Coffee Terminology Decoded
We’d need pages and pages to get into every facet of the language of coffee, simply because there are so many sub categories; Coffee shop lingo, the vocabulary of brewing methods, the glossary of roasting…and so on! So, thought we’d keep the terminology fairly basic, in terms of the kinds of things you’d hear every couple of seconds in our shop.
We all do it – Googling endlessly when we’re researching something new, and when it comes to coffee, there’s an overwhelming dump of information. It can be pretty daunting when all you want to do is break up with that dull bag of ground coffee from the grocery store. Been there! Recently though we’ve met a lot of what I guess we could call ‘the specialty coffee-curious’, and our job is to move them from curious to knowledgeable. Even a wee bit of coffee bean know-how will open up a world of possibilities.
BAR From the Greek word “baros” meaning weight. A bar measures the weight of air at sea level, 9 bars of pressure is optimal for brewing a shot of espresso.
BLOOM If your coffee beans are fresh, you’ll see a bubbling up of carbon dioxide when just a small amount of water is poured over. Wait 30-60 seconds, and then pour over the rest of the water. You can use the blooming method with pour over brewing, French Press and even automatic drip machines.
CHARACTER/PERSONALITY It’s all about the taste; fruity, earthy, smoky or sweet. – It’s a journey of discovery to find what you like best. Visit our Coffee Finder page for more details.
CREMA Another espresso term, for the caramel-coloured foam on top of an espresso shot.
ROAST Let’s dispel the myth that a dark roast coffee is much stronger than a light roast! Finding a roast you like is personal and it also depends on how you’ll be grinding and brewing the coffee beans. Even the good old drip coffee maker with a paper filter will yield delicious results when you introduce it to a specialty coffee.
POUR OVER It’s all about the perfect temperature of the water, poured slowly from a kettle over the coffee grounds. Pour Over can be used to make a single cup or a whole carafe.
FAIR TRADE COFFEE When you choose a bag of coffee beans labelled Fair Trade, you’ll know the country of origin and that the farmers have been paid a fair price. Fair Trade practices have allowed coffee farmers to invest in their local communities and schools.
TYPE OF COFFEE Espresso, Filter, Single Origin and Decaf. Based on your brewing method of choice, but there’s no hard and fast rule that says you can’t use espresso beans to make filtered coffee. Visit the Shop Our Coffees page and explore.
The Tasting Bar at Roaster Central was designed for sampling a variety of our specialty coffees, and we hope to see you soon! Use the comment section if you’ve got any questions, or topics you’d like us to cover…and feel free to share – thanks!
Want to dig a little deeper? Check out our Roaster Central Coffee Glossary.
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