Sweet Maria's Coffee Glossary

All Terms:
(A-C), (D-L), (M-S), (T-Z)

By Category:
   Brewing    Chemistry    Equipment    Flavor    Roasting    Origin
   Processing    Biology/Cultivars    Trade Terms    Sweet Maria's Terms    Defects


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.
Related Terms:
Espresso Tamping Portafilter
Categories:
Equipment Brewing


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.
Related Terms:
Espresso Tamper Portafilter
Categories:
Brewing


Tangy
An adjective modifying a flavor descriptor, decribing a sharp effect; tangy citrus, tangy bittersweet flavor, tangy green apple.
Related Terms:
Zesty Piquant Lively Spicy
Categories:
Flavor


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.
Related Terms:
Bitter Acetic Acid Malic Acid Phosphoric Acid Citric Acid Robusta Arabica
Categories:
Flavor Chemistry


Tanzania
In terms of the Tanzania coffee character, it belongs to the Central/East African family of washed (wet-processed) coffees, bright (acidy), and mostly aggressively flavorful of which Kenya is certainly the dominant coffee. Peaberries are often sorted out and sold at high premiums, but the cup is sometimes tainted and not worth the price. It has become a novelty coffee, and sells well in the US, so many roasters capitulate. Yes, it is a coffee with great potential but shipments arriving in the US do not always express that truly excellent Tanzanian cup. See our Tanzania Coffee Offerings for more information.
Related Terms:
Categories:
Roasting


Tarry
A dark roast-related flavor of pungent, intense bittering roast flavor, reminicent of the smell of tar.
Related Terms:
Roasting Second Crack Degree Of Roast Flavor Aroma Creasol Tarry Carbony
Categories:
Flavor


Tasse
Related Terms:
Categories:
Brewing


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.
Related Terms:
Astringent
Categories:
Flavor


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.
Related Terms:
French Press Filtercone
Categories:
Brewing


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.
Related Terms:
Cultivar Flavor Varietal Origin Flavor Bourbon Typica Caturra Catuai Catimor Yellow Bourbon Arusha Jackson
Categories:
Biology/Cultivars


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
Related Terms:
Herbal Sage Mint
Categories:
Flavor


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. See our Timor Coffee Offerings for more information.
Related Terms:
Categories:
Origins


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.
Related Terms:
Scorching Burnt Roast Defect
Categories:
Roasting Defects


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.
Related Terms:
Direct Trade Fair Trade Farm Gate
Categories:
Flavor Trade Terms Sweet Maria's Terms


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.
Related Terms:
Dry Process
Categories:
Processing


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.
Related Terms:
Phenols Aldehydes Ketones Esters Pyradines Furans Bitter
Categories:
Chemistry


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
Related Terms:
Muscovado Sugar Refined Sugar
Categories:
Flavor


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 ...
Related Terms:
Pannikin Dalla Toorka Jezve Mbiki Briki Cezve Ibrik Jesvah
Categories:
Brewing


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.
Related Terms:
Gesha Pacamara Mundo Novo Catuai Catimor Caturra Bourbon Typica Varietal Cultivar Maragogype Arabica Robusta
Categories:
Biology/Cultivars


Uganda
While Arabica was introduced at the beginning of the 1900's, Robusta coffee is indigenous to the country, and has been a part of Ugandan life for centuries. The variety of Wild Robusta Coffee still growing today in Uganda's rain forests are thought to be some of the rarest examples of naturally occurring coffee trees anywhere in the world. The coffee trees are intercropped with traditional food crops and grown in the shade of banana trees and other shade trees. In these self-sustaining conditions, coffee is left to grow naturally, flowering on average twice a year. Uganda has the unfortunate circumstance of being landlocked, and needing good relations with its neighbors to move its coffee crop to a port city. Transportation bottlenecks can result in containers of full of steaming coffee beans stuck on the back of a truck or a dock somewhere ...not good for quality!
Related Terms:
Categories:
Roasting


Umami
Umami is a Japanese word meaning savory, a "deliciousness" factor deriving specifically from detection of the natural amino acid, glutamic acid, or glutamates common in meats, cheese, broth, stock, and other protein-heavy foods. The action of umami receptors explains why foods treated with monosodium glutamate (MSG) often taste "heartier". In coffee, savory relates to specific brothy, food-like character and can conflict with other basic flavors such as sweet, but is not undesirable. It can be found in Indonesia coffees, but has appeared favorably in Colombias we have stocked as well.
Related Terms:
Sweet Salty Bitter Sour
Categories:
Flavor


