Coffee Glossary

AeroPress

 

A coffee brewing device invented and manufactured by Aerobie. The AeroPress brews coffee by forcing ground coffee through a filter between two nesting cylinders, resulting in coffee that falls in between espresso and filter coffee in strength.

 

Americano

 

An Americano (or Caffè Americano) is a type of coffee made from espresso and hot water. An Americano typically has a similar strength to a cup of filter coffee, but is made using a single or double shot of espresso. A variation is called a “Long Black” in Australia and New Zealand.

 

Arabica

 

Arabica is a variety of coffee that’s used in the majority of speciality coffee. Originally indigenous to Ethiopia, Arabica is now the most popular variety of coffee in the world. Arabica coffee makes up about 75 to 80 per cent of global coffee production.

 

Aroma

 

The smell and flavour attributes of a specific coffee. Aroma refers to all flavour attributes of any specific type of coffee other than taste attributes like sweet, sour, saltiness or bitterness, which are detected by the tongue as part of a specialty coffee’s taste.

 

Barista

 

Someone who prepares and serves coffee. Although barista traditionally refers to a person who operates an espresso machine, baristas today prepare coffee using a variety of methods, from espresso machines to manual coffee presses and more.

 

Bitter

 

When coffee is over-extracted or roasted too aggressively, it can take on a bitter taste. Specific roasts of coffee, particularly dark roasts, are sometimes deliberately over-roasted to provide a more bitter taste.

 

Black Coffee

 

Any type of coffee served without milk. Black coffee typically refers to drip coffee or Americano, but is occasionally used to refer to other espresso variations that don’t include milk or cream.

 

Blend

 

A combination of several different types of coffee beans, typically different roasts or tastes, that are combined to make a unique specialty coffee. Coffee blends can range from simple mixes of Arabica and Robusta beans, or special mixes of different beans for a unique taste profile.

 

Caffeine

 

A stimulant contained on coffee. Caffeine is a drug that stimulates the central nervous system and creates a feeling of alertness and energy. Caffeine has both positive and negative effects on human health, depending on the frequency and quantity of caffeine consumption.

 

Caffe Latte

 

A caffè latte (more commonly just “latte” in English speaking countries) is a type of coffee drink made using espresso and steamed milk. In most English speaking countries, a latte is made up of a single shot of espresso, covered in steamed milk and topped with a thin layer of foam.

 

Cappuccino

 

An Italian drink made using espresso, warm milk and milk foam. The traditional Italian method of making a cappuccino involves a mix of one third espresso, one third steamed milk and one third milk foam. Occasionally served with a small amount of cinnamon atop the milk foam.

 

Coffee Grinder

 

A machine or manual device used to grind coffee beans into a powder for brewing. Most coffee grinders allow the user to select the consistency of the grind, resulting in coarse or fine ground coffee to suit the brewing method.

 

Crema

 

A thin layer of foam that forms on top of brewed espresso. Crema, which has a light brown/tan colour, is made up of the natural fat content of ground coffee beans, which is emulsified during the process of being forced through an espresso machine and settles on top of the espresso.

 

Decaffeinated (Decaf) Coffee

 

Coffee with a significant percentage of its usual caffeine content removed. While it’s not possible to remove all caffeine from coffee beans, the decaffeination process can remove more than 97% of the caffeine content from most coffee beans.

 

Espresso (and Espresso Doppio)

 

A thick, concentrated form of coffee brewed by forcing water close to the boiling point through a finely ground serving of coffee beans. Typically served as an espresso (single shot) or espresso doppio (double espresso) and used as the base for many other popular coffee drinks.

 

Espresso con Panna

 

A popular variation of the espresso served with a small serving of whipped cream. Frequently found in the cafés of Southern Europe, particularly Italy, the espresso con panna is known as the café Vienne in the USA and café Viennois in France, the UK and Northern Europe.

 

Espresso Macchiato

 

A variation of the espresso made using a small amount of foamed milk. Occasionally called the caffè macchiato, an espresso macchiato is usually prepared with one to two teaspoons of warm milk spooned gently on top of a single shot of espresso.

 

Espresso Ristretto

 

An espresso prepared using half the standard amount of water. Espresso ristretto (“restricted” espresso in Italian) has a stronger taste than a typical espresso, with a greater concentration and different chemical balance.

 

Filter Coffee

 

Coffee prepared by pouring water over ground, roasted coffee beans inside a paper filter. Filter coffee is also known as drip coffee, or colloquially as “brewed” coffee. Filter brewing is one of the most popular ways to brew coffee.

 

Foamed Milk

 

Foamed or frothed milk is a key ingredient in many coffee drinks, from the famous cappuccino and latte to variations of the espresso such as the espresso macchiato. It’s made by steaming milk, producing a mix of steamed, smooth milk and milk foamed with air bubbled on top.

 

French Press (Cafetière)

 

A manual coffee brewing device consisting of a cylindrical beaker and mesh filter. Invented by Italian designer Attilio Calimani in 1929, the French press (also known as a cafetière) needs a fairly coarse grind of coffee, compared to a drip coffee filter or espresso machine.

 

Iced Coffee

 

Coffee served cold, typically with ice cubes. The most popular types of iced coffee are the iced mocha and iced latte. While some types of iced coffee are brewed hot and then cooled with ice, others, such as cold brew coffee, are brewed in cold water before being served on ice.

 

Mocha Coffee

 

A variation of the caffè latte, a mocha coffee (or caffè mocha) is made with a mix of espresso, hot milk, milk foam and chocolate. Mochas are usually made with cocoa powder, although it’s also common to use melted chocolate or chocolate syrup.   

 

Moka Pot

 

A stovetop coffee brewing device that operates by passing pressurised boiling water through a layer of ground coffee. Designed by Luigi De Ponti for Alfonso Bialetti in 1933, the classic Moka Pot has become an icon of modern design and a popular quick and simple brewing method.

 

Robusta

Robusta is a variety of coffee bean most commonly used in instant coffee and ground blends of instant coffee. More bitter and acidic than Arabica coffee, Robusta is usually cheaper to produce than Arabica and is frequently used in lower-grade blends due to its harsher flavour profile.