Sweet Maria's Glossary

City+ Roast

City+ roast is a term we use for the roast level after City, with further development of the bean, but not approaching Second Crack. C+ is roughly 425 to 435 Fahrenheit,


A general characterization of a coffee, implying that it fits an ideal, predetermined taste profile for that particular origin.

Clean Cup

Clean cup refers to a coffee free of taints and defects.


Articulated characteristics in the cup, without distraction.


Coffee is a flowering shrub that produces fruit. The seeds of the fruit are processed, roasted, ground and prepared as an infusion.

Coffee Berry Disease

A fungal disease that results in cherry dying and dropping to the ground before it is ripe.

Coffee Brewing

The process of making an infusion of roasted, ground coffee beans.

Coffee Cherry

Coffee is a fruit from a flowering shrubby tree; we have come to call the whole fruit coffee cherry.

Coffee Crop Cycle

The Coffee Crop Cycle simply refers to the period of growth of the cherry to maturation and harvest

Coffee Diseases

Coffea Arabica is susceptible to a host of diseases, such as Coffee Berry Disease (CBD), Coffee Berry Borer (CBB, also known as Broca), and Coffee Leaf Rust (CLR).

Coffee Filter

A mechanism (usually paper or a metal or nylon mesh) for straining coffee grounds from brewed coffee.

Coffee Grading

The evaluation and scoring of physical coffee defects in green coffee.

Coffee Grinder

A device for grinding coffee beans. Grinders can be broadly classified into blade grinders and burr grinders.

Coffee Growing Regions

Coffee is grown in a belt around the world - roughly from the Tropic of Cancer to the Tropic of Capricorn, and specialty coffee is grown generally from 1000 to 3000 meters above sea level.

Coffee Roaster

A mechanism for roasting coffee. The basic requirements for a coffee roaster are a heating element that gets suitably hot and a mechanism for agitating the beans.


As you know, Colombian coffee is highly marketed and widely available in the US. They have been largely successful at equating the name Colombian Coffee with Good Coffee. This is half-true.

Color Sorting

Sorting coffee by removing beans that have a color that indicates a defect.


The co-presence of many aroma and flavor attributes, with multiple layers.


The transfer of heat between matter. In coffee, conduction heating is contrasted with convection heating, which occurs in a moving fluid.


Kivu is the general name for East Congo (Kinshasa), covering a very broad geographical area. It borders on Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Lake Tanganyika on the east. Kivu is divided into three provinces, Nord-Kivu (North Kivu), Sud-Kivu (South Kivu), and Maniema. Coffee, cotton, rice, and palm oil are produced, and tin and some gold are mined.

Conical Burr Grinder

A conical burr grinder has two cone-shaped burrs that sit inside one another; coffee bean fall between the two burrs and are ground between them.


Transfer of heat through the movement of a fluid.


Conventional means that a coffee is not organic certified, in the coffee trade.

Costa Rica

Costa Rican coffee is typicaly very clean, sweet, with lots of floral accents. They are prized for their high notes: bright citrus or berry-like flavors in the acidity, with distinct nut-to-chocolate roasty flavors.


An audible popping sound heard during roasting. In coffee, one refers to first crack and second crack, which come from two different classes of chemical reactions.


A mouthfeel description indicating thickness and soft, rounded texture


The dense foam on top of a shot of espresso. Crema is considered a sign of a proper espresso extraction.


Usually used as a modifying flavor term, such as crisp acidity


The outer layer of a bread loaf ... or in coffee cupping, the floating grounds on the cup, which you break with the cupping spoon.


Cultivar is a term used interchangeably with Varietal in the coffee trade to indicate plant material, although there are distinctions.

Cultivar Flavor

In-the-cup coffee flavors that result from a specific cultivar (varietal) of coffee.

Cup Of Excellence

The Cup of Excellence is a competition held yearly in many coffee-producing countries, designed to highlight the very best coffees from each origin.


One who cups, or tastes and evaluates, coffee.

Cuppers Correction

The cupper's correction is a term we use to measure the intangible qualities of a cup: if, for instance, a coffee totals 88 points, but it is high quality enough that we feel it should< be a 90, we add in a +2 cupper's correction.


Cupping is a clever term for tasting coffee by steeping grounds in separate cups for discrete amounts of ground coffee, to reveal good flavors and defects to their fullest.

Cupping Spoon

A special spoon used in the cupping process of coffee evaluation.

Current Crop

Refers to any coffee that has not been replaced by new crop shipments, even if it was shipped from origin many months before.

Decaffeinated Coffee

Coffee from which caffeine has been removed, either chemically or using water filtration. A variety of methods for decaffeination exist, but all operate on the same basic principle

Deep Roasted

Coffee that turns from green to brown under the watchful, loving supervision of a roast master is called Deep Roasted Coffee


In coffee, a defect refers to specific preparation problems with the green coffee, or a flavor problem found in the cupping process.

Degree Of Roast

Degree of Roast simply means the roast level of a coffee, how dark it has been roasted.


To remove the fruity layer of coffee (mucilage) either by fermetation or by machine.


The density of a coffee bean is often taken as a sign of quality, as a more dense bean will roast more evenly.

Density Sorting

A key step in preparing green coffee for export, density sorting is a step at the dry mill where coffee is run across a density table. Less dense seeds are tend to have poor cup character.


The process of removing harmful scale buildup from a boiler.

Direct Trade

A term used by coffee sellers to indicate that the coffee was purchased through a direct relationship with the farmer.

Dirty Cup

A general word implying some form of taint, usually an earthy defect

Dominican Republic

The Dominican has a tradition of coffee production that dates several centuries. In general Dominican coffees hold true to the soft, mild profile of Island coffees.


