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Bean Smitten
Coffee Dictionary

Table of Contents

What is an Aeropress?

An AeroPress is a versatile, manual coffee brewing device, allowing users to steep coffee for a brief period before forcing it through a filter using a plunger mechanism. Invented in 2005, this tool offers a clean, rich coffee similar to espresso and can use paper or metal filters for varied taste profiles.

An AeroPress is a manual, syringe-like device invented in 2005 for brewing coffee quickly. It produces a clean, rich cup, akin to espresso, and can use either paper or metal filters. Made of polypropylene, it consists of two nesting cylinders with volume markings for precise brewing.

What is an Americano?

Caffè Americano, commonly known as Americano, is a coffee drink crafted by diluting espresso with hot water, resulting in a beverage with similar intensity but a distinct flavour from regular drip coffee. Its strength varies with the espresso shots and water volume. Typically, an Americano is prepared with a double shot espresso (doppio) in a 1:3 ratio, resembling drip coffee's strength. Variations like the Long Black in Australia introduce a smaller amount of water and before espresso, resulting in a stronger taste and preserving the espresso's crema. Americanos contrast with caffe crema, another espresso-based drink, due to their unique brewing methods and taste profiles.

An Americano is a coffee made by diluting an espresso with hot water, creating a similar strength but a different flavour from drip coffee. The strength can vary based on the espresso and water ratio. Typically served with a double shot of espresso, the Americano offers a milder taste and lighter body compared to straight espresso, while still retaining the rich coffee flavour and aroma. This drink is popular among those who prefer a less intense coffee experience but still enjoy the deep and complex flavours of espresso.

What is Arabic coffee?

Arabic coffee, commonly enjoyed in various Arab nations, is prepared in two main styles: Turkish-style and Saudi Coffee. In the Levant region, Turkish-style coffee is popular but usually made without sugar. Sometimes cardamom is added for flavour, or it's served simply as plain coffee (qahwah sādah in Arabic, meaning 'plain coffee').

Arabic coffee differs from Turkish coffee in that it's typically served without sugar, although some people might add sugar while making it. It's traditionally made in a Dallah, a special coffee pot, and served in small, ornate cups called Finjāns.

This type of coffee is known for its strong, bitter taste. It's brewed as a concentrated drink, much like espresso, which makes it different from filtered coffee or milk-based espresso drinks like cappuccinos and lattes.

What is Arabica coffee?

Arabica coffee is the higher quality of the two most commonly found coffee species (see also Robusta Coffee) and comes from the Coffea arabica plant, originally found in Ethiopia's southwestern highlands. This type of coffee, sometimes called the coffee shrub of Arabia, is thought to be the first type of coffee ever grown.

Today, Arabica coffee makes up about 75% to 80% of all the coffee produced globally. It's the preferred type for making coffee drinks. The caffeine in Arabica beans varies, usually between 0.9% to 1.7% of the bean's volume, though some Arabica beans have even less caffeine.

What is Caffè crema?

Caffè crema, sometimes called cafe crema, is a term for two types of espresso drinks. Originally, in the 1940s and 50s, caffè crema was just another name for espresso. However, it also refers to a longer espresso drink that originated in Europe. This longer drink is mainly served in Switzerland, Austria, and northern Italy, especially near the borders with Switzerland and Austria. In general, caffè crema means "espresso", but when people talk about it in detail, they might call this longer drink Swiss caffè crema.

In North America, caffè crema is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to regular drip coffee. Its appeal lies in its unique flavour, which sits between an espresso and a drip coffee, and its strength, which is similar to a typical filtered coffee.

What is a Cappuccino?

A cappuccino is a popular Italian coffee drink made with espresso, hot milk, and steamed-milk foam. The Istituto Nazionale Espresso Italiano specifies that a cappuccino should have 25 ml of espresso and 100 ml of steam-foamed milk. In North American coffee shops, a cappuccino is often made with a double espresso and frothed milk, totalling up to about 6 fluid ounces.

Milk makes up roughly two-thirds of a cappuccino's total volume. Half of this milk is just steamed, while the other half is foamed.

