Sweet Maria's Coffee Glossary

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Aceh
Aceh District is north of North Sumatra and produces some very classic Sumatra coffees. The center of coffee in Aceh is Lake Tawar and Takengon, the city by the lake. It often looks like a mispelling of "Ache" but is pronounced "Ah-Chay". Gayo is a name used in relation of Aceh since it is one of the main ethnic groups of the region.
Related Terms:
Sulawesi Preparation Grade Sumatra Indonesia
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Origins


African Coffee
African coffee is known for its wild flavors, from bright Kenyas, to floral Ethiopia Yirgacheffes, to rustic, earthy Ethiopia Sidamos. While coffee is widely grown in sub Saharan Africa, specialty coffee African origins include are generally in eastern and southern Africa.
Related Terms:
Coffee Growing Regions Zimbabwe Zambia Uganda Tanzania Rwanda Kenya Ethiopia Congo Burundi Origin Flavor
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Origins


Altitude
The height above sea level that a coffee is grown. Coffee grown at higher altitude is often considered better, though this is far from a rule. Higher-grown coffee tend to mature more slowly and have a denser bean, which may result in a more even roast. Overall quality, especially acidity, increases with altitude. In South and Central America, coffees are graded and classified based on altitude.
Related Terms:
Density Strictly Hard Bean Strictly High Grown MASL
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Origins


Australia
Australian coffee bears resemblance in the cup to the soft, sweet "Island Coffee" flavor profile. Coffee cultivation began in Australia in 1880 and continued through 1926, but was found to be generally unprofitable, and the quality of the coffee to be poor. It was re-established in the early 1980's in much the same areas as the original plantations on the Eastern coast in New South Wales up to Queensland. Coffee is now farmed from Nimbin and Lismore, in New South Wales, to Cape York in far north Queensland where the large Skybury plantation is located. Skybury and the other larger plantations, near Mareeba on the Atherton Tablelands, are fully mechanized, but there are smaller farms where traditional hand cultivation is used. See our Australia Coffee Offerings for more information.
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Origins


Bali
Coffee from the Indonesian island of Bali was formerly sold exclusively to the Japanese market. Perhaps it is the changing face of world economics that finds the first exports of Balinese coffee arriving under exclusive contract in the U.S. The coffees are sophisticated and well-prepared. They are washed (wet-processed) like neighboring coffees from Java, East Timor and Papua New Guinea. The cup has traces of the earthy Indonesian island character, but only in the background. It is a classic, clean cup with great body and mildness! See our Bali Coffee Offerings for more information.
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Origins


