Revised: October 4, 2014
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Glossary of Coffee Terminology
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canephora
The coffee species second in importance to "Coffea Arabica," "Coffea Robusta" is known by botanists as "Coffea Canephora."

caramelly
An aromatic sensation created by a moderately volatile set of sugar carbonyl compounds found in coffee's nose that produce sensations reminiscent of either candy or syrup.

caramelized
Corresponds to the taste acquired by roasted beans that have been dipped in sugar, dextrin syrup, or molasses before roasting. Also perceived in spray-dried instant coffees.

carbony
An aromatic sensation created by a slightly volatile set of heterocyclic compounds found in coffee's aftertaste that produces either sensations similar to a creosol-like substance or a burnt substance.

caustic
A detrimental coffee taste sensation characterized by burning, sour sensation on the posterior sides of the tongue. Caused by alkaloids increasing the sourness of the acids in combination with a high percentage of salts.

chaff
Chaff is paper-like stuff that appears though the roasting process. These little brown flakes are fragments of the innermost skin (the silverskin) of the coffee fruit that still cling to the beans after processing has been completed. Roasting causes these bits of skin to lift off the bean.

chemical
A definite chemical flavor (such as formaldehyde) not to be confused with Rio flavor.

chicory
A complex bitter-acid and sweetish taste characteristic of the root of the chicory plant.

chocolaty
An aromatic sensation created by a moderately volatile set of pyrazine compounds found in coffee's aftertaste that produce sensations reminiscent of unsweetened chocolate of vanilla.

city or full city roast
"City" is a roast that is slightly darker than the American roasting norm. "Full City" is definitely darker than norm; sometimes patches of oil on surface.

clean
Without off-flavor

common
Coffee of ordinary and average quality.

complexity
Complexity describes flavor that shifts among pleasurable possibilities; a harmonious multiplicity of sensation. The Yemen Mocha definitely should be complex; if the Sumatran is a good one it should also be complex; the Mexican is undoubtedly the least complex coffee of the three.

cooked
A typical taste of an instant coffee treated at too high a temperature.

course
A coffee that is rough on the tongue.

creamy
Moderately high level of oily material suspended in the coffee beverage. The result of pronounced amounts of fats present in the beans.

creosol
A supplemental coffee taste sensation characterized by a predominantly scratching sensation at the back of the tongue. Caused by the high percentage of phenolic compounds created by a dark roast.


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