What is a Chemex Coffeemaker?

The Chemex Coffeemaker is a manual, pour-over style coffee maker. It was invented by Peter Schlumbohm in 1941 and is still produced by the Chemex Corporation in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

This coffee maker has a distinctive hourglass shape and is made from glass. The classic Chemex model features a heatproof wooden holder in the middle, but there are also versions with glass handles.

The Chemex is not only functional but also well-regarded for its design, having won several design awards and frequently appearing in popular culture. It's even part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

What is a Coffea?

Coffea is a group of flowering plants that produce seeds known as coffee beans, which are used to make coffee. These plants belong to the Rubiaceae family and are either shrubs or small trees. They naturally grow in tropical and southern Africa, as well as in tropical parts of Asia.

Coffee is one of the most valuable and widely traded crops in the world, and it's a significant export for many countries. The coffee plant is grown in more than 70 countries, mainly in regions near the equator, including Latin America, Southeast Asia, India, and Africa.

What are Coffee Beans?

A coffee bean is the seed found inside the fruit of the coffee plant. These seeds, once roasted and ground, are what we use to make coffee. Each coffee fruit, often called a cherry, usually contains two seeds that have one flat side and one rounded side.

What are the different Coffee Brewing Methods?

A coffee brewing method refers to a specific way of making coffee, each having its own set of rules for brewing. These rules include:

  • The temperature of the water used for brewing

  • The pressure applied during brewing

  • The size of the ground coffee

  • How long the coffee is extracted

 

The method you choose also depends on the type of equipment you use. This could be an espresso machine, an automatic drip coffee maker, a French press, or a simple cezve (known as an ibrik in North America).

Some of the most well-known methods for brewing coffee are Espresso, French Press, Drip Coffee, Hand Drip (or pour-over), Cold Brew, Turkish Coffee, and Percolated Coffee.

What is Coffee Extraction?

Coffee extraction is the process of drawing out soluble substances and aromatic oils from coffee grounds using water. This process is vital for determining the flavour, aroma, and strength of your coffee. To brew coffee properly, you need the right amount of coffee grounds, extracted for the right amount of time and at the right temperature.

Each coffee brewing method uses different parameters, resulting in unique flavour profiles.

Coffee is a mixture of various compounds from the coffee bean dissolved in water. The efficiency of extracting these substances can be enhanced by increasing their solubility. This solubility is affected by factors like temperature, pressure, and stirring. It is also possible to adjust the extraction process by changing the size of the coffee grounds and the duration of extraction.

What are Coffee Filters?

A coffee filter is a tool used in brewing coffee to separate the coffee grounds from the liquid. It's often made from disposable paper, with tiny openings about 20 micrometres across. These small openings in the paper allow only particles smaller than roughly 15 micrometres to pass through, effectively catching larger coffee grounds. This results in a clearer, ‘cleaner’ coffee as only the tiny water particles and very fine grounds can flow through.

The most common type of filter used for brewing coffee is the paper filter. It was invented in Germany by Melitta Benz in 1908. Coffee made with a paper filter tends to be clear, light-bodied, and contains almost none of the coffee oils.

What is a Coffee Grind Size?

Coffee grind size is a key aspect of making coffee and refers to how finely or coarsely the coffee beans are ground before brewing the coffee.

 

The coffee grind size affects the surface area exposed to water. This facilitates either a faster or slower extraction. Different coffee brewing methods require specific grind sizes to suit their extraction processes. For some methods, the exact size and consistency of the grind are crucial, while for others, it's important but not as critical.

What is a Coffee Grinder?

A coffee grinder is a tool used to break down coffee beans into small pieces or a powder. There are various types of coffee grinders, with burr grinders and blade grinders being the most common.

Technically, any kitchen device made for breaking down solid foods can be used to grind coffee. However, when it comes to specialty coffee, getting the grind size just right is very important. For example, while spice grinders can be used for coffee beans, they often produce an uneven mix of very fine and very coarse grounds, which isn't suitable for high-quality coffee.

What is Coffee Grinding?