Bolivia
There's no better way to learn about a coffee-producing country than to go there! And I finally had the chance to go to Bolivia as a judge for the 2nd Annual Bolivia Coffee Competition. Bolivia has always been a coffee origin with great potential, the potential to have a unique Specialty coffee offering with unique cup character. But I hadn't had much luck in sourcing clean, defect-free Bolivian coffee samples. In 2002-3 crop, our fortunes changed when we had an organic lot from the Aecar Co-op and it was a fantastic, delicate, nuanced cup, excellent in the lighter roasts. It was also perfectly prepared (without defects) and durable throughout the year. I was intrigued. As it turns out, Bolivia does have all the ingredients to produce great coffee, especially in terms of altitude (plenty of that!) and seedstock: the plants are almost all traditional Typica varietal, with some Caturra. Much of the production is traditional Organic farming practice, with a lot of the co-ops certified Organic and some Fair Trade also. Germany and Holland have been buying these coffees heavily for years. See our Bolivian Coffee Offerings for more information.
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Brazil
Brazil is a coffee giant . As Frank Sinatra sang, "they grow an awful lot of coffee in Brazil". It's the largest producer of low grade arabica coffee, and a lot of Conilon robusta too. Brazil: there is some in almost every espresso you drink. In fact, some espresso is 90% Brazil. And there is Brazil in most canned coffee and big roasters' blends. But things are changing in Brazil. There's the big push on behalf of Brazilian coffee growing associations to re-create the image of Brazilian as exquisite and distinctive Specialty-level coffee. And some of it is true Specialty coffee, but the majority is still common, low-grade, low-grown arabica. There just isn't the extreme distinction from cup to cup that distinguishes one regional coffee from another. Attention to good farming and processing techniques has helped, but the coffee is grown at lower altitudes than most Specialty coffee, in non-volcanic soils, in non-forested areas that are sometimes originally grassland (a reason why the "shade-grown issue" really doesn't apply much to Brazil ---the coffee farming areas had little shade to begin with.) Am I saying Brazilian coffee is bad --heck no! I love these high-quality Brazilian coffees, and you should try it as a Full City or even Vienna roast: its great! And nothing touches a really good Dry-processed or Pulped-Natural Brazil as a base in Espresso blends. They produce more crema and body, adding sweetness and providing a great backdrop for the feature coffees. Brazil can be nutty, sweet, low-acid, and develop exceptional bittersweet and chocolate roast tastes. The caveat is, Brazils are not dense coffee seeds: they are grown at lower altitudes than Central American coffees. Hence the very dark roasts of Brazils pick up ashy, bittering flavors. For espresso, you can roast Brazils lighter, separately, or keep the entire blend at a Vienna roast or lighter: Northern Italian Espresso re: Illy's "Normale." Note that there are 3 processes of processing Brazil coffees of interest to us; Natural Dry- Process, Pulped Natural, and Semi-Washed. They produce different types of cups. The Natural has great body, chocolate, possibly fruity notes ... and it risks being earthier and more rustic in the cup. The Pulped Natural is when the coffee cherry skin is removed and the parchment, with a lot of the mucilage attached, is sun dried on patio or raised drying bed. This coffee cups like the fully Naturals but is a bit cleaner in the cup. The Semi-Washed uses a demucilage machine to remove the skin and some or all of the mucilage. So the Semi-Washed ranges in character from being identical to Pulped Natural to being similar to a Wet-processed coffee (clean cup, uniform, less body, less chocolate, a bit brighter). I like good Naturals- they have more intensity, produce more crema, but I have to cup them rigorously to watch for defective cup character. On the other end of things, really clean Semi-Washed, where a lot of the mucilage is removed, do not have Brazil character to me. See our Brazil Coffee Offerings for more information.
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Origins


CBB
Coffee Berry Borer is a pest that burrows into the coffee seed, and a major problem in many coffee origins. In Latin America it is known as Broca
Related Terms:
Coffee Diseases Coffee Leaf Rust Nematodes
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Origins Biology/Cultivars Defects


Central American Coffee
Central American coffee is known for its "classic," balanced profile. Centrals are primarily wet-processed since the climate is too humid for dry processing and hence cleaner and brighter than their dry-processed counterparts.
Related Terms:
Nicaragua Mexico Honduras Guatemala Costa Rica Coffee Growing Regions Origin Flavor Panama El Salvador
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Origins


Chicory
Chicory was a popular coffee substitute and economizer for 2 centuries, back when coffee was more prized, and pure coffee was a luxury. In that time, it became a matter of cultural preference to use chicory in coffee, in the United States it was synonymous with New Orleans coffee. The specific taste of famous New Orleans brands is due to the blend of dark roasted coffee and chicory. But when I worked in New Orleans I found how stale the coffee was, and what low quality chicory was being used. If you use high quality coffee, like our French Roast Blend that you roast yourself, and a true imported French Chicory, you will get optimal results with that typical New Orleans Cafe au Lait cup character. Read the review below for the ratio of coffee-to-chicory typically used. I was always told that Chicory was related to the Radish and that is what I wrote on this page. But you savvy readers won't let me make such errors: Chicory is in the plant family Compositae or Asteraceae, the sunflower family. Think Jerusalem artichoke. Radish is in the Brassicaceae or Cruciferae family, the mustard family. See our Chicory Offerings for more information.
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Origins


Coffee
Coffee is a flowering shrub that produces fruit. The seeds of the fruit are separated through various processing methods (wet or dry processing, or something in between) and dried to about 12% moisture for long term storage. The seeds are roasted and ground prior to being prepared as an infusion. The term "coffee" is applied to the plant, the seeds and the infusion alike.
Related Terms:
Processing Roasting Brewing
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Origins Brewing