Unclean
A general negative description of dirty or hard flavors in a coffee that should have none. These are flavors without positive qualities, that distract from the cup. Also simply called "off"
Related Terms:
Defect Earthy Dirty Hard Rioy Clean
Categories:
Defects


Under-developed
Under-developed refers to roast problems, usually too-light roasts. If a coffee is not roasted until the reactions responsible for the audible First Crack are completed, there will be astringent and un-sweet flavors (high trigonelline levels) and a grainy roast taste.
Related Terms:
Trigonelline Roasting Roast Taste First Crack Second Crack
Categories:
Roasting Defects


USDA
USDA is The United States Department of Agriculture, that inspects coffee shipments and sets guidelines for importation. It is also an Indonesian cultivar of Ethiopian heritage that was part of varietal tests in the 1950's.
Related Terms:
Sidikalang Catimor Catuai Caturra Typica Bourbon Varietal Cultivar Bergendal Ateng
Categories:
Biology/Cultivars Trade Terms


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.
Related Terms:
Categories:
Brewing


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.
Related Terms:
GrainPro SuperGrain Bag Burlap Storage Jute Nitrogen Flushing
Categories:
Processing Trade Terms


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.
Related Terms:
Cultivar Cultivar Flavor Varietal Origin Flavor Bourbon Typica Caturra Catuai Catimor Organoleptic
Categories:
Biology/Cultivars


Velvety
A mouthfeel description indicating elegant softness, refined smoothness. See Silky as well.
Related Terms:
Body Mouthfeel Aftertaste Sensory Analysis Cupping Buttery Silky
Categories:
Flavor


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. For more information and pictures of the degree of roast, see our Roasted Coffee Pictorial Guide.
Related Terms:
Roast Taste First Crack Pyrolysis Second Crack Roasting Caramelization Origin Taste Degree Of Roast
Categories:
Roasting


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.
Related Terms:
Pacamara Mundo Novo Catuai Catimor Caturra Bourbon Typica Varietal Cultivar Gesha Villa Lobos
Categories:
Biology/Cultivars


Villalobos
A natural dwarf mutation of Typica, found mostly in Costa Rica.
Related Terms:
Cultivar Flavor Varietal Origin Flavor Bourbon Typica Caturra Catuai Catimor Villa Sarchi
Categories:
Biology/Cultivars


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.
Related Terms:
Acetic Acid Fermenty Fermented Defect Sour Winey
Categories:
Flavor Trade Terms Defects


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.
Related Terms:
Zesty Tangy Spicy Mulling Spice
Categories:
Flavor


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.
Related Terms:
Wet Mill Factory Beneficio Wet Process
Categories:
Processing Trade Terms


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.
Related Terms:
Decaffeinated Coffee SWP Carbon Dioxide Process
Categories:
Processing Trade Terms


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.
Related Terms:
Structure Balance Clarity
Categories:
Flavor


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.
Related Terms:
Sensory Analysis Cupping Dry Fragrance Aroma Aromatics
Categories:
Flavor Trade Terms Sweet Maria's Terms


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.
Related Terms:
Processing Pulp Natural Wet Process Dry Process Sumatra Sulawesi Indonesia Asalan Labu Gabah
Categories:
Processing Trade Terms


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.
Related Terms:
Dry Process Wet Process Processing Preparation Dry Mill
Categories:
Processing


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.
Related Terms:
Wet Mill Fermentation Processing Pulp Natural Dry Process Dry Mill
Categories:
Processing


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.
Related Terms:
Sensory Analysis Cupping Humus Earthy Rustic
Categories:
Flavor Defects


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
Related Terms:
George Howell Kenneth Davids Cup Of Excellence
Categories:
Trade Terms Sweet Maria's Terms


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).
Related Terms:
Fruity Ferment Acidity
Categories:
Flavor


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.
Related Terms:
Baggy Past Crop Dirty Aged Coffee Foresty
Categories:
Flavor Defects


Yeasty
A defect term referring to "honey" flavor but a bad rustic, yeast-like flavor. This is on the opposite end of the spectrum away from pure honey-like tastes
Related Terms:
Cappy Defect
Categories:
Flavor


Yellow Bourbon
Yellow Bourbon is a sub-type that has fruit which ripens to a yellow color, found mainly in Brazil where it was first grown. Bourbon coffees are named for the island in the India Ocean where French colonists grew it. It is possible that Yellow Bourbon is a natural mutation of a cross between Bourbon and a yellow-fruited Typica called "Amarelo de Botocatu".
Related Terms:
Catimor Caturra Catuai Cultivar Flavor Varietal Origin Flavor Bourbon Typica
Categories:
Biology/Cultivars


Yemen
Technically, Yemen is on the Asian continent (on the Arabian Peninsula) although it is really just a stone's throw from Africa, across the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. For coffee reasons, and since there is no other "Arabian" coffee, we put it in the family of tastes that are North African.