Coffee grinding is an essential part of making coffee. It involves breaking down whole coffee beans into smaller particles. This step is vital because without grinding, it would be very difficult to extract the soluble solids, caffeine, and oils from the beans, even with high brewing temperatures.

The size of the coffee particles after grinding depends on various factors. These include the brewing method being used, the specific coffee recipe, and personal taste preferences. Grinding, also called milling, makes it easier to extract the flavours and substances that are contained within the coffee bean.

What is a Coffee Percolator?

A coffee percolator is a type of pot used for brewing coffee. The term "percolate" basically means to filter a liquid through a material to extract something from it. In coffee brewing, water is the liquid, coffee grounds are the material, and the extracted substances are what give coffee its colour, taste, aroma, and stimulating effects.

A percolator consists of two chambers. The lower chamber is where the water is placed for brewing. The upper chamber has a perforated filter where the ground coffee goes. There's a tube that connects these two chambers. When you place the percolator over a heat source, like a stove, the water heats up. As it boils, it travels up the tube and then cascades over the coffee grounds.

How is Coffee Prepared?

Coffee brewing is the process of making a coffee drink. There are various methods to brew coffee, and each method uses a different way of extracting coffee.

At its core, brewing coffee is about extracting the flavour from ground coffee beans into water. However, this extraction is closely linked to other steps in making coffee.

The key steps in preparing coffee are:

  • Roasting the coffee beans.

  • Grinding the roasted beans.

  • Brewing the coffee.

  • Filtering the brewed coffee.

 

These steps greatly influence the taste, flavour, strength, and appearance of the coffee. These characteristics are known as the organoleptic properties of coffee. There are several factors that can alter the flavour and taste of coffee:

  • The size of the coffee grounds.

  • The temperature of the water.

  • The brewing time.

  • The pressure used in brewing.

  • The degree to which the beans are roasted.

 

By changing these brewing parameters, you can adjust the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), the content of coffee oils, caffeine, and other compounds that contribute to the coffee's flavour and aroma.

What are Coffee Roasters?

A coffee roasting company, often just called a coffee roaster, is a business that purchases unroasted, green coffee beans and roasts them. These companies sell a variety of coffee beans, either as single-origin or as blends.

There are different types of coffee roasters, varying in size and focus. The rise of the third wave of coffee has highlighted micro roasters and artisan roasters. These smaller businesses focus on specialty coffee, often roasting their beans in small batches to cater to specific tastes.

While large, established roasting companies still hold a significant market share, they typically lack the infrastructure and flexibility to specifically cater to the specialty coffee market.

What is Coffee Roasting?

Coffee roasting is a process that changes green coffee beans into the roasted coffee we use to brew drinks. It involves using dry heat, like from an oven or flame, to roast the beans. This roasting process is crucial for developing coffee's unique flavour. It causes the green beans to expand and change in colour, taste, smell, and density.

Although unroasted beans have similar amounts of acids, protein, and caffeine as roasted beans, they don't have the same taste. Roasting is needed to trigger the Maillard reaction and other chemical changes that give coffee its distinctive flavour.

What is a Coffeemaker?

Coffeemakers are machines or appliances used for making coffee. They can also be called coffee machines.

There are various types of coffeemakers, each using different methods to brew coffee. In many common models, you put coffee grounds into a paper or metal filter within a funnel. This funnel is placed over a pot, usually made of glass or ceramic. You pour cold water into a different chamber of the coffeemaker. This water is then heated to boiling and directed into the funnel to brew the coffee.

What is Cold Brew Coffee?

Cold brew coffee, also known as cold press coffee or cold water extract, is made by extracting coffee using cold water. It tastes different from hot coffee – often described as sweeter, less bitter, and smoother. Traditional coffee brewing uses water between 92°C and 98°C, but cold brew uses water at a much lower temperature, typically between 5°C and 30°C.

The chemical makeup of cold brew coffee differs from that of hot water brewed coffee. Many compounds in coffee beans don't dissolve in cold water, while some others that are sensitive to heat get preserved in cold brewing.

Making cold brew coffee is generally inexpensive, though there are exceptions. The simplest way to make it is by steeping coffee in a basic container for 12 hours or more. There are also commercially available cold brew makers designed to make large batches, compensating for the longer brewing time.

