Revised: September 27, 2015
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Glossary of Coffee Terminology
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salt
A basic taste characterized by solutions of chlorides, bromides, iodides, nitrates, and sulfates of potassium and lithium.

scorched
A odor taint that gives the coffee brew a slight aftertaste of phenolic and pyridine character with an underdevelopment of the caramelization of compounds. Result of applying too much heat and charring the surface of the bean during the roasting process.

secondary coffee taste sensations
Piquant to nippy, mild to delicate, tangy to tart, soft to neutral, rough to astringent, hard to acrid.

sharp
A primary coffee taste sensation created as acids in the coffee combine with salts to increase the overall saltiness. Characteristic found most often in unwashed robusta coffee. Sharp coffee ranges from rough to astringent.

smooth
A moderately low level of oily material suspended in the coffee beverage. Result of fats in the beans present in perceptible amounts.

soft
A secondary coffee taste sensation characterized by an absence of any predominant taste sensation on any part of the tongue, except for subtle dryness. Caused by a concentration of salts high enough to neutralize the acids but not high enough to neutralize the sugars. Typified by washed arabica coffee from Santos, Brazil.

soft-sweet
A pleasant clean taste. Denotes a smooth cup free of any foreign flavors. applies particularly to Brazilian coffee.

sound cup
A coffee with no particular positive characteristic and without negative characteristics.

sour
A basic taste characterized by solutions of tartaric acid, citric acid, or malic acid. The unpleasant acidity of a sour coffee cannot be confused with the natural acidity of some coffees in which this quality is prized. Perceived at the tip of the tongue.

soury
A primary coffee taste sensation created as acids in the coffee combine with salts to increase overall saltiness. Characteristic found most often in unwashed robusta coffees. Soury ranges from hard to acrid.

spicy
An aromatic sensation created by a slightly volatile set of hydrocarbon compounds in coffee's aftertaste that produces sensations reminiscent of either wood-spice (cinnamon) or wood-seed (Clove).

stale
A taste fault that gives the coffee brew an unpleasant taste. Result of moisture and oxygen penetrating the bean fiber and adversely affecting the organic material that remains in the coffee bean, occurring in the staling process after roasting.

stewed
A taste of coffee infusion that has been heated after cooling and lost its initial aroma.

stinker
A coffee with no particular positive characteristics and without negative characteristics.

strawy
A taste taint that gives the coffee bean a distinct hay-like character. Result of the loss of organic material from the green coffee beans while in storage, occurring in the aging process after harvesting.

strong
Coffee giving a pungent impression in the cup, rich in flavor. Developed by roasting or having a consistent mouthfeel.

sweaty
A coffee probably fading to faded, that has been stored for some time in less-than-ideal conditions and results in a distinct sweaty taste.

sweet
A basic taste characterized by solutions of sugars (sucrose and glucose), alcohols, glycols, and some amino acids. perceived primarily by the tip of the tongue. A trade term to describe coffee free from harshness of Rio flavor or any form of damage.

sweetly floral
An aromatic sensation created by a highly volatile set of aldehydes and esters that produce sweet fragrance sensations reminiscent of a flower.

sweetly spicy
An aromatic sensation created by a highly volatile set of aldehydes and esters that produce a spicy fragrance sensations reminiscent of a sweet spice.

sultana coffee
The dried husks of the coffee cherry.br>
supplemental coffee taste sensations
Common to dark roast coffees that are pungent due to bitter replacing a sweet in the taste modulation ranging form creosol to alkaline.


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