Colombia
As you know, Colombian coffee is highly marketed and widely available in the US. They have been largely successful at equating the name Colombian Coffee with "Good" Coffee. This is half-true. Colombian can be very balanced, with good body, brightness (acidity) and flavor. But much of it is a bit boring, and most of it that you find in Supermarket bins etc. is simply a decent clean cup with almost no aftertaste (if its fresh from the roaster, which is not likely). So, is there good Colombian coffee? Absolutely yes. It just takes work to find it. Good Colombian is rarely sold simply as Supremo or Excelso. Colombian that has more "cup character" is usually pooled from particular regions and will have the regional name identifying it. Sometimes a generic Colombian just happens to cup really nice, but that's rare, and it requires cupping each lot to find the special one. Last year was poor in general but the current Colombians are really outstanding. I wouldn't normally offer so many types but that's what happens when you "follow your nose..." See our Colombian Coffee Offerings for more information.
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Costa Rica
Can a coffee be too perfect, too balanced, so all you can say about it is ," Hmm ... it has coffee flavor"? That's the criticism that used to be leveled at the coffees from Costa Rica - too balanced, too clean, too mild. We categorize this type of coffee as the "classic cup," the traditional balanced coffee that has no defects or taints. Coffee cuppers call it "clean" and it's not the same thing as "boring." Yet many Costa Ricas from the large farms and mills are exactly that; middle-of-the-road arabicas. But there's can be more to a Costa Rican coffee than neutrality. They are prized for their high notes: bright citrus or berry-like flavors in the acidity, with distinct nut-to-chocolate roasty flavors. Now, everything is changing in Costa Rica, and the orthodoxy, big farms and big powerful cooperative mills, have a reason to do a double-take. There is a new quality initiative coming from the Micro-Mills, tiny low-volume farm-specific coffee producers who now keep their lots separate, mill it themselves, gaining total control of the process, and tuning it to yield the best possible flavors (and the best price!) The revolution is possible due to new environmentally friendly small milling equipment, and the disatisfaction of small producers who sell coffee at market prices, only to see it blended with average, carelessly harvested lots. With an independent Micro-Mill, a farmer can become a true "coffee craftsperson," maximize the cup quality of their coffee, dividing lots by elevation or cutivar, and receiving the highest prices for their Micro-Lot coffees. In turn, we get unique and diverse Micro-Lots, and a transparent, long-term relationship with the small farmer. See our Costa Rica Coffee Offerings for more information.
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Country Of Origin
Country of Origin is where the coffee is grown in general terms. Region is a more specific area within the country. Arabica coffee grows in only in particular environments with adequate rainfall, temperate climates, good soil (often volcanic), sufficient altitude, and roughly between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.
Related Terms:
Region Micro-Region
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Origins


Department
A Department is the term used in many Latin American countries for a State. For example, Huila Department is the state in the South of the country where much coffee is grown
Related Terms:
Country Region Micro-Region
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Origins


Dominican Republic
The Dominican has a tradition of coffee production that dates several centuries. In general Dominican coffees hold true to the soft, mild profile of Island coffees. The exports are dominated by one company, and while there have been pushes to improve quality, the potential of DR specialty coffee has not been realized. We cup it when available, and usually it grades in the commercial coffee range of 78 - 82 points. We hope for good samples, some day!
Related Terms:
Island Coffee Hawaii Puerto Rico
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Origins


