BIRD FRIENDLY

Term associated with Shade-Grown coffee. Describes coffee grown under a shade canopy.

BLEND 

A mixture of 2 or more single-origin coffees.

CHEMEX

The classic hourglass-shaped filter coffee brewer. Chemex filters are denser than other paper filters, and many believe that this creates a sweeter, well-balanced cup of coffee.

COLD BREW COFFEE

Coffee grounds are steeped in cold water for about 18 hours, then strained to make a concentrate that’s used for iced coffee and cut with milk or water.

DARK ROAST

Coffee beans roasted until they exude oils. The style has fallen out of favor among many artisanal roasters who think it overwhelms certain flavors.

DRIP COFFEE

Coffee made with a filter, a press pot, a percolator or a counter top coffee maker. Flavor is extracted by contact with water not under pressure.

ESTATE GROWN COFFEE  

Coffee produced by a single farm, single mill, or single group of farms, and marketed without mixture with other coffees. Many specialty coffees are now identified by estate name, rather than the less specific regional or market name.

FAIR TRADE

A private program that certifies that farmers or coffee growers are paid a minimum price for coffee.

FRENCH PRESS

Coffee made by steeping grounds with hot water in a vessel with a plunger and metal filter that pushes the grounds to the bottom. Often used in coffee bars for limited-edition coffees. Also called a press pot.

MICRO-LOT

Coffee from a single farm, or a specific part of that farm.

NATURAL PROCESS

Dry process, also known as unwashed or natural coffee, is the oldest method of processing coffee. The entire cherry after harvest is first cleaned and then placed in the sun to dry on tables or in thin layers on patios.

ORGANIC COFFEE or CERTIFIED ORGANIC COFFEE

Coffee that has been certified by a third-party agency as having been grown and processed without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or similar chemicals.

POUR-OVER COFFEE

A method of drip coffee developed in Japan in which the water is poured in a thin, steady, slow stream over a filter cone. One cup of coffee takes as long as three minutes to brew. Some coffee bars have pour-over setups with several cones and distinctive swan-neck kettles from Japan.

ROAST

Unpalatable green beans are heated to create complex flavors that are extracted during brewing.

ROAST DATE

Most small-batch roasters print the roast date on bags of coffee. The rule of thumb is that coffee should be used within two weeks, and some coffee bars won’t sell beans more than a week after they have been roasted.

SEASONAL COFFEE

Coffee beans ripen at different times of the year in different regions, and can appear in markets and coffee bars for limited times.

SINGLE ORIGIN

Coffee from a particular region, farm or area within a farm.

SPECIALTY COFFEE 

Practice of selling coffees by country of origin, roast, flavoring, or special blend, rather than by brand or trademark. The term specialty coffee also suggests the trade and culture that has grown up around this merchandising practice.

WHOLE-BEAN COFFEE

Coffee that has been roasted but not yet ground.