Glossary beginning with V

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V

Vacuum Brewer

A vacuum brewer works by heating water, pushing it into a chamber with coffee grounds, and then sucking the water back. Vacuum brewers produce a clean, aromatic cup.

Vacuum Packaging

Sealing coffee in an air-tight container, with the air removed via vacuum. Green coffee and roasted coffee can both be vacuum packed to extend shelf life. Sweet Maria's is a big fan of vacuum-packing, even though we do not ship you your coffee in vac packs. We use it extensively, in a behind-the-scenes sort of way. We both receive many of our coffees from origin in vacuum pack (as well as GrainPro bags) and we switch lots into vacuum pack to offer at a later date. It is not a cure-all, and does not allow coffee to be stored indefinitely. But we feel it adds at least 6 months of shelf life to green coffee, when it is an approprately "rested" lot (i.e. has low water activity measurement) and is kept in a cool, dark place.

Varietal

Varietal is commonly used in wine to indicate Variety of a particular plant material, a type that results in specific flavors. Variety is a low-level taxonomic distinction under Species and Sub Species, and signifies members of different populations can interbreed easily, but not usually such that all traits (appearance attributes) will run true, and in fact usually will blend. In coffee, we prefer to use Cultivar to Varietal or Variety, since it implies the intentional cultivation for organoleptic and production results. The plant chosen as a cultivar may have been bred deliberately, selected from plants in cultivation. On our coffee reviews, we use Varietal category header. Varietal does NOT refer to region ...its about the botanical variety (or cultivar) of the coffee tree. It's not easy information to gather, and has some bearing on the cup but not a lot. Ideally, coffee is grown using old arabica varietals such as Bourbon and Typica, or Kent in India. Controversial varietals such as Ruiri 11 in Kenya and other high-yield, disease resistant hybrids can produce a diminished cup, but growing conditions and processing play a much greater role than the varietal.

Velvety

A mouthfeel description indicating elegant softness, refined smoothness. See Silky as well.

Vienna Roast

Vienna roast occurs at the beginning of second crack. The Vienna stage (also called Continental) to Light French stage is where you begin to find origin character eclipsed by roast character. If you buy coffee for its distinct origin qualities, it makes sense that heavy roasting is at odds with revealing the full effect of the differences we can sense in coffee due to distinct origins. Nonetheless, some coffees are excellent at this stage. Vienna is a common roast level for espresso.By the way; Espresso is not a roast. But Northern Italian style espresso is usually roasted to 440 - 446 internal bean temperature. Southern Italian (Scura) is generally a Light French Roast or a tad darker.

Villa Sarchi

An arabica cultivar that is a natural dwarf mutation of Bourbon, and in that way is similar to Caturra (as well as Pacas.

Villalobos

A natural dwarf mutation of Typica, found mostly in Costa Rica.

Vinegar

Vinegar-like qualities are a defective flavor taint in coffee, resulting perhaps from poor processing, fermentation, sanitation. Usually, this comes from high levels of acetic acid, and come with a sour edge. Lower levels can lead to positive winey notes. Over-ripe coffee cherries, or delays in getting picked cherry to the mill can be the cause as well.