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Acidity
A tart, tangy, lemon-like taste experienced on the tip and side of the tongue; a flavor element much prized when found in specialty coffees. (Also called Brightness.)
Aged
A coffee that has been stored in its country of origin, usually in a dried but unmilled state, and generally for a period of three or more years; the coffee loses moisture, gaining body and a distinctive woody or earthy characteristic in the cup.
Aroma
The sensation or smell of gases released from brewed coffee. This can include a perception of astringency or acidity via the vapors. (Compare to Fragrance.)
Aftertaste
All the sensations of a coffee experienced after swallowing it (or spitting it out).
Balance
When all of the perceivable components of a coffee work together harmoniously on the palate. No one flavor, taste, or perception dominates the experience.
Barista
The espresso machine operator, one who is fully informed and practiced (hopefully) in the art of coffee preparation; means "bartender" in Italian.
Body
The viscosity or "thickness" of a coffee; part of a coffee's overall mouthfeel. Common adjectives used to describe body include light, medium, full, thin, watery, syrupy, heavy, rich, and creamy.
Bouquet
This usually means the total aromatic profile, including aroma, fragrance, and aftertaste. The world of coffee, however, needs a term to describe the aromatic sensations arising from the roast rather than from the nature of the coffee itself. In the wine trade, "bottle bouquet" refers to the aromatics arising from the bottling and aging of a wine as opposed to those that are intrinsic to the grapes. "Roast bouquet" might be a useful term to describe the aromatic components contributed by the roasting process.
Break
Foam break into the top layer of foam and grounds that have not settled to the bottom of the glass during cupping. (See also Crust.)
Brightness
See Acidity.
Caffe Americano
Espresso diluted with hot water; one shot of espresso with up to seven ounces of water.
Cafe au Lait
Half drip-brewed coffee and half steamed milk.
Caffe Breve
A latte made with half-and-half instead of milk.
Caffe Coretto
An espresso "corrected" with the addition of liquor, typically brandy or a liqueur.
Caffe Latte

Espresso with steamed milk and a thin layer of foam on the top.

