Sweet Maria's Glossary

French Mission Bourbon

The original coffee in East Africa brought from Reunion island to Tanzania, then Kenya.

French Press

A simple coffee brewer: grounds and hot water are added to a carafe, allowed to sit for several minutes, and then a filter is pushed down to hold the grounds at the bottom of the carafe.

French Roast

A degree of dark roast that has the sugars present in coffee heavily carmelized (read: burned) and the wood structure of the bean is carbonized and ashy.

Fresh Roast Coffee Roaster

A home air roaster with a 2.25oz capacity.


In some coffee taster’s lexicon, “fruity” means the coffee is tainted with fruit, and “fruited” means a coffee is graced by positive fruit notes. We don’t exactly see the difference in terms of these two words, but the question of fruit flavors emerging in a coffee context is critical.


In some coffee taster’s lexicon, “fruity” means the coffee is tainted with fruit, and “fruited” means a coffee is graced by positive fruit notes. We don’t exactly see the difference in terms of these two words, but the question of fruit flavors emerging in a coffee context is critical.


FTO is shorthand for a coffee that is certified as both Fair Trade and Organic.

Full City Roast

A coffee that has been roasted to the brink of second crack.

Full City+ Roast

A roast slightly darker than Full City. At Full City+, the roast is terminated after the first few snaps of second crack.


Furans are a set of compounds that are important contributors to coffee aroma.


In Sumatra, the term in Bahasa Indonesian for coffee that is barely dried after pulping and fermenting (or not), and ready to sell to a collector.


Garungan is a coffee variety I encountered in the Lintong area of Sumatra

Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster

A home drum roaster with an 8oz capacity and adjustable temperature.

George Howell

A founder of the Cup of Excellence, he argues passionately for clean cup quality, free of flavors derived from processing.


The Gerstel-Twister allows analysis of organic compounds from aqueous matrices by Stir Bar Sorptive Extraction (SBSE)

Giling Basah

Wet-hulled coffee is a hybrid process used in parts of Indonesia, especially Sumatra and much of Sulawesi. In wet hulling the coffee is processed as it is in the wet process used in many parts of the world, but the coffee is not allowed to fully dry. The parchment layer is removed when the coffee has 25-50% moisture content, whereas traditional wet-processing is hulled at 11%. Then the unprotected green bean is laid out to dry on the patio. In Bahasa language it is called Giling Basah. For more information <b><a href="http://www.sweetmarias.com/library/content/why-should-you-know-giling-basah">Click here</a></b>  to read our article on wet hulling.


banded metamorphic rock; a geology term

Golden Beans

Golden beans are found in Yemen and Ethiopia dry-process coffees, and sometimes in other origins. They are pale yellow and slightly translucent


Muddled, unclean defect coffee flavor

GrainPro SuperGrain Bag

A multi-layer plastic bag with a gas barrier. The bags have been shown to extend the flavor life of the coffee significantly over storage in jute or burlap bags.


A roast-related flavor, usually of too-light roast, like under-developed grain sweetness. Sometimes a positive term, as with light malty sweetness.


Greenish flavor in the cup, usually indicating early crop, unrested coffee.

Green Coffee

Green coffee is the form before coffee is roasted. Green coffee is the dried seed from the fruit of the flowering Coffea shrub.

Green Coffee Storage

Green coffee generally remains unchanged in flavor for about a year after processing. Unroasted coffee is best stored in a cool dry place in a breathable container (i.e. burlap, cotton, paper).


A smell or flavor of fresh-cut green plants, vegetable leaves or grass, usually indicating fresh new-crop coffees that have not fully rested in parchment.


A tropical fruit with distinct sweet flavor of strawberry-pineapple as well as a tart citrus accent, found in some coffees


A drum type coffee dryer used as an alternative to patio drying of wet process coffees.


Guatemalan coffee is revered as one of the most flavorful and nuanced cups in the world. Due to our proximity to Guatemala, some of the finest coffees from this origin come to the United States.


In coffee, the very aromatic tropical fruit note of Guava. (Guayaba in Spanish)


The Spanish term for Guava, a tropical fruit flavor found in some coffees, fruited Colombia types for example.

Hand Sorting

Usually the final step in coffee processing, when coffee is color sorted for defects.


A grade of coffee commonly used in Brazil. Denotes an atringent mouth feel.


The Kona district on the big island of Hawaii produces the best coffee from this state - clean, sweet and mild.

Hearthware Roaster

A company that made several of the home air roasters: the Precision iRoast and the iRoast2 (all discontinued).


We use this metric term often to discuss the size of coffee farms. 1 Hectare = 10000 Square Meters = 2.471 acres


An aroma or flavor descriptor in coffee reminicent of herbs, usually meaning aromatic, savory, leafy dried herbs.


Hibrido means Hybrid in latin languages, and in Central America is used to mean Bourbon cultivar

Hibrido De Timor

Hibrido de Timor is a cross between Robusta and Timor Arabica


A rustic smell or flavor of animal hides, similar to leathery.

High Grow

High Grown, or HG, is a coffee designation that can mean different things in different countries.


Honduran coffee has been absent from the top ranks of the Specialty market, but that is all changing. It has all the environmental factors on its side: soil, altitude, climate.


In coffee, honey-like sweetness is often found ... but there are many forms of honey flavor...

HotTop Coffee Roaster

A home drum roaster with a 9oz capacity, adjustable heat and airflow profiling, and an external cooling tray.