What is a Single Espresso Shot?

A single espresso shot, often referred to as a 'solo' in Italian, is made with about 7-9 grams of coffee grounds. Historically, this shot produces roughly 1 oz. (about 30 ml) of brewed coffee, although many specialty coffee shops produce a shorter shot, nowadays. It is typically prepared using a single filter basket.

However, true single shots are quite uncommon. In many coffee shops, particularly in places like the United States and the United Kingdom, what is served as a single shot is often just half of a double (doppio) shot. This is because the standard in these countries is usually a double shot.

In contrast, in older coffee cultures, such as those in continental Europe, a single shot is the norm. Here, espresso is more frequently made as a single shot using a single filter basket.

What is a Double Espresso Shot?

A double espresso shot, also known as a doppio (Italian for 'double'), is a term used in espresso brewing to refer to a larger serving of espresso. It's made using about 18 grams of coffee grounds. The filter basket used for this is also designed to hold this larger amount of grounds.

Traditionally, a double espresso shot contains about 2 oz. (60 ml) of coffee, which is double the amount in a standard single shot of espresso. However, most specialty coffee shops produce a shorter shot, nowadays. Variations include ristretto (a shorter extraction) or a lungo (a longer extraction).

When brewing these larger or modified espresso shots, it's important to adjust the settings on the coffee machine and grinder to match the new recipe. This ensures a successful extraction and a good quality coffee.

What is a Triple Espresso Shot?

A triple espresso shot, also known as a 'triplo' in Italian, is made with more than 21 grams of coffee grounds. This is different from a standard single shot of espresso. To make a triple shot, special filter baskets are needed that can hold the extra coffee.

The key point about a triple espresso shot is that it should be brewed in roughly the same time as a single shot. This means the size of the coffee grounds needs to be adjusted to get it right.

A triple shot can be made into different types of espresso drinks – a normale, a lungo, or a ristretto. These variations depend on the amount of water used, the size of the coffee grounds, and the brewing time.

Triple shots aren't very common in many coffee cultures. This is because making them requires changing the settings on the coffee machine and grinder each time. Also, they need a special brewing basket, which many coffee shops don't think is worth the investment.

In the United States, however, triple shots are more popular, as coffee servings there are generally larger. There's even a term "quad shot" for a coffee with four shots of espresso. But, as there is no specific filter for four shots, they typically use a double (doppio) filter twice to make it.

What is Drip Coffee?

Drip coffee, also known as filtered coffee, is a simple way of making coffee. It involves pouring water over roasted, ground coffee beans that are in a filter. As the water moves through the coffee grounds, it picks up their oils and flavours, using only the force of gravity. The water then drips through the filter into a jug or pot below, leaving the used coffee grounds in the filter.

 

You can make drip coffee with an automatic coffee machine, which comes in various types with different levels of automation. Alternatively, it can be made manually using devices like coffee drippers or cones.

Experts in specialty coffee have identified key factors for brewing the perfect cup of drip coffee. These include:

  • The water temperature, which should be between 90 and 96 degrees Celsius.

  • The size of the coffee grounds, ideally medium (about 900 microns in size).

  • The brewing time, which should be around 5 minutes.

What is an Espresso?

Espresso is a strong, concentrated type of coffee. It's usually served in small amounts, called shots. These shots are made by pushing hot water under pressure through very finely ground coffee beans.

Compared to other types of coffee, espresso is thicker and has a more intense flavour. This is because it contains more tiny coffee particles and oils. It also has a layer of crema on top, which is a creamy foam.

What is a Frappuccino?

A Frappuccino is a type of blended coffee drink that's trademarked and sold by Starbucks. It's made by mixing coffee with ice and other ingredients, and is often topped with whipped cream. Frappuccinos are also available as bottled coffee drinks in shops and vending machines.

The name 'Frappuccino' is inspired by the French 'lait Frappé', a beverage made with frothed milk and coffee. The term 'Frappe', used in Boston, Massachusetts, originally referred to a milkshake with frothed milk, where coffee wasn't a necessary component.

