You may be familiar with some, or none, of the following terms of coffee language. Many of them you might have heard when buying beans from your local café or roaster.
Acidity: A cupping term that describes the high notes of coffee (with words like ‘bright’, ‘clean’ or ‘dry’) or unpleasant qualities (described as ‘sour’).
Arabica: Also ‘vintage coffee’, this is coffee that’s been stored in warehouses for several years (longer even than old crop or mature coffee). Ageing generally reduces acidity and increases body.
Break: In cupping, the important moment where the crust of grounds is broken to assess aroma
Coffee snob: Folk who only drink speciality coffee and frown on those who don’t.
Crema: The tan-coloured top layer of espresso that’s a result of gas trapped in bubbles of oil. It’s a vital part of espresso flavour and texture.
Filter: Coffee that’s made by coffee grounds being steeped in water and passed through a filter to remove all solid bits.
New crop: Green coffee delivered for roasting soon after harvesting and processing.
Old crop: Also ‘past crop’, kept in warehouses for some time before roasting, but not as long as ‘mature’ or ‘aged coffee’.
Quakers: Defective coffee beans that just won’t roast properly.