A doser is a mechanism, usually attached to the front of a burr grinder, for putting coffee into an espresso portafilter basket.


A grinder that ejects its grounds through a chute, rather than into a doser.

Drum Roaster

A roaster with a rotating drum that provides agitation to the beans, while a heating element (typically either electric or gas) provides heat.

Dry Fragrance

In coffee cupping, the scent of the dry, ground coffee before hot water is added.

Dry Mill

A facility that accepts dried coffee cherry and mechanically separates the coffee bean from the dried fruit and parchment layer.

Dry Process

Dry process is a method to transform coffee from the fruit of the coffee tree to the green coffee bean, ready for export. The fruit is picked from the tree and dried directly in the sun or on raised screens. Dry process coffees generally have more body and lower acidity than their wet process counterparts, with more rustic flavors.

Drying Coffee

After coffee is picked, it must be dried.


A classic group-head design on espresso machines, originally invented by Faema and used on a variety of machines.


Earthy is a flavor term with some ambivalence, used positively in some cases, negatively in others.


Ecuador has everything it takes to grow great coffee. Positioned between Colombia and Peru, the interior mountain ranges have plenty of altitude, weather patterns, and ideal soil for quality coffee production.


A combined mouthfeel and flavor sensation, hinting at a dynamic and lively cup

El Salvador

El Salvador coffee had an undeservingly poor reputation for years, marred mostly by the inability to deliver coffee of high quality in an unstable political climate.


In coffee, emulsion typically refers to the suspension of coffee oils in water. While brewed coffee is primarily an extraction, espresso is both an extraction and an emulsion.


A term applied to chemical reactions, referring to a reaction that absorbs heat.

Environment Temperature

The temperature of the roasting environment, such as ambient temperature inside a roast drum, determines the specific types of chemical reactions that occur.

Erna Knutsen

Erna is known as the first dedicated Specialty Coffee importers/brokers in the US ... in fact she coined the term Specialty Coffee!


A defect flavor term related to the smell or taste of peas.

Espresso Standard Blends

Blends at Sweet Maria's that we maintain throughout the year, using substitutions with new incoming lots.

Espresso Workshop Blends

Sweet Maria's limited edition blends for espresso, based on specific coffee lots. No substitutions!


An ester is an often fragrant organic or partially organic compound formed by the reaction between an acid (including amino acids) and an alcohol, often with fruit-like character.


Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee: it is in the forests of the Kaffa region that coffee arabica grew wild. Coffee is Bun or Buna in Ethiopia, so Coffee Bean is quite possibly a poor anglicized interpretation of Kaffa Bun. C

Ethyl Acetate

A chemical decaffeination process, but one using a mild type with low toxicity. It sometimes imparts fruity flavors to the coffee

European Preparation

European preparation, or EP, indicates extra hand sorting done at the mil.


A term applied to chemical reactions, referring to a reaction that releases energy.


Refers to the process of infusing coffee with hot water. Hot water releases or extracts the flavor from the roasted, ground coffee.


Facing can mean turning toward, standing up to, being brave. In coffee roasting though, it means scorching a roast.


In Kenya, a Factory is actually a coffee mill, where the fresh cherry is brought for wet-processing.


A general characterization that cup flavors are diminishing in quality due to age.

Fair Trade

Fair trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach to empowering developing country producers and promoting sustainability.


A fanega is a measure of coffee used in some Latin America countries. It is equal to 250 kilograms of coffee cherry.


Fazenda is the Portuguese word for farm.


Ferment is a defect taste, resulting from bad processing or other factors.


A key part of the wet process of coffee fruit is overnight fermentation to break down the fruit layer that clings to the coffee seed, so it can be washed off.


As a defect flavor, a fruit quality in a coffee that is excessively ripe, toward rotten. As a processing step, all wet-process coffee is fermented to break down the mucilage.


A defect flavor, a fruit quality in a coffee that is excessively ripe, toward rotten.


A simple coffee brewer that holds a coffee filter and brews directly into a cup.


The replaceable stainless steel or nylon mesh screen used in French Press brewing.


Similar to aftertaste, but it refers to the impression as the coffee leaves the palate.

First Crack

The first audible pop heard in the coffee roasting process, after the long initial warmup stage when the coffee turns from green, to yellow, to light brown.

Flat Bean

Flat bean simply means normal coffee beans with one flat side.

Flat Burr Grinder

A grinder with two flat, parallel disc-shaped burrs.


The overall impression in the mouth, including the origin character as well as tastes that come from the roast.

Flavor Profile

A term used to imply a graphical impression of a particular coffee.

Flavor Wheel

A term that probably refers to the SCAA Flavor Wheel, an analysis tool adapted from the wine industry.


A coffee bean that did not mature inside the parchment layer will float in wet-processing


Floaters are defective coffee cherries or depulped seeds that float to the surface of a water bath.


Primarily an aromatic quality, but also a flavor, reminiscent of flowers.


Flores' coffee bears more resemblance to the coffees of Timor-Leste, New Guinea and Java than to the semi-washed coffees of Sumatra and Sulawesi. It is sweet, floral (appropriately since Flores means Flowers), with good syrupy body, and a clean cup overall. It has uses in espresso.

Fluid Bed Roaster

A fluid-bed roaster works by pushing hot air across coffee beans. Fluid-bed roasters are generally less expensive than comparable drum roasters, and they produce a bright flavor profile.

Fly Crop

Fly Crop is a term used in chiefly in Kenya to mean the second, smaller harvest


A flavor found in rustic Indonesia coffees, wet-hulled types from Sulawesi and Sumatra in particular, reminicient of a walk in the woods.