The Ultimate Coffee Glossary

Coffee Cultivation & Processing

Aged Coffee
Aging coffee means letting the coffee beans sit for a long time before they get turned into coffee that you can drink.
Agroforestry
Agroforestry in coffee is the practice of growing coffee plants under the shade of trees, which provides numerous benefits for the environment and coffee production.
Anaerobic Fermentation
Anaerobic fermentation is a controlled process used in coffee processing where coffee beans are fermented in an oxygen-free environment to create unique flavour profiles.
Asalan
Asalan is the term in Bahasa Indonesian for green coffee that is hulled, dried, and ready to sell to an exporter in North Sumatra and Aceh coffee regions.
Black Beans
Black beans in coffee processing refer to coffee beans whose interior is entirely black due to fungi, mould, yeast, pests, or over-fermentation, resulting in a harsh, acrid flavour.
Cajuela
A standard box size or basket used to measure coffee cherry volume in Costa Rica, with one cajuela producing approximately 1.5 kilos of green coffee.
Carbon Dioxide Process
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) process is a decaffeination method that uses highly-pressurized CO2 as a solvent to extract caffeine from coffee without affecting its flavour.
Carbonic Maceration
Carbonic maceration is a fermentation process where coffee cherries are placed in an airtight container filled with carbon dioxide to enhance flavour complexity.
Chemical Process
The chemical process in coffee is a decaffeination method where green coffee beans are soaked in hot water and treated with a chemical to remove caffeine.
Cherry to Green Ratio
The cherry to green ratio in coffee refers to the weight of dried coffee cherries compared to the weight of resulting green coffee beans after processing.
Coffee Agronomy
Agronomy is the branch of agriculture that deals with soil management, crop production, and physiology. It is important in coffee cultivation and processing.
Coffee Berry Borer (CBB)
The Coffee Berry Borer is a pest that burrows into coffee seeds, causing significant damage to coffee crops in many coffee-producing regions.
Coffee Berry Disease
Coffee Berry Disease is a fungal disease that causes cherries to die and drop before they are ripe, and can be transmitted by coffee seeds.
Coffee Breeding
Coffee breeding involves selectively breeding or genetically modifying coffee plants to develop new varieties with desirable traits, such as disease resistance or high yield.
Coffee Crop
The coffee crop refers to the year the coffee was harvested and processed.
Coffee Crop Cycle
The coffee crop cycle refers to the period of growth from flowering to harvest, with one annual harvest period and variation by origin.
Coffee Diseases
Coffee plants are susceptible to various diseases, including coffee berry disease, coffee berry borer, and coffee leaf rust, causing significant economic damage to coffee crops worldwide.
Coffee Factory
Typically refers to a coffee mill or wet-processing station where freshly harvested coffee cherries are processed to remove the outer layers and extract the beans.
Coffee Flowering
Coffee flowering is the process of coffee trees producing flowers, which will eventually turn into coffee cherries.
Coffee Harvest
The process of picking ripe coffee cherries from the tree, usually done by hand.
Coffee Leaf Rust
Coffee leaf rust is a fungal disease caused by Hemileia vastatrix that attacks coffee plants' leaves, causing them to wither and drop, resulting in yield losses.
Coffee Mill
A coffee mill is a processing facility where coffee is prepared for export. It can be a wet mill or a dry mill.
Coffee Storage
Storing green coffee beans before roasting, impacting flavour and quality.
Coffee Terroir
Colour Sorting
Colour sorting is the process of removing coffee beans with colour defects using either an optical or manual method to improve coffee quality.
Conventional Coffee
Conventional coffee refers to coffee that is not certified as organic and may involve the use of synthetic agricultural inputs.
Current Crop
Current crop refers to the most recently harvested and processed coffee that has not been replaced by new crop shipments, regardless of shipment date.
Defoliation
Defoliation is the process of removing leaves from a coffee tree to enhance air flow and sunlight exposure, leading to better fruit development.
Demucilage
Demucilage refers to the removal of the sticky, fruity layer of the coffee cherry, known as mucilage, before further processing of the coffee seed.
Density Sorting
Density sorting is a process in coffee processing where coffee beans are separated according to their density using a vibrating table.
Dry Milling
A dry mill is a facility that separates coffee beans from dried cherry and parchment, and can be either highly mechanised or very simple.
Dry Process
Dry process is a coffee processing method where the fruit is dried directly in the sun or on raised screens before the green seed is removed.
Drying Beds
A drying bed is a raised platform used to dry coffee beans after wet processing, where air can circulate freely around the beans for consistent drying.
Drying Coffee
Drying coffee is the process of removing moisture from freshly harvested coffee beans through sun-drying on raised beds, in order to prepare them for further processing.