You'll notice that the Yemen's we sell all have "Mokha in their names." Now, what is Mokha? Al Mokha (Al-Mahka) is the port city that Yemeni coffee ships from! It has nothing to do with chocolate. Why is the coffee called Mokha? Because in the coffee trade it was too complicated to name all the little sub-regions where the coffee is actually grown, even though they do produce notably different coffees in terms of the cup. Many of the dry-process Ethiopian coffees will also call themselves Moka: Moka Harar etc. ...I believe to associate themselves with the taste profile they share with Yemens. How the heck do you spell Mokha? Well, it is spelled usually Mocca or Mocha or Moka ...but in fact the most correct spelling is the one you will never see: Al-Mahka, which is the truest to the Arabic spelling. I am trying to use it, but you will see I lapse, or in fact want to indicate also the way I am seeing it spelled on the burlap bag. Lastly, let me say that Yemeni are one of the most distinct and prized coffees in the world, but this is what we call a "wild" or natural cup ...Earthy, complex, pungent ---to some it may be strange and bitter. Either way, do yourself a favor and try it sometime.( You can see by our selection I am a fan of this unusual coffee) ... And don't blame me if you become addicted!

Yemen has a coffee culture like no other place, and perhaps some of what we enjoy in this cup is due to their old style of trade. Exporters do not buy from farms, but through an extesive network of middlemen. Local buyers receive coffee in the pod, the entire dried cherry, and that is stored, usually in underground caverns! The coffee actually exported is usually the oldest of their stocks, not new crop coffee! But this is the way it has been, and is one reason that new Yemen arrivals often have moisture content readings in the 10.5% range, in my experience. Yemeni growers are not hurt by this system with so many middlemen, largely because the coffee land under cultivation is limited, production is fairly low due to high altitude and limited inputs, and the crop is in such high demand. Competition from the Saudis also keeps Yemeni coffee prices very high.
Related Terms:
African Coffee Origin Flavor
Categories:
Origins


Zacapa
Zacapa is the famous sweet and spicey rum of Guatemala. Sometimes this vanilla-laced rum note appears in coffee flavors.
Related Terms:
Sweet Panela Caramelization
Categories:
Flavor


Zambia
From the country formerly known as upper Rhodesia in a country now named for the Zambezi River, Zambian coffees range from Kenya-like brightness to subtle, balanced coffee with complexity, body and nuanced flavors... Zambia has variable quality: it has the potential to be outstanding (which is why we offer particular lots when we find an excellent coffee), and it can be very off-tasting and defective (which is why sometimes we are out of stock on Zambian coffee for long stretches). Coffee is grown in the Northern district of the Muchinga Mountains (regions of Nakonde, Kasama and Isoka) and in the vicinity of the capital city of Lusaka. Coffee was introduced in the 1950's with cultivar seedstock from Tanzania and Kenya. See our Coffees of Zambia offering page for more information.
Related Terms:
Categories:
Roasting


Zesty
A flavor or mouthfeel characteristic, hinting at a tingly, prickly, lively or piquant aspect. Peppers, spice or citrus can all be zesty.
Related Terms:
Tangy Citrusy Piquant
Categories:
Flavor


Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe, formerly known as lower Rhodesia until independence in 1980, has produced great coffee since production was introduced in the 1960s. Like Zambian coffees, these coffees are often overshadowed by the great East African coffee: Kenya. But they can have great balance, complexity, body and finesse. (But note that not all do! It sometimes takes some rigorous cupping to find truly great estate Zimbabwe as there is an abundance of lesser non-estate in US warehouses...) Coffee production is chiefly from the Manicaland and Mashonaland provinces along the border of Mozambique. Coffee production towns are Chipinge (also spelled Chapina) and Mutare. Top AA quality coffee is often marked "Code 53" on the bags, an enigmatic and perhaps arbitrary internal designation for best quality. Lately, the power-grabbing by Mugabe and supression of democratic media in Zimbabwe is very troubling. While land reform doesnt affect the coffee areas, and perhaps has its merits, the way it was done was regrettable. Zimbabwe's future does not look as bright as it did 10 years ago, when it was a model of progress in East Africa. See our Zimbabwe Coffee Offerings for more information.
Related Terms:
Categories:
Roasting