Ecuador
Coffee has a long history in Ecuador: it was introduced in the early 19th century and became its main export in the early 20th century. But coffee from Ecuador has never been included in the list of Specialty Coffee origins, mostly because of poor harvesting and processing practices. As other Ecuadorian exports (banana, oil, shrimp) exceeded coffee in export importance, hope that the quality of the coffee would improved became less. They managed to continue to ship low grade arabica and robusta coffees, finding a market among the istitutional and commecial roasters of the U.S. and Europe who are more concerned with price than cup quality. But coffee employed about 15% of the rural population. See our Ecuador Coffee Offerings for more information.
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El Salvador
El Salvador coffee had an undeservingly poor reputation for years, marred mostly by the inability to deliver coffee of high quality in an unstable political climate. Unfortunately, agriculture is the first to suffer in revolution, since it requires years to rebuild a farm if it is neglected. In El Salvador the coffee trade, like the government in general, was controlled by a ruling elite ... a handful of wealthy families that operated many farms. El Salvador had tended towards the right politically, and the smaller coffee farmer and coffee workers fared poorly in this climate. For the past 7 years I have been able to buy incredible Salvadors --drop dead quality, great acidity, refinement and depth. Last year it was the incredible Organic Los Naranjos. Then we had the Santa Ritas and Salaverrias. Good stuff. Then the real bombshell coffee: the Cup of Excellence lot from the San Francisco farm. After that, our Organic Santa Adelaida lots, and our Pacamara Cup of Excellence coffees. This truly represents the pinnacle of high grown Salvadors. See our El Salvador Coffee Offerings for more information.
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Estate
A "coffee estate" is used to imply a farm that has it's own processing facility, a wet-mill. In Spanish this is called an Hacienda. A Finca (farm) does not necessarily have a mill. (And Finca is not a coffee-specific term). In a strict sense an Estate would have both a wet mill and dry mill, meaning they prepare coffee from the tree all the way to ready-to-export green coffee in jute bags. Estate coffee is not necessarily better than any other type, except that they have the possibility of controlling quality all through the process.
Related Terms:
Wet Mill Hacienda Finca Dry Mill Mill Beneficio Fazenda
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Origins Processing


Excelso
A Colombian coffee grade referring to screen size of 15-16. In the traditional bulk Arabica business, Excelso is a step below the large bean Supremo grade, which indicates screen size 17-18.
Related Terms:
Supremo Coffee Grading FNC
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Origins Trade Terms


Fazenda
Fazenda is the Portuguese word for farm, hence it is the term used in Brazil. Fazenda is not a coffee-specific term.
Related Terms:
Estate Finca Hacienda Beneficio Wet Mill
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Origins


Finca
Finca is the Spanish word for farm. Sometimes the term Hacienda is used to imply an Estate, which would mean the farm has it's own wet-mill. A Finca does not necessarily have a mill. Finca is not a coffee-specific term.
Related Terms:
Hacienda Estate Fazenda
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Origins


Flores
Flores is small by island standards, just about 360 kilometers end to end. It is in the Indonesian archipelago, between Sumbawa and Timor islands. The name is an abbreviation of Cabo da Flores which was used by Portuguese sailor in the 17th century to identify the cape on the eastern end of the islands because of its underwater gardens. Divided by mountain chains and volcanoes, the island populated by ethnic groups with their own traditions and languages. Predominantly Catholic, the have retained several aspects of the Portuguese culture such as the Easter parade held annually at Larantuka on the eastern part of the island and the Royal Regalia of the former King of Sikka. The coffee areas are higher altitude compared to other Indonesian origins, but the highest peak is just 1736 meters. The milling tradition is wet-process, so this coffee bears resemblance to the coffees of Timor-Leste, New Guinea and Java more than to the semi-washed coffees of Sumatra and Sulawesi. It is sweet, floral (appropriately since Flores means Flowers), with good syrupy body, and a clean cup overall. It has uses in espresso. See our Flores Coffee Offerings for more information.
Related Terms:
Timor
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Origins


Fly Crop
There are no flies in the "Fly Crop" but the term is intriguing, and it's origin yet a mystery to me. Fly crop is the smaller harvest that occurs in Kenya, in cyclical opposition to the Main crop harvest of August to October. It yields smaller amounts of coffee, and some say the quality is lower. While I have cupped occasional good fly crop lots, I have to agree; they qualify more as Kenya blenders than the "Grand Cru" powerhouses of the peak Main Crop auctions
Related Terms:
Harvest Crop Cycle
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Origins Trade Terms


Golden Beans
Golden beans are found in Yemen and Ethiopia dry-process coffees, and sometimes in other origins. They are pale yellow and slightly translucent. While not an outright defect, they are caused by iron deficiency in the plant, and/or high soil PH. They are sometimes separated and sold at a premium, with the false belief that they have better cup quality.
Related Terms:
Defect
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Origins Defects


