIN – See Coffee plant varietals.
STRAWY – A distinct aroma/flavor sensation (taste taint) suggesting hay. This hay-like characteristic is usually created during the storage of the green coffee beans (e.g., during aging after harvest), and reflects a loss of organic materials.
STRENGTH – A measure of the quantity of soluble solids in brewed coffee. Strength is typically given as the percentage of soluble solids (by weight) to water (e.g., 1.5% soluble solids to 98.5% water).
STRICTLY HARD BEANS (SHB) –
1) A classification of coffee bean under the altitude-based Costa Rica Coffee grading system, describing a coffee bean grown at an altitude higher than 3,900 feet. The low temperatures and other characteristics of high-altitude coffee growing conditions are known to produce coffee beans that mature more slowly than lower altitude coffees, resulting in a coffee bean that is harder and less porous. Also see Medium Hard Beans; Good Hard Beans; Soft Beans; Costa Rica Coffee.
2) A classification of coffee bean under the Guatemala Coffee grading system, the Strictly Hard Bean designation includes coffee beans grown at elevations above 4,500 feet above sea level. The general assumption is that the higher elevation bean is harder (more dense), and thus of a higher quality, or grade. Also see Guatemala Coffee.
STRICTLY HIGH GROWN COFFEE (Strictly High-Grown Coffee) – A grade of Honduras coffee based upon the altitude at which the coffee was grown. Strictly High-Grown is also the highest grade of El Salvador Coffee. Also see Central Standard Coffee; High Grown Coffee.
STRIP PICKING (Strip-picking) – A method of harvesting coffee cherry (fruit) by taking hold of a branch of the coffee tree and using a single motion to pull off all of the coffee cherry on the branch at once.
Strip picking is often used on dry processed coffees and on coffee plants whose coffee cherry ripen all at the same time (simultaneously) rather than gradually over several months, as is typical of most premium gourmet Arabica Coffees. Also see Selective Picking; Harvesting Coffee.
STRONG – A rich, full-bodied flavor quality in brewed coffee, creating a pungent impression. This strong quality is typical of dark-roasted premium gourmet coffees and also coffees known for their consistent mouthfeel.
STYLUS – 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 stylus on some espresso machines is also used to dispense hot water and to heat the cup (e.g., demitasse) for an espresso shot. The stylus may also be used to heat water.
The stylus is controlled by the steam knob which opens and closes the espresso machine’s steam valve. The stylus is also called the pipe, nozzle, and steaming wand. Also see Steaming and Frothing Milk; Foam.
SULAWESI COFFEE (Sulawesi Celebes Coffee) – See Sulawesi Coffee.
SULAWESI TORAJA KALOSSI COFFEE (Toraja Coffee; Indonesian Toraja Coffee; Indonesia Sulawesi Toraja Kalossi Coffee; Celebes Toraja Coffee) – See Sulawesi Toraja Coffee.
SULFUR – One of the volatile organic compounds that is found in fresh coffee; evokes a strong sensation when it enters the nasal passages and comes into contact with the olfactory membranes.
SUMATRA ANKOLA (Sumatra Ankola) – See Sumatra Ankola Coffee.
SUMATRA COFFEE (Sumatran Coffee) – See Sumatra Coffee.
SUMATRA LINTONG COFFEE – See Sumatra Lintong Coffee.
SUMATRA MANDHELING COFFEE (Sumatran Mandheling Coffee) – See Sumatra Mandheling Coffee.
SUN-DRYING (Sun Drying; Sun Dried; Sun-Dried) – Sun drying of coffee beans involves spreading them out in thin layers on a large, flat platform (e.g., deck, rack, floor, or hoshidana) and then raking the coffee beans regularly so they dry evenly. A hoshidana has a rolling roof that is closed when it rains.
