Glossary beginning with W

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W

Warming Spice

A term indicating a spice blend with ingredients such as ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove, anise pepper. While it is not exactly the same thing, warming spice blends are often similar to mulling spice mixes used for hot apple ciders and such. Indian foods are also big on warming qualities of spice blends...This is basically a similar set used to spice hot beverages, referred to as mulling spices.

Washing Station

In Rwanda and some other East African countries, a wet mill is called a Washing Station. In Latin American countries, a wet mill is called a Beneficio, where fresh coffee cherries are brought for pulping, fermentation, and drying.

Water Process

We use WP to mean Water Process, a a non-chemical decaffeination method. Since we use DP to mean Dry-process, it might be confusing that WP would mean Wet-process, but in Sweet Maria's vernacular, this is not how we use it.This is an "indirect" decaffeination method. Beans are soaked in near boiling water, extracting the flavor oils and caffeine from the coffee. The water is separated into a tank where it is forced through charcoal filters and generally stirred around in hot water to remove the caffeine. The beans are then reintorduced to the swill, absorbing their flavor. Since no chemicals are used, there's nothing to worry about but higher prices and duller coffee. We have had trouble in the past with the cup quality of SWP coffees; bright, lively coffees especially can end up cupping quite flat.

Well-knit

"Well-knit" is yet another esoteric term, being something that you cannot directly smell or taste. It describes the good inter-relation of independent sensory characteristics, distinct yet welded together in a positive way. It is also referred to as "tightly knit" to mean closely-paired flavors.

Wet Aroma

In cupping, wet aroma refers to the smell of wet coffee grinds, after hot water is added. The aromatics of a coffee greatly influence it's flavor profile, and comes from the perception of the gases released by brewed coffee. Aroma is greatest in the middle roasts and is quickly overtaken by carbony smells in darker roasts. Aroma is distinct from the dry fragrance from the coffee grounds; in general fragrance describes things we do not eat (like perfume) and aroma pertains to food and beverage we consume. Aromatics as a term may encompass the entire aroma experience of a coffee. Aromatics are a huge part of flavor perception (remember the 'hold your nose and eat an onion experiment). Aromatics reach the olfactory bulb through the nose and "retro-nasaly" through the opening in the back of our palate. While some taste is sapid, perceived through the tongue and palate via papillae, or taste buds, most of flavor quality is perceived through the olfactory bulb.

Wet Hulled Process

Wet-hulled process is a hybrid coffee method used in parts of Indonesia, especially Sumatra. It results in a dark, opal-green coffee with little silverskin clinging to it, and a particular low-acid, earthy, heavy body flavor profile. In this method, the farmer picks ripe coffee cherry, pulps off the skin and either dries it immediately for one day, or lets it sit overnight in a bucket (with our without water), then washes it the next day and dries it. In either case, the coffee is partially dried with some or all of the mucilage clinging to the parchment-covered seed. It is then sold at a local market to a coffee processor. They receive coffee at 40-50% mositure content, then dry it to 25-35%, and run it though the wet-hull machine. Friction strips off the parchment, and the bean emerges swollen and whitish-green. Then it is dried on the patio down to 11-14% moisture, ready for sorting, grading, bagging and export. In Bahasa, the method is called Giling Basah. See the related terms for the coffee stages: asalan, labu, gabah.

Wet Mill

The wet mill goes by many names (Beneficio, Factory, Washing Station, Receiving Station) and can serve several different functions. Wet mill, as the name implies, involves water to process and transport coffee, but new ecological wet mills might use very little. But in nearly all cases, it is the place where whole coffee cherry fruit is brought for the first stages of it's transformation to dried green, exportable coffee. In traditional wet-processing, the wet mill is where the coffee is pulped (the outer fruit skin removed), floated in water (to remove defective beans), fermented (to break down the fruit mucilage layer), washed (to remove the fruit) and dried on a patio, a screen (raised bed), or a mechanical dryer. At this point green coffee seed is inside an outer parchment shell.

Wet Process

Wet-process coffee (or washed coffee) is a method to transform the fruit from the tree into a green coffee bean for roasting. This process uses water at the wet mill to transport the seed through the process, allowing for the removal of defects that float to the surface. In traditional wet-processing, the wet mill is where the coffee is pulped (the outer fruit skin removed), floated in water (to remove defective beans), fermented (to break down the fruit mucilage layer), washed (to remove the fruit) and dried on a patio, a screen (raised bed), or a mechanical dryer. At this point green coffee seed is inside an outer parchment shell, rested for a period of time (reposo) then milled at the dry mill into the green bean. Wet processing often produces a brighter, cleaner flavor profile, with lighter body than dry process coffees or the hybrid pulp natural process. Wet process coffees are referred to also as washed coffees, or fully washed. Note that the coffee seed is not fermented in this process, just the other fruit layer between the skin and the parchment shell. This is a natural action of peptic enzymes in the coffee. In different countries they might use a submerged wet fermentation, or a water-less dry fermentation, which is a faster method.

Wild

Wild flavors in coffee is a general characterization that connotes something foreign or exotic in a flavor profile, usually somewhat unclean. This can be found in some East African coffees, although it is usually the result of poor processing or handling. For example Yemeni coffees have wild notes of hide, leather, earth, and such. To some these are defect flavors.

Willem Boot

Willem is a coffee consultant and taster, with a skill for leading panels. His company is Boot Coffee, based in the North Bay of San Francisco: www.bootcoffee.com

Winey

Describes a wine-like flavor with a similar perceived acidity and fruit. Found most commonly in East African specialty coffees as well as in some centrals like Costa Rica. I will use it to describe ripe fruit notes, pleasantly so, but not pushed to the point of vinegar sourness (which would be over-ripe, fermenty flavor... not good).

Woody

Generally a taste defect from age; old green coffee, perhaps yellowing in color. This is due to the drying out of the coffee over time, and as the moisture leaves the seed it takes organic compounds with it. Also, when coffee rehydrates itself, it brings in foreign odors, baggy and dirty tastes and smells. Aged coffees can have a positive hickory-like taste and aroma. This entry does not address positive wood qualities like cedar, and such. Also not to be confused with foresty or woodsy character in Indonesia coffees.