Ethyl Acetate
Ethyl acetate is a chemical compound often used in decaffeination processes due to its low toxicity, and can impart fruity flavours to coffee.
European Preparation
European Preparation indicates additional hand sorting performed on coffee after optical sorting. The term originated in Central and South America as a standard for European buyers.
Excelso
Excelso is a Colombian coffee grade with a screen size of 15-16, typically considered a step below the larger bean Supremo grade.
Fair Trade Organic (FTO)
Fair Trade Organic (FTO) is coffee that has been certified as both Fair Trade and Organic.
Fanega
A fanega is a measure of coffee used in some Latin American countries, equivalent to 250 kilograms of coffee cherry and used to measure whole coffee fruit.
Fermentation
Fermentation is a process in coffee cultivation where enzymes break down the fruit (mucilage) layer on the coffee seed to prepare it for washing.
Fermentation Time
Fermentation time in coffee processing refers to the period from a few hours to several days in which beans or cherries are allowed to ferment in an anaerobic environment.
Flat Bean
A flat bean refers to a coffee seed that is flat on one side, which is the typical shape of coffee beans, as opposed to peaberries.
Floater
A floater is a coffee bean that did not mature inside the parchment layer and will float in a tank of water during wet-processing.
Fly Crop
Fly Crop is a smaller coffee harvest that occurs in opposition to the main crop. It yields smaller amounts and lower quality coffee.
Grade
Grade in coffee terms refers to the evaluation of coffee beans based on their size, defects, and quality, which varies by country of origin and grading system used.
Green Coffee Appearance
Green coffee appearance refers to the informal scoring of defects per 300 gram sample and screen size, indicating the quality of preparation and sorting of coffee.
Guardiola
Guardiola is a drum-type coffee dryer used to reduce moisture in wet-process coffees over three days, considered better than vertical dryers.
Hand Sorting
Hand sorting is the process of visually inspecting and removing any defective coffee beans that were not caught by machines, crucial for coffee quality control.
Honey Process
Honey process coffee is a method in which the coffee cherries are de-pulped but not washed, leaving some of the fruit still attached to the beans.
Hulling
Hulling is the process of removing the parchment shell from the green coffee bean after it has been dried at the mill.
Kopi Labu
Kopi Labu is a term used for the swollen, soft coffee bean after wet-hulling in Sumatra, which has a texture similar to pumpkin meat.
Lactic Fermentation
Lactic fermentation is a type of coffee processing method in which lactic acid bacteria are used to ferment the coffee beans, resulting in unique sensory attributes.
Mbuni
Mbuni is a Swahili term that refers to dry-processed coffee, often harvested at the end of the season and sold for a lower price than wet-processed coffee.
Mechanical Dryer
A mechanical dryer is a device used to dry coffee beans as an alternative to sun-drying, typically used when weather or capacity issues arise.
Methylene Chloride Decaf
Methylene Chloride Decaf is a solvent-based method for removing caffeine from coffee beans. It leaves insignificant trace amounts of solvent that are dispatched during the roast.
Micro-Lot
A Micro-Lot is a small volume of coffee produced separately, harvested from a particular cultivar, plot, altitude or processed in a unique way to have special characteristics.
Micro-Mill
A micro-mill is a small, farm-specific coffee producer who separates their lots and processes them on scaled-down equipment to achieve the best flavours.
Monsooned Coffee
Monsooned coffee is a unique type of coffee that is exposed to moist monsoon winds in special warehouses, resulting in a musty, pungent flavour.
Mucilage
Mucilage is the fruity layer between the outer skin and parchment layer of the coffee cherry that surrounds the seed.
Natural Process
The natural process, also known as the dry process, involves drying whole coffee cherries without using water or machines to remove the fruit.
New Crop
New crop coffee refers to the most recent harvest or shipment of green coffee beans, prized for its freshness and complexity.
Overripe Cherry
An overripe cherry is a coffee cherry that has remained on the tree for too long, causing it to fall easily and take longer to dry.
Oxidation
Oxidation is the process where coffee flavour and aroma start to degrade as solubles oxidise when exposed to air.
Parchment
Parchment is the outer shell of green coffee beans after they have been processed through wet processing, and is removed during dry milling before export.
Past Crop
Past crop coffee refers to beans that are no longer considered part of the current or new crop, often resulting in a loss of flavour and quality.
Patio-Drying
Patio-drying is a traditional method of drying coffee beans in the sun on a paved or brick patio, which is slower and more gentle than mechanical drying.
Peak Of Harvest
Peak of harvest refers to the period in the middle of the coffee crop when the higher altitudes mature and each tree has the highest percentage of mature cherry.
Post Harvest
Post-harvest refers to the operations involved in the processing, drying, sorting, grading, storage, roasting, grinding, and cupping of coffee after it has been harvested.