Caffe Mocha
Espresso mixed with chocolate and steamed milk and topped with steamed milk or whipped cream.
Cappuccino
Espresso topped (or "hooded," like the Capuchin monks) with foam.
Complexity
The presence of many flavors and tastes complementing body, astringency, and long aftertaste. Inextricably linked to balance, because if any one component dominates another, then complexity wills not be detectable.
Con Panna
With whipped cream.
Creamy
A texture that is reminiscent of cream. (See also Body.)
Crust
The top layer of foam and grounds that have not settled to the bottom of a cupping glass.
Crema
The reddish-brown, creamy layer of foam that sits on top of a well-drawn espresso.
Depth Charge
A cup of coffee with a shot of espresso. (See also Red Eye.)
Doppio
A double shot of espresso.
Draw
To prepare an espresso shot. (See also Pull.)
Drip
Short for drip-brewed coffee.
Dry Cappuccino
A cappuccino with foam only, no steamed milk.
Earthy
A flavor characteristic reminiscent of soil. Often used in a positive manner to describe the taste of Sumatran or Sulawesi coffee; used as a pejorative to describe other coffees.
Espresso Pitcher
A small, three- to five-ounce pitcher that the barista brews espresso into.
Espresso Macchiato
Espresso "marked" or "stained" by milk foam.
Flavor
The perception of a coffee's aromatic compounds (those detected by the sense of smell) when the coffee is in your mouth.
Flat
Lacking a noticeable fragrance, aroma, and aftertaste.
Fragrance
The smell of a particular ground coffee. (Compare to Aroma.)
Flavored Espresso Drink
An espresso drink with a flavored syrup added.
Flat
No foam.
Floral
An aroma, fragrance, or flavor characteristic reminiscent of flowers; usually found in the coffees of Kenya and Ethiopia.
Grande
A sixteen-ounce serving of coffee or espresso drink.
Granita
A dessert of shaved, sweetened ice flavored with coffee or fruit juice.
Grassy
An aroma, fragrance, or flavor characteristic reminiscent of freshly mown grass; considered an unpleasant attribute.
Group
An espresso machine's brewing chamber, comprising the group head and the portafilter.
Group Head
The circular unit that forms the upper half of an espresso machine's brewing chamber and into which the barista places the portafilter.
Group Switch
The button on the espresso machine that turns the group on and off.
Herbaceous
An aromatic experience of various herbs, but often specifically referring to grassiness. Often accompanied by bitter and astringent components as well.
Knockbox
A container with a padded bar across the top for the barista to use to "knock" the brewed coffee grounds out of the portafilter.
Lungo
A long shot of espresso, about one to two ounces per seven grams of coffee.
Misto
See Cafe au Lait.
Mochaccino
An American invention that features espresso mixed with chocolate and topped with more foam and less steamed milk than a caffe mocha.
Mouthfeel
All of the tactual perceptions a coffee has to offer throughout the process of drinking or cupping it.
Musty
An aroma, fragrance, or flavor/taste characteristic reminiscent of a burlap sack; often occurs as a result of poor storage, insufficient drying, and/or aging.
New Crop
An aroma, fragrance, or flavor/taste characteristic of freshly harvested, freshly milled coffee, which tends to be acidic and especially floral.
Nutty
An aroma and/or flavor characteristic reminiscent of nuts.
One Percent
An espresso drink made with milk that has 1 percent milk fat.
Packing
(the portafilter) The process of filling the portafilter with coffee.
Past Crop
An aroma, fragrance, or flavor/taste characteristic reminiscent of burlap, straw, wood, or grass; occurs when green coffee is old and loses a significant amount of its moisture and acidity.
Piquant
A term used to describe the acidity of coffees that are characterized by a sweet, tingling sensation experienced at the tip of the tongue when one first sips the coffee; prevalent in good coffee from Kenya.
Portafilter
A handled device with a brew basket at its end that fits into an espresso machine's group head.
Pull
Used as a verb to describe the act of making espresso, as in "to pull a shot."
Purist
A coffee aficionado who demands quality and shuns the use of flavored syrups and the practice of diluting espresso with copious quantities of milk; will only drink an espresso, a macchiato, or a cappuccino. Usually the least happy customer in today's marketing-driven specialty retail store.
Red Eye
See Depth Charge.
Ristretto
A shot of espresso that is cut off at fifteen to twenty seconds (when the crema turns light brown) yielding less than one ounce per seven grams of coffee; an aficionado's ambrosia.
Sample
Any offering of green or roasted coffee being cupped.
Savor
To specifically experience aromatics when a coffee is in the mouth (when the aromatics are therefore flavors).
Spicy
Having to do with aromatics reminiscent of various spices, detectable either when smelling or tasting a coffee.
Short
An eight-ounce serving of coffee or espresso drink.
Short Shot
or Short Pull See Ristretto.
Skinny
An espresso drink made with non-fat milk.
Steam Wand
An espresso served without milk, steamed milk, or foam; the drink of true purists.
Straight Shot
An espresso drink made with nonfat milk.
Tamping
The action of packing the coffee into the portafilter with enough force to ensure the proper extraction.
Taste
The perception of specific chemical compounds on the tongue and in the mouth via the taste buds. Possible perceptions are sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. The word "tasting," however, often refers to the entire range of sensory perceptions, incuding flavor, body, and so forth.
Texture
This refers to a coffee's relative "smoothness" or "grittiness" when it is drunk or sipped. Distinct from body and astringency, though usually heavy-bodied coffees and dry-processed coffees will tend to be grittier than washed, light-bodied coffees.
Wet Cappuccino
A cappuccino with foam and steamed milk; usually the espresso, foam, and steamed milk are in a 1:1:1 ratio.
With Legs
A drink to go.
   
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