Language of Coffee

A Glossary Of Terms

Coffee has a language of its own. To help you find your way around the world of coffee, here are a few terms 
that the coffee experts use to define different coffees.

The smell while the coffee is brewing. It is produced by aromatics 
developed during the roasting process.

The sensation of weight and texture in the mouth.

This is a positive term. Without acidity, coffee would taste flat and be without its brightness and liveliness.

Flavour combines the aroma, body and acidity.

Flavour definitions:

Balanced – a well balanced “round” coffee contains all the key characteristics in 
the right amounts.
Winey – a positive term which describes a fruity flavour, similar to the taste of 
a mature red wine.
Buttery – a rich, oily flavour.
Richness – indicates the complexity and development of the flavour.
Strong – this refers to the amount of flavour and aroma in the coffee.
Mild – this applies to washed Arabica with its delicate flavour.
Clean – used to describe fine washed coffee with no “off” flavours.
Mellow – a gentle combination of flavours.
Caramelised – a toasted, sugary flavour.
Spicy – an aroma or flavour reminiscent of sweet wood spices.
Chocolatey – this applies when a coffee has an aromatic aftertaste of unsweetened chocolate or vanilla.
Full – a combination of intensity, body and smoothness.
Point – lively flavour and acidity as found in the best Kenyan coffees.
Sweet – a smooth coffee without any harsh flavours.