Revised: September 27, 2015
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Glossary of Coffee Terminology
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papery
Taste that coffee packed in paper bags or prepared in bad quality filter paper may acquire. In instant coffee can be the result of certain processing operations.

past crop
A taste taint that gives coffee beans a slightly less acidy taste. Result of enzyme changes in the coffee beans during the aging process.

peasy
A disagreeable taste of very fresh green peas.

piquant
A secondary coffee taste sensation characterized by a predominantly sweet, prickling sensation at the tip of the tongue. Caused by a higher-than-normal percentage of acids actually sweet to the taste instead of sour. Typified by a Kenya AA coffee.

point
A coffee with good positive characteristics of flavor, body and acidity.

poor
Qualifies a coffee of really common flavor.

potato
Has an unpleasant taste of raw potato.

primary coffee taste sensations
Acidy, mellow, winey, bland, sharp and soury.

process taste
This term reflects a number of defects. Some technological treatment of coffee can develop well-identified off-flavors: cooked, caramelized, cereal, and acrid.

pulping
First step after picking in preparing coffee by the wet method. It consists of removing the outer skin. Machines rub away the pulp without crushing the beans.

pulpy
Strong, pungent, fruit-like flavor from coffee cherry skins.

pungent
Applies essentially to a full-bodied and slightly aggressive coffee.

pyrolysis
The temperature (around 465F/240C) at which chemical changes in roasting coffee beans cause them to emit their own heat, thus raising the temperature of the roasting chamber.


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