Revised: September 27, 2015
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Glossary of Coffee Terminology
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A relatively low level of oily material suspended in the coffee beverage. Result of slightly perceptible amounts of fats present in the beans.

Coffee that lacks body but is not flat.

A taste fault in the coffee beans characterized by extreme variation between sample cups. Usually marked by unpleasant sourness. Result of internal chemical changes in the green coffee beans or external contamination.

A primary coffee taste sensation created as the sugars in the coffee combine with the acids to reduce the overall sourness. Characteristic found most often in unwashed arabica coffees grown at elevations above 4,000 feet, such as an unwashed Djimmah from Ethiopia. Winey coffees range from tangy to tart. Special and agreeable flavor acquired by certain mocha-type, freshly milled, or first crop coffees.

Negative in all aspects but with no defective flavor.

A taste fault giving the coffee beans a distinct, unpleasant wood-like character. Result of an almost complete loss of organic material in the green beans during storage. Makes coffee unsuitable for commercial purposes. Reminiscent of the odor of dry wood.

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