SUN-GROWN COFFEE (Sun Grown Coffee) – Coffee that is not grown beneath a canopy (e.g., Shade-Grown Coffee). Currently the predominant areas where most of the Arabica coffee is grown beneath a canopy include Venezuela, Peru, Colombia, Central America, and Mexico as well as some areas in Africa, Indonesia, and India. In most other areas the coffee is predominantly sun-grown.
SUPER AUTOMATIC ESPRESSO MACHINE (Super-Automatic Espresso Machine) – A class of espresso machines (espresso makers) that are able to grind the coffee beans, dose, tamp, and brew the espresso as well as eject the spent puck of coffee grounds, requiring the operator (e.g., barista) only to push a button. Some models of super automatic espresso machines are also able to steam milk. See Espresso Machines; Espresso Brewing.
SUPERCRITICAL CARBON DIOXIDE – Carbon dioxide stored at a high pressure and temperature so it may be used as a decaffeination agent. Supercritical carbon dioxide is superior to water in the carbon dioxide process (supercritical fluid extraction process) of decaffeination because it has the desirable diffusive properties of a gas yet an increased density like a liquid. This method also avoids the use of potentially harmful chemical solvents. Also see Decaffeinated Coffee.
SUPERCRITICAL EXTRACTION PROCESS – In the supercritical extraction process of decaffeinating coffee (a direct contact method of decaffeination), green coffee beans (milled but not yet roasted) are softened by steaming in order to bring the caffeine to the bean’s surface, and then soaked in supercritical carbon dioxide (highly compressed carbon dioxide) at 73 to 300 atmospheres of pressure for about ten hours, which extracts the caffeine from the coffee beans.
Next the pressure is reduced and the CO2 is drawn off, either evaporating or going through water (in the Sparkling Water Process) or activated carbon filters (in the Carbon Dioxide Process) to eliminate the caffeine. Any solvent residue that remains on the coffee beans becomes a gas and dissipates as the coffee beans reach room temperature. The CO2 is then used again.
The supercritical state of carbon dioxide is superior to water in this process because it has the desirable diffusive properties of a gas yet an increased density like a liquid.
An advantage of this decaffeination method is the avoidance of the use of potentially harmful chemical solvents. Also called the Carbon Dioxide Process (CO2 Process). Also see Decaffeinated Coffee.
SUPERCRITICAL FLUID EXTRACTION PROCESS – A process of decaffeinating coffee in which green coffee beans are steamed and then soaked in supercritical carbon dioxide at 73 to 300 atmospheres of pressure for about ten hours. Then the pressure is reduced and the CO2 either evaporates or goes through water or charcoal filters to eliminate the caffeine. The CO2 is then used again.
The supercritical state of carbon dioxide is superior to water in this process because it has the desirable diffusive properties of a gas yet an increased density like a liquid.
An advantage of this decaffeination method is the avoidance of the use of potentially harmful chemical solvents. The process is also called the Carbon Dioxide Process. Also see Decaffeinated Coffee.
SUSTAINABLE COFFEE – While no definitive definition currently exists for what constitutes a sustainable coffee, the general idea reflects the concepts that help the coffee farmers, their communities, and preserve the land, including growing the coffee amidst native trees and without the use of chemicals that may create hazards for the farmers and also degrade the land.
The Specialty Coffee Association of America has been working to create reliable guidelines for determining what is a sustainable coffee. Also see Fair Trade Coffee; Organic Coffee; Bird Friendly Coffee; Shade-Grown Coffee.
SWEET/SWEETNESS – See Sweetness.
SWEETLY FLORAL – An aroma descriptor suggesting the fragrance of flowers. This sweetly floral quality is produced by highly volatile esters and aldehydes that create the sweet, aromatic sensations.
SWEETLY SPICY – An aroma descriptor suggesting sweet spice. This quality is produced by esters and aldehydes which create spicy aromatic sensations.
SWISS WATER PROCESS OF DECAFFEINATION (Swiss-Water Process of Decaffeination; Swiss-Water Decaffeination Process; Swiss-Water Process) – See Swiss Water Process of Decaffeination.