Sweet Maria's Glossary

Mulling Spice

A spice mix for adding flavor and aroma to a warm beverage, apple cider or wine.

Mundo Novo

A coffee cultivar; a cross between Typica and Bourbon, originally grown in Brazil


A type of unrefined brown sugar with a strong molasses flavor, although it is not made by combining molasses with white sugar.


An aroma and/or flavor that ranges from slight intensity to mildewy defect flavor.


In coffee agriculture, nematodes as a pest affect the root of the coffee, attacking the plant. There are also beneficial types of nematodes that add to soil health.

Nesco Coffee Roaster

A home air roaster with a 4oz capacity, a smoke reduction system, and auger-driven bean agitation.

New Crop

Refers to fresh shipments of green coffee within the first month or two of the earliest arrivals

New York C

The New York C market is the NYBOT trading platform for arabica coffees that determine base contract pricing


Nicaraguan coffees from the Segovia, Jinotega and Matagalpa regions are underrated. They often possess interesting cup character along with body and balance, outperforming many other balanced Central American and South American high-grown coffees in the cup.

Nitrogen Flushing

Pushing nitrogen, an unreactive gas, into a bag of coffee to force out oxygen, which is more reactive.


Nutty is a broad flavor term, reminiscent of nuts ... but what kind exactly?


 Nylon is the local name for N-39 coffee variety in Tanzania. It is known as Mbozi or Mbozi Mission, and is the original Bourbon type adopted in the South of Tanzania, Mbeya, Mbozi and Mbinga areas. There is a new type issued by TACRI called Mbozi Compact. 

Onan Ganjang

A locality in North Sumatra within the greater Lintong growing area, as well as a local cultivar.

Orange Bourbon

A variation of Bourbon that ripens to an orange color.


Grown without the use of ariticial fertilizers, herbicides, etc.


Organoleptic refers to any sensory properties of, in this case, the coffee beverage.


In coffee talk, it refers to a coffee-producing region or country; such as, I was just at origin.

Origin Flavor

Origin Flavor is a term we use to describe coffee flavors that are intrinsic to a particular coffee from a particular origin, and in contrast to flavor we term Roast Taste


An outturn is a term used in East Africa to describe a dry mill batch from a particular estate or coop


A large bean cultivar, a cross between Pacas and Maragogype with unique flavor properties.


A mutation of Bourbon cultivar that appeared in El Savador in 1949


Pache is a mutation of Typica cultivar that orginates in Guatemala


Panamas that are ubiquitous in the U.S. market and of little interest to us here. It's just the Boquete coffees from the Chirqui district, ones from small family-owned farms that produce the truly distinct, unique coffees.


Panela is the minimally processed sugar with floral and vanilla accents


The mushroom-like projections on the tongue that contain taste buds.

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea is a distinct coffee among the Indonesians, even though it doesn't even have an entire island to call it's own.


A very aromatic fruit used for juice, or to eat directly. In coffee it can be found in the aroma and flavor of Gesha coffee, and some Colombias

Past Crop

Refers to an older coffee not from the New Crop or the Current Crop.


A term to indicate that a coffee was dried in the sun after processing, on a paved or brick patio.

Paul Songer

Currently on the staff of Cup of Excellence, Paul is head judge for many of the competitions, and an expert in sensory analysis.


A peaberry is a green coffee bean that has a rounded form

Peak Of Harvest

A period of time in the middle of the crop where the higher altitudes mature and where each tree has the highest percentage of mature cherry.


A Colombian company that produces demucilage coffee processors.


A type of coffee brewer where water is percolated through a mass of ground coffee to extract the flavor.


Peruvian coffees have Central American brightness but in a South American coffee flavor package overall. The good organic lots do have more of a rustic coffee character.


A compound in coffee that at high levels contributes to negative flavors, but can have positive aspects as well

Phosphoric Acid

One of many acids that contribute to positive flavor perception in coffee; more phosphoric acid might lead to the sense of higher acidity overall.


A slightly resinous pine sap flavor, unusual but attractive in some cases.


A Brazilian coffee equipment manufacturer

Pink Bourbon

A rare variation of Bourbon that ripens to a pink color.


Meaning pleasantly pungent or zesty in taste, spicy, provocative, sapid.


Ancestral grapefruit from Southeast Asia - it has mild grapefruit flavor but low bitterness.


The part of an espresso machine which holds the filter basket, into which coffee grounds are placed.

Potato Defect

A cup taint with the strong smell of raw potato, caused by a bacteria that then triggers a pyrazine reaction, resulting in the off flavor. This affects coffees from Rwanda, Burundi and other countries near Lake Kivu

Pour-Over Drip

A manual drip breing method involving hot water, a filter of some kind.


An espresso machine is said to use pre-infusion if it applies a moderate amount of pressure to the coffee before applying full brew pressure.


Preparation refers to the dry-milling steps of preparing coffee for export: hulling, grading, classifying, sorting.