What is a French press?

The French press is a straightforward coffee maker. It consists of two main parts: a brewing container and a filter-plunger. The container where the coffee is brewed can be made of glass, stainless steel, or ceramic. The plunger has a screen filter at the bottom, which is used to separate the coffee grounds from the liquid. This screen is usually made of stainless steel, but sometimes plastic is used.

Invented by Attilio Calimani in 1929, the French press is known by various names around the world. In the US and Canada, it's called a 'French press', while in the UK, it's often referred to as a 'cafetière'. In France, it's known as a 'cafetière à piston', and in Italy, it goes by 'caffettiera a stantuffo'. In countries like New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa, people commonly call it a 'coffee plunger', and the coffee made in it is known as 'plunger coffee'.

What is an Iced Coffee?

Iced coffee is a chilled coffee, and it's become quite popular in coffee shops to offer 'iced' versions of their best-selling coffee drinks. Common examples are iced lattes and iced mochas. A quick way to make these is to prepare a small amount of strong, hot espresso, and then pour it into a cup of iced milk. This method is particularly popular in busy coffee shops. Alternatively, the hot coffee can be cooled down with cold water, ice, cream, or ice cream.

Iced coffee is often compared to cold brew coffee, but there's a key difference between the two. Iced coffee is initially brewed hot and then cooled, whereas cold brew coffee is brewed with cold water from the start and never heated during the brewing process.

What is a Latte?

A latte, which translates to "coffee milk", is a coffee drink made from espresso and steamed milk. In English, the word is sometimes mistakenly spelled as 'latté' or 'lattè', with the diacritical mark being an unnecessary addition. In Northern Europe and Scandinavia, 'Café au lait' is the term often used for a combination of espresso and milk, though in the US, this refers to brewed coffee with steamed milk.

The typical latte recipe consists of one or two shots of espresso, 5 to 6 ounces of steamed milk, and a thin layer of frothed milk on top. Lattes are sometimes confused with cappuccinos, but there's a notable difference: a cappuccino has less milk, which allows the espresso flavour to be more dominant.

What is a Long Black?

A long black is a type of coffee most commonly found in Australia, New Zealand, and Brazil, and it's becoming more available in the UK, especially in London.

The long black was reportedly developed in Italy to cater to American tourists who wanted a large cup of black coffee, similar to the filter coffee more commonly consumed in America.

To make a long black, you pour a double shot of espresso or ristretto over hot water, which is typically heated by the espresso machine. This method is different from an Americano, where hot water is added to the espresso. The key difference is that a long black retains the crema (a creamy layer on top of the coffee) and has a stronger flavour, as it is less diluted than an Americano.

The long black is notable for having more crema and a stronger taste compared to an Americano. This is because a smaller volume of hot water is added after the espresso, which is the opposite of how an Americano is made.

What is a Lungo Coffee?

A lungo is a type of espresso coffee where the extraction time is longer than that of a standard espresso, known as a 'normale'. The word 'lungo' is Italian for 'long'. A normal espresso shot takes about 25 to 30 seconds to make, while a lungo ranges from 30 to 50 seconds. As a result, the volume of a lungo is roughly double that of a normale. For example, a single normale has about 1 oz. of coffee, whereas a lungo has just under 2 oz.

It is also possible to make variations like a 'doppio lungo' or a 'triplo lungo', with the amount of coffee adjusted accordingly.

Unlike an americano, which is made by adding hot water to espresso, a lungo is created by running water through coffee grounds in an espresso machine for a longer period. This means all the water in a lungo has been brewed with the coffee, giving it a different flavour profile compared to an Americano.

What is a Moka Pot?

The Moka Pot is a traditional Italian coffee maker, typically made from aluminium or stainless steel. Ever since it was invented almost a century ago, it has been a popular method for brewing Italian style coffee at home.

Also known as a stovetop espresso maker, it is sometimes called an Italian coffee maker, a coffee percolator, or a geyser coffee maker.

