Revised: November 2, 2014
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Glossary of Coffee Terminology
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malty
An aromatic sensation created by a moderately volatile set of aldehydes and ketones that produces sensations reminiscent of toasted grains.

medicinal
A detrimental coffee taste sensation characterized by a penetrating sour sensation on the posterior sides of the tongue. Caused by alkaloids increasing the sourness of the acids without any taste modulation of sweetness.

medium roast
Coffee beans roasted to the American norm.

mellow
A primary coffee taste sensation created as salts in the coffee combine with sugars to increase the overall sweetness. Characteristic found most often in washed arabica coffees grown at elevations below 4,000 feet, such Kona coffee from Hawaii. Mellow ranges from mild to delicate.

mild
A secondary coffee taste sensation characterized by a predominantly sweet tingle just past the tip of the tongue. Caused by high concentrations of both sugars and salts. Typified by a washed Sumatran coffee.

moldy
Coffee may acquire a moldy taste if kept in poor conditions. Moldiness also depends on conditions during the pulping and cleaning of green beans.

muddy
Characterizes a large quantity of particles in suspension in the beverage.

musty
An odor taint giving the coffee beans a moldy odor. Result of fats in coffee beans absorbing organic material from molds on or in contact with the coffee beans during the drying process. Often the result of insufficient or proper drying and aging.


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