Prime Attribute

Part of our coffee reviews, we summarize the main (most obvious) sensory experience of a coffee.


A coffee non-profit research firm in El Salvador


The removal of the cherry and parchment from the coffee seed.

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rican coffee has the typical island profile. These coffees, which include Jamaica and Kona, have a soft cup, not acidic, balanced, and mild.

Pulp Natural

Pulp natural is a method of processing coffee to transform it from the tree fruit to a green bean. The skin is removed from the coffee, after which the coffee is dried with the fruit clinging to the parchment layer.


The first step in processing wet-process coffee, pulp natural or forced demucilage coffees.


Can refer to flavor or mouthfeel. On terms of flavor, it means the negative flavor of fermenty coffee fruit


Refers to an aggressive, intense amoma or flavor, often related to spices (pepper) or roast tastes


A purple-leaf coffee mutant, sometimes used in genetic testing


A set of chemical compounds found in coffee, including nicotinic acid (niacin)


Related to Furans, they are a product of sugars and caramelization.


A type of thermolytic reaction of organic materials. In coffee roasting it results in caramelization, and a host of other chemical and physical changes in the coffee.


There are 70 identified Pyrroles in coffee, important aromatic compounds.


Qishr is an infused tea beverage that you make using the dried coffee husks of the coffee fruit, a by-product of of the natural dry-process method.


A quaker is an industry term to describe under-ripe, undeveloped coffee seeds that fail to roast properly.

Quinic Acid

An important acid in the chemistry of coffee, positive to cup quality in moderate amounts, but leading to perceived sourness and astringency.

Rainforest Alliance

Rainforest Alliance certification is a broad certification guaranteeing that an agricultural product has met certain economic, ecological, and social standards.

Raised Beds

Raised beds, also refered to as african-style beds are elevated beds used for drying coffee when dry-processing.


An Ethiopia cultivar brought to Java in 1928

Refined Sugar

Common white sugar. In coffee tasting, it refers to a clear, clean sweetness, with an absence of other characteristics.


A descriptive term I use to communicate a well-structured, classic, clean flavor profile from a wet-processed coffee.


Rain Forest Alliance designation for coffee grown under sustainable conditions working towards organic farming when possible


Mrs. Olsen likes rich coffee. At Sweet Maria's, we are not sure what rich means... but if you buy a lot of coffe from us, maybe we will (hint, hint).

Rio Zona

The lowest grade in the Brazil scoring system


A defect term referring to harsh, acrid, medicine flavors from Brazilian coffees of the lowest order; named for Rio de Janeiro.

Roast Defect

A problem with the roasting machine or process, resulting in off flavors in the cup

Roast Profile

Roast Profile refers to the relationship between time and temperature in coffee roasting.

Roast Taste

The set of flavors that result from the degree-of-roast.

Roasted Coffee Storage

Roasted coffee is best stored in an air tight container and keeps for about 7 days.


The application of heat to green coffee seeds (beans) to create palatable material for brewing a great cup!


Usually referring to mouthfeel, a sense of completeness and fullness


A taste fault giving the coffee beans a highly pronounced burnt-rubber character.

Ruiru 11

An Arabica cultivar from Kenya, a dwarf form with resistance to CBB and CBD

Rust Fungus

Known as La Roya in the Americas, this disease diminishes fruit production and ultimately kills the plant


A general characterization of pleasanty natural flavors, less spohisticated and less refined, but appealing.


Rwandan coffee was, at one time, rarely seen in the United States as either a Specialty grade or low-end commercial coffee.


A set of cultivars developed in India


Selection 288, a coffee leaf rust-resistant strain of arabica released by the Coffee Board of India in 1937


S795 is a hardy Arabica variety developed in India.


A flavor hint of sage found in coffee, either leafy sage, dried sage, or sage flower


A historic name for floaters


Salty is one of four basic sapid (in the mouth) tastes: Sour, Sweet, Salty, Bitter. It can have minerally aspects in coffee.

Sapid Flavors

Pleasant tastes, referring to in the mouth sensations derived from the basic flavors: salty, sweet, sour, bitter, savory (umami)


A Catimor-relative, crossed between Villa Sarchi and HdT


Mineral buildup formed over time as hard water is heated in a boiler.


Patches of discolored burn marks on the coffee bean, due to a high-heat roast environment or other roast error.

Scott Laboratories

The Kenya research organization that was contracted with cultivar development from 1934-1963

Scottish Mission

The Scots brought Mokka coffees into Kenya, from Yemen.


A method of drying coffee in the sun, laying it on elevated screens or mats to allow air movement through the coffee.


Running coffee through a screen with holes of a fixed size to sort beans for size.

Second Crack

After First Crack, a roast reaction around 440 to 450 degrees that is distingushed by a snapping sound.


An uncertain term to describe a coffee processing technique somewhere between wet-process and dry-process


A mutant cultivar with Bourbon genetic background.