Revised: April 4, 2014
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Glossary of Coffee Terminology
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dark
Roasting term meaning dark brown beans with a shiny surface; equivalent to espresso or French roast.

decaffeination process
Coffees are decaffeinated in their green state. Three principal processes are used today: the traditional or European process, the water-only or Swiss-Water Process, and the CO2/water or Sparkling Water Process. All are consistently successful in removing all but a trace (2% to 3%) of the resident caffeine.

decaffeinated taste
Special process taste often found in decaffeinated coffees. Due to something lacking or to additional flavors.

delicate
A secondary coffee taste sensation characterized by fragile sweet-subtle sensation just past the tip of the tongue. Caused by the lowest possible combination of sugars and salts that still produce a sweet cast to the taste, a combination easily broken up by other taste sensations. Typified by a washed New Guinea arabica coffee.

depth
Depth describes the resonance or sensual power behind the sensations that drive the taste of the coffee. It is a tricky and subjective term, but it tries to get at the way certain coffees open up and support their sensations with a sort of ringing, echoing power, whereas others simply present themselves to the palate and then stand pat or even fade.

detrimental coffee taste sensations
Common to natural coffees that are harsh due to bitter replacing sweet in the taste modulation. The result of sugars being ingested by the shrub as the cherries remain on the branches while drying. Range from medicinal to caustic.

dirty
Literally a dirty flavor, not earthy or musty.

dull
A coffee is dull if it gives an impression of roundness but at the same time lacks character. Dull comes close to the meaning of flat.


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