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Coffee Terms


The pleasant sharp tartness or snap characteristic of fine coffee, tasted mostly at the tip of the tongue.The fragrance of hot freshly brewed coffee. The sense of heaviness, richness or thickness of a coffee ranging from thin to medium to full.
The total perception of Acidity, Aroma and Body that distinguishes the taste characteristics of coffee.  These are the atributes that define a great cup of coffee.

Arabica Coffee Beans

Arabica are the bean of choice in “gourmet” or “specialty coffees”. Arabica coffee produces the rich flavor and body found in a good cup of coffee. Arabica coffee is difficult to grow, and prone to disease, requiring more hand cultivation, and yields smaller harvests per acre. Arabica coffee is grown at altitudes over 2,000 (usually 4,000-6,000) feet above sea level and is typically harvested by hand when the cherries are perfectly ripe.



The only significant competitor among cultivated coffee species to Coffee Arabica. Robusta coffee beans lack the flavor and body of Arabica. Robusta is lower growing and higher producing; the result is an inferior cup with higher caffeine content than the classic Coffee Arabica. The Robusta species is a hardy, high yielding plant resistant to the numerous pests, which afflict coffee.


Fragrance - We evaluate the fragrance of the just-ground coffee, before it's brewed. The coffee's fragrance can speak volumes about the coffee's origin, and the care of its processing.

Aroma - We judge the aroma of the brewed coffee. Coffee's aromas vary dramatically from origin to origin. Some have floral qualities, others offer citrus and fruit, even wood and earth.

Acidity - Acidity, or brightness, is not the PH level of the coffee, and an "acidy" coffee won't upset your stomach... instead, it will make your taste-buds tingle. Bright coffees offer a pleasing tang on the tongue.

Flavor - The diversity in coffee's flavor from origin to origin is astonishing... even coffees from the same origin surprise us!

Body - The coffee's body is the sensation of weight or texture that it offers on the tongue. Full-bodied coffees may be buttery or even syrupy.

Finish - We call the sensations that remain in the mouth when the coffee is gone its finish, or aftertaste. Some coffees impart a sweet, lingering finish; others are more direct, even abrupt.

Balance - Evaluating a coffee's balance is really about how all its individual flavors and taste sensations come together. Balance tends to separate good coffees from great coffees, in which the overall composition is somehow greater than the sum of its parts.