Preparation
Preparation in coffee processing refers to the dry-milling steps that prepare coffee for export, including hulling, grading, classifying, sorting, and bagging.
Processing
Processing in coffee refers to the method of preparing the coffee cherry for export, either by wet or dry processing, which affects the final cup quality.
Pulp Natural
Pulp natural is a coffee processing method that involves removing the skin of the fruit before drying it with the fruity mucilage intact.
Pulping
Pulping is the initial step in wet processing, pulp natural or forced demucilage coffee production, which involves removing the skin from the coffee fruit.
Pulping Machine
A pulping machine is a device used in coffee processing to remove the outer skin or pulp from coffee cherries, leaving behind parchment coffee.
Quakers
A quaker is an underdeveloped, unripe coffee seed that fails to roast properly, resulting in a pale colour and lack of desirable flavours.
Quality Control
Quality control is the process of ensuring that a product or service meets established quality standards through inspection and testing.
Rainforest Alliance Certification (RFA)
Rainforest Alliance Certification (RFA) is an independent, third-party certification program that verifies products
Raised Beds
A raised bed is an elevated structure used for drying coffee in dry-processing. It promotes airflow for even and rapid drying.
Resting
Resting in coffee cultivation and processing refers to the period of time after drying the parchment coffee to stabilise it and before processing or removal of the parchment.
Rioy
Rioy is a grade of coffee that results from the fruit drying on the shrub, often associated with natural processed coffees grown in Brazil.
Rust Fungus
Rust Fungus, also known as La Roya, is a disease that attacks coffee plants, reduces fruit production, and can ultimately lead to plant death.
Sailor
Sailor is a type of defective coffee bean that floats due to its low density, appearing white or nearly white, and is often associated with Quakers.
Screen Size
Screen size is the industry standard for measuring coffee bean size, measured in 64ths of an inch through sorting on punched metal sheets.
Screen-drying
Screen-drying is a method of drying coffee in the sun, laying it on elevated screens or mats to allow air movement through the coffee.
Screening
Screening is the process of sorting coffee beans based on their size by running them through a screen with holes of a fixed size.
Semi-Washed
Semi-washed coffee is a hybrid coffee processing method where the parchment coffee is slightly dried, then stripped of the outer layer and dried on a patio.
Shade Grown
Shade-grown coffee refers to coffee cultivated under trees, which may help preserve animal habitats and prevent mono-culture, but lacks official certification standards.
Silverskin
Silverskin is the thin, inner-parchment layer that lines the crease on the flat side of dried green bean coffee and falls off during roasting.
Sorting
Sorting refers to the process of categorising coffee beans by size, density, and colour, typically using machines or manual labor, to ensure uniformity and quality.
Sour Bean
A sour bean is a physical defect of a coffee bean that results from excessive fermentation and has a sour, fermented taste.
Swiss Water Process
Swiss Water Process is a chemical-free water filtration method of decaffeinating coffee beans, which preserves the full-bodied flavour and aroma of the coffee.
Tree Cultivation
Coffee tree cultivation involves the process of growing coffee trees through planting, fertilising, and pruning to achieve optimal growth and yield.
Tree-dry Natural
Tree-dry Natural is a type of coffee processing where the fruit is left to dry partially or entirely on the tree branch before harvesting.
Triage
Triage is the sorting process used to remove defective green coffee beans unfit for consumption, ensuring only the highest quality beans are used for roasting and brewing.
Unwashed Coffee
Unwashed coffee, also known as dry process, is a natural method of extracting the bean where the cherry is laid out to dry in the sun for weeks.
Vacuum Packaging
Vacuum packing coffee involves removing air from an air-tight container to extend the shelf life of green coffee.
Washed Coffee
Washed coffee refers to a coffee processing method where the outer cherry is removed before the beans are fermented, washed, and dried.
Washing Station
A washing station is a facility in coffee-producing regions where fresh coffee cherries are processed through pulping, fermentation, and washing to produce green coffee.
Water Process
Water Process (WP) is a non-chemical decaffeination method where beans are soaked in hot water to extract flavour oils and caffeine, then filtered to remove caffeine.
Wet Hulled Process
Wet-hulled process, or Giling Basah in Bahasa, is a hybrid coffee processing method used in Indonesia that results in a low-acid, earthy, and heavy-bodied coffee.
Wet Mill
The wet mill is where whole coffee cherry fruit is brought for the first stages of its transformation to dried green, exportable coffee.
Wet Process
Wet process (or washed process) is a coffee processing method that uses water to remove the outer fruit layers before drying.
Yeast Fermentation
Yeast fermentation in coffee processing involves the use of specific strains of yeast to break down sugars and enhance flavour and aroma.
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