Glossary beginning with T

Click one of the letters above to go to the page of all terms beginning with that letter.

T

Tamper

A handheld instrument for compacting ("tamping") ground coffee for espresso into a portafilter basket. Tampers should match the size of a machine's basket, with common sizes including 53mm and 58mm.

Tamping

Compacting coffee grounds for espresso into a portafilter basket, usually by means of a tamper. Proper tamping technique is critical to proper espresso extraction: a tamp should be level, properly seal the grounds against the sides of the basket, and fill any fissures in the espresso "puck." It is generally recommended that 30 pounds of tamping force be applied, though it is more important that the tamp be consistent between shots than that it be exactly 30 pounds.

Tangy

An adjective modifying a flavor descriptor, decribing a sharp effect; tangy citrus, tangy bittersweet flavor, tangy green apple.

Tannic

The term Tannins refers to the use of wood tannins from oak in tanning animal hides into leather. Having the bitterness or astringency of Tannins. Tannins are plant polyphenols found across the flora kingdom.

Tarry

A dark roast-related flavor of pungent, intense bittering roast flavor, reminicent of the smell of tar.

Tea-like

A term used to describe coffees with light, astringent body and potent aromatics. A flavor associate with Indian Specialty coffee more than not as well as some Rwandan flavor profiles.

Technivorm

The Technivorm is a Dutch-made electric drip brewer for the home that is known for it's good design, and good results. You can find them for sale on our site, the only standard electric drip brewer we carry.

Tekisic

Tekisic is a Bourbon cultivar variant still grown in El Salvador. Bourbon coffees are named for the island in the India Ocean where French colonists grew it.

Tenadam

The name in Amharic for Rue, used as an herbal additive to coffee. You can find the flavor of tenadam in some Ethiopia coffees (without actually adding it to the cup!) Rue is Ruta chalepensis and has properties as a medicinal herb as well, for common cold, stomach ache, diarrhea, and influenza. In Oromo it is called Talatam

Timor

Timor-Leste (East Timor) is a tiny island between Australia and Sulawesi, annexed by Indonesia and liberated in a referendum several years ago. Small scale coffee farming was jump-started before the independence by cooperative farming associations with funding by USAID grants to revitalize the rural economy and give small farmers a cash crop. The independence of the coops and the presence of NGO groups in the country emboldened the spirit of the Timorese toward independence. The majority of the coffee is from East Timor and directly benefits the organic farmer's cooperatives, rather than being directed to the pockets of exporters and middlemen. Timor has 2 major regions producing coffee: Maubesse is higher-altitude terrain than Aifu region. I like them both. Maubesse is a little brighter so most brokers / cuppers prefer it over the Aifu, but if you selectively buy from the best lots the Aifu can be every bit as good. Early in the crop cycle the Aifu cups best, and later on the Maubesse is a little better. Interestingly, Timor coffee is also cultivated from its own distinct Timor varietal, which was crossed with Caturra to create the dreaded Catimor. While both Caturra and Timor are respected old-school varietals, Catimor is appreciated by farmers for its rapid growth and production of coffee cherry, but does not cup well next to either of its parent varietals. Coffee was planted in Timor and East Timor by colonial powers and by the mid-nineteenth century it was a major export crop of the island. East Timors coffee producers are more gatherers than growers - as they do not intensively farm the coffee. This may be a reflection of the animistic beliefs of the Timorese; while the majority of the population is now Roman Catholic (which came to the island with colonial powers), animistic practices remain. Producers gather coffee from trees on their own land as well as trees on from formerly managed estates.

Tipping

Tipping refers to a roast error that can be discerned by inspecting the roasted coffee, where the ends of the elongated bean appear burnt. It can easily be tasted in the cup too; burnt or smoke flavors, or a lack of sweetness. It is usually the result of an over-heated roast environment (initial drum temperature too high), an over-charged roast drum (too much coffee in the drum), or possibly not enough air movement. Natural coffees from lower-grown sites can be more susceptible to tipping and scorching.

Transparency

Transparency is a flavor characterization synonymous with clarity, or a business ethics term, implying that as much information as possible about a coffee is made available to the consumer.

Tree-dry Natural

This name designates a particular type of dry process coffee where the fruit dries partially or entirely while still on the tree branch. It is possible only in some areas (parts of Brazil, as well as some areas of India, sometimes in parts of Central America and East Africa), where there are dramatic dry seasons.

Trigonelline

Trigonelline is a bittering compound that is reduced as the roast gets progressively darker. Trigonelline is 100% soluble in water and therefore will end up in the cup. Trigonelline is probably the most significant constituent contributing to excessive bitterness.

Turbinado

Turbinado sugar, also known as turbinated sugar, is made from sugar cane extract. It is produced by crushing freshly cut sugar cane; the juice obtained is evaporated by heat, then crystallized. The crystals are spun in a centrifuge, or turbine (thus the name), to remove excess moisture, resulting in the characteristic large, light brown crystals. It is a mildly rustic sweetness, as found in coffee, but not quite as much so as Muscovado sugar

Turkish Coffee

A strong preparation of coffee, finely ground, and often prepared in an Ibrik over a heat source like a gas stove. Traditionally it was placed in hot sands and the vessel itself would hold 1 or 2 servings. This is still the case today when prepared on a stove. One traditional recipe calls for a blend and to roast one third light, one third medium and one third dark, grind finely as is typical. See our our page on the Ibrik with instructions on how to prepare Turkish Coffee ...

Typica

Typica is one of the main cultivars of Coffea Arabica, and one from which many other commercial types have been derived. It has a longer seed form than the other main cultivar, Bourbon. Typica coffee plants are tall and have a conical shape with branches that grow at a slight slant. It has a rangey, open form. The lateral branches form 50-70° angles with the vertical stem. It has fairly low production and good cup quality. C. Arabica Var. Typica is sometimes expressed as C. Arabica Var. Arabica as a group that contains Typica ... confusing. The issue is that "Typical Arabica" indicates the common form, as well as the original form, so when the Scottish Mission brought arabica from Yemen direct to Kikuyu Kenya from Yemen, that was Typica (with dark bronze tips - new leaf) and when Kona Hawaii was replanted that was Typica from Guatemala, with bronze tips, but over so much time and geography, these two Typicas would hardly be the same. Typica has a host of sub-types, from Blue Mountain to Bergendal, Java Typica to Guatemala Typica. All should have dark tips. Typica was the first coffee in the New World; Java-grown plants were a gift from the Dutch to Louis XIV, were cultivated in Parisian gardens, then thousands of seedlings were sent to the French colony in Martinique in 1720.