Hulling is the step at the dry mill where the green coffee bean is removed from the parchment shell.


A pot for making turkish coffee with wide bottom, narrow neck, and long handle. Usually made out of copper or brass and lined with tin.


Icatu is a cultivar developed in Brazil, has high production and good disease resistance. It has robusta inputs though.


The ICO, International Coffee Organization, is the governing body for the world coffee trade


Indian coffees are under-represented in the coffee market: they are good balanced, mild coffees. You will find the pronounced body, low acidity and subtle spicy notes pleasing, and the Mysore coffees work well under a wide range of roasts.

Indonesian Coffee

Indonesian coffee is known for its unique earthy, potent flavors.


We have a simple scale to rate intensity in our coffee reviews, from Mild to Bold. Low intensity does not mean low quality!

Island Coffee

Island Coffee is our term for coffees from various islands (Hawaii, Jamaica, Australia, etc.). Island coffees typically have a mild profile.


A Bourbon cultivar variant from Rwanda and Burundi.


a bird-processed specialty coffee from Brazil


Jamaica coffee can be excellent mild, lush coffee... sometimes. Like Kona and Puerto Rican coffee, it is soft, mild, clean and well balanced when it is good.


A very positive floral quality in coffee, usually with a strong aromatic component, reminiscent of jasmine flower or tea.


Java is a clean cup for an Indonesian, a fully wet-processed coffee that has the Indonesian body and thickness in the cup without earthy or dirty flavors.

Java Cultivar

Java Cultivar is planted widely in Cameroon, related to Abyssinia found in East Java


JBM is short for Jamaica Blue Mountain, which is both a trade name for certain Jamaica coffee, and a Typica cultivar


Jember is a cultivar in Indonesia. Also a town in East Java, home of the main coffee and cocoa research institute, ICCRI

Kenneth Davids

A coffee writer and taster, he wrote the book on Home Coffee Roasting, literally, as well as other coffee subjects.


A cultivar resistant to Coffee Leaf Rust intoduced in India


Kenya is the East African powerhouse of the coffee world. Both in the cup, and the way they run their trade, everything is topnotch.


Important carbonyl compound that contribute over 20% to coffee aromatics.


Kona coffee comes from farms along the Kona Coast on the Big Island of Hawaii

Kona Typica

A variation on Typica grown in the Kona region of Hawaii.

Kopi Labu

Pumpkin coffee. The term for the soft swollen coffee bean after it is wet-hulled out of parchment in Sumatra.


A decaf plant in Germany specializing in the methylene chloride solvent method. KVW stands for Kaffee Veredelungs Werk


Lasuna is a coffee variety I have encountered in Sumatra


Laurina or Bourbon Pointu is a cultivar with low caffeine content


Aromas or flavors reminiscent of leather, a very rustic quality and not necessarily a defect.


A euphemistic term we use often to describe acidity in coffee. A lively coffee has more high, acidic notes.


The specific batch of coffee as processed by mill and imported as a separate commodity.


A simple espresso drink: a shot of espresso with a small dollop of foamed milk on top.

Maillard Reaction

An important reaction in coffee roasting that results in the browning of the green coffee seed.

Malic Acid

An acid that adds to favorable perceptions of cup quality; malic acid often adds apple-like flavors


A trade name used for wet-hulled Sumatra coffees.

Manual Grinder

A burr grinder powered by hand-turning a crank.


A cross between large-bean Maragogype and Catuai cultivars.


As the name indicates cross between large-bean Maragogype and Caturra cultivars.


Maragogype is a mutation of Typica coffee and was discovered in Brazil, featuring very large seed size.


Meters Above Sea Level ... altitude that is...


Also spelled M'buni or Buni, this is a Swahili term that refers to dry-process coffee.

Mechanical Dryer

A coffee dryer used as an alternative to patio drying of wet process coffees.


Medicine-like, alcohol or chemical type flavor taint.


A blend containing a coffee that has been roasted to a different levels (or steps) - light to dark.


A general primary-to-secondary post gustatory flavor characterization, often called rich or alternately smooth.

Methylene Chloride Decaf

A solvent-based method for washing the caffeine out of coffee. Called MC decaf for short


Mexican coffee originates from South-central to Southern regions of the country. For that reason, coffees from Coatepec and Veracruz are much different from Oaxacan Plumas, which are in turn much different from the Southernmost region of Chiapas.


A Bourbon cultivar variant from Rwanda and Burundi.


A term that designates not only a small volume of coffee, but a lot produced separately, discretely picked or processed to have special character. Read the full definition!


Small independent mills that produced finished coffee, ready for export, usually right on the farm.


Off aroma and flavor that reminds one of a dank, moldy closet. This flavor can hint at a dangerous coffee mold and should not be consumed.


A coffee mill might mean a coffee grinder, but we usually use the term to refer to a coffee processing facility, either a Wet-Mill or a Dry Mill.


A flavor or aroma reminicient of minerals.


A flavor hint of mint found in coffee, which could indicate a clean and brisk mint hint, or a more rustic dried mint.

Moka Pot

Moka Pots are stovetop brewers that produce something between espresso and Turkish coffee.


The Yemeni type of coffee, both in terms of the family of cultivars planted there, and the general trade name.

Monsooned Coffee

A method of ageing coffee in India where the unroasted coffee is exposed to humid monsoon winds.


Indicating the fruity layer of the coffee cherry, between the outer skin and the pachment layer that surrounds the seed.