The Moka Pot is a manual coffee brewer that needs a heat source to make coffee. This can be an electric or gas stove, or even a camping gas burner, which makes it a great choice for making coffee on the go. The stainless steel versions are also compatible with induction stovetops. Available in various sizes, the Moka Pot is convenient for brewing multiple cups of coffee at once.

Coffee brewed in a Moka Pot is rich, dark and sometimes used as a substitute for espresso.

What is a Ristretto?

A ristretto is a type of espresso coffee that's shorter than the usual shot. It's made with the same amount of ground coffee as a normal espresso (normale), but with about half the amount of water. Traditionally, a ristretto is brewed in the same way as a normale, just in less time. This results in a more concentrated espresso with a distinct flavour and taste profile, and it usually has slightly less caffeine.

Modern baristas often make ristrettos by simply shortening the brewing time. This method achieves a very similar flavour profile but with fewer technical challenges.

 

In coffee circles, a 'God Shot' refers to a perfectly pulled ristretto. Because of its intense aroma and stronger flavour, the ristretto is a favourite among many espresso enthusiasts.

What is Robusta Coffee?

Robusta coffee, scientifically known as Coffea canephora and also referred to as Coffea robusta, is a type of coffee plant originally from central and western sub-Saharan Africa. It belongs to the Rubiaceae family and is a species of flowering plant. Coffea canephora has two primary varieties: Robusta and Nganda.

Robusta accounts for about 30% of the world's coffee production. Generally, Robusta coffee is seen as being of lower quality compared to Arabica, mainly due to its strong and distinct taste. However, high-quality Robusta beans are sometimes more expensive than Arabica and are used in premium coffee blends, including espresso.

What is a Semi Automatic Espresso Machine?

Semi-automatic espresso machines are types of coffee machines that partly automate the process of making espresso. Unlike super-automatic machines, they need more effort and knowledge from the person making the coffee. These machines are popular in coffee shops and with espresso enthusiasts because they provide good reliability and allow for more control over the brewing process.

What is a Super Automatic Espresso Machine?

A super-automatic espresso machine is a type of coffee machine that automates nearly all aspects of coffee brewing. With a super-automatic machine, the following tasks, which are usually done manually by a barista, are automated:

  • Measuring the right amount of coffee beans

  • Grinding the coffee

  • Tamping (pressing) the coffee

  • Extracting the espresso shot, including controlling the water temperature, brewing time, and pressure

  • Steaming and frothing the milk

What is a Single Origin Coffee?

Single Origin Coffee refers to coffee that comes from one specific geographical area. This could mean it's from a single farm, or it could be a selection of beans all from the same country. The coffee is often named after the place where it was grown. Many view Single Origin Coffees as offering a unique taste, and some independent coffee shops use them to stand out from larger chains.

Depending on where it's harvested, you might hear terms like micro-lot, single-estate, or single-origin coffee. 'Single country' coffee means the beans are all from one country, but this doesn't necessarily make it Single Origin Coffee, as single-origin implies a more specific location.

What is Specialty Coffee?

Specialty coffee is a term often used to describe coffee that is considered 'gourmet' or 'premium'. The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) defines it as coffee that scores 80 or more out of 100 on their rating scale.

The concept of specialty coffee covers every stage of coffee production and preparation, from growing and harvesting the beans to the final brewing process. To ensure the best quality and taste for the consumer, specialty coffee beans require careful and specific treatment throughout this process.

What is a Turkish Coffee?

Turkish coffee is a unique way of making coffee, commonly found in the Middle East, North Africa, the Caucasus, and the Balkans. While the basic method is the same, there are slight regional variations in the grind size of the beans, brewing time, temperature, and concentration.

To make Turkish coffee, roasted coffee beans are ground very finely, almost to a powder, and then boiled in a pot, often with sugar. This method differs from most other coffee preparations because the grounds are not filtered out of the drink. After brewing, the coffee is poured into cups, allowing the grounds to settle at the bottom. The coffee is ready to drink when it has cooled enough and the grounds have settled.

The ultra-fine grind of the coffee has two purposes: it aids in the settling of the grounds after brewing and accelerates the extraction process. The ground coffee is exposed to high heat but only for a short duration, which prevents over-extraction.

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