Guatemala
Guatemalan coffee is revered as one of the most flavorful and nuanced cups in the world. Due to our proximity to Guatemala, some of the finest coffees from this origin come to the United States. Guatemalan growing regions vary in their potential cup quality: many have sufficient altitude, soil and climate conditions. Antiguas are well-known and highly rated. Huehuetenango from the north highland can be exceptional and have distinct fruit flavors. Coban, Fraijanes and Quiche can be nice, but they need to be cupped carefully: they can have a nice cup but sometimes less complexity and depth. Atitlan has produced some very fine coffees in the past few years. But remember, you can't count on any origin to necessarily produce a great coffee: the quality cup is still hard to find among even the most celebrated and recognized regions ...in this case Antigua. See our Guatemala Coffee Offerings for more information.
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Hacienda
Sometimes the term Hacienda is used to imply an Estate, which would mean the farm has it's own wet-mill. A Finca (farm) does not necessarily have a mill. Finca is not a coffee-specific term.
Related Terms:
Wet Mill Wet-process Finca Estate
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Hard
Brazilian coffee grading has a different logic than much grading in the rest of the coffee world. Terms like "hard" and "soft" describe the flavor, not the bean itself. So "hard" refers to a harsh, astringent mouth feel, "soft" is mild and fine. Note that hard in terms of bean density signifies quality and has nothing to do with hard flavors in the cup, such as SHB grade coffee - Strictly Hard Bean - from Central America.
Related Terms:
Strictly Soft Rioy Soft Brazil Coffee Grades Coffee Grading
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Origins Trade Terms


Hawaii
Ah, Hawaii... what a nice place. They grow nuts, fruit, and coffee. The coffee is expensive. It is mild (sometimes too mild) or it can be wonderful! It can be terrible and flat. The best coffees cost a lot ...the worst cost way too much. So the goal with Hawaiians is to quit thinking that all Hawaiian coffee is good, and to realize that only a handful of coffees deserve the high price in terms of cup quality (you can easily argue that all deserve a high price in terms of the care and labor expended in producing them). And frankly, you must pay quite a bit for the truly great small-farm Kona. We have also had Ka'u coffee - Ka'u is the district of the big island of Hawaii just south of Kona. It does not have the clarity and sweetness of Kona - but it is an interesting cup. See our Hawaii Coffee Offerings for more information.
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India
Indian coffees are under-represented in the coffee market: they are good balanced, mild coffees. You will find the pronounced body, low acidity and subtle spicy notes pleasing, and the Mysore coffees work well under a wide range of roasts. Sometimes you find hints of earthiness, similar to Indonesian origins like Sulawesi and Sumatra. They are also nice in espresso. India produces wet-processed and dry-processed coffees: dry-processed coffees are called "Cherry" and wet-processed arabica is called "Plantation Arabica" whereas wet-processed robusta is called "Parchment Robusta." The Monsooned coffee is a different story altogether! Potent, pungent and wild, these are great for those who like strong, deep musty flavors. The reviews below will give you an idea of what to expect... If you want reviews of Premium Indian Robusta for use in espresso blends, follow this link. See our India Coffee Offerings for more information.
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Indonesian Coffee
Indonesian coffee is known for its unique earthy, potent flavors. Some like it, some hate it, but it's certainly distinctive. Much of the coffee in Indonesia is processed using the unique method called "Giling Basah," or "wet-hulling." Flavor of the coffee can vary widely too, from the more earthy Sumatras to the cleaner Java or Timor coffees. See each individual coffee origin for more specifics.
Related Terms:
Sumatra Papua New Guinea Java Flores Bali Origin Flavor Sulawesi Timor
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Island Coffee
"Island Coffee" is our term for coffees from various islands (Hawaii, Jamaica, Australia, etc.). Island coffees typically have a mild profile. They are typically wet-processed and grown at a lower altitude that most other specialty coffee. See the specific origin for more information.
Related Terms:
Puerto Rico Hawaii Australia Origin Flavor Jamaica Dominican Republic
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Origins Sweet Maria's Terms


Jamaica
Ah Jamaica, a great place to visit. But what about that incredibly expensive coffee? The world's best? The world's most overrated? Well, I can say for sure that it is not the world's best coffee. It is an excellent mild, lush coffee... sometimes. But it is can also be downright bad. In these cases, it's nothing short of a crime to pay those prices for coffee. On top of that, a lot of coffee sold as Jamaican is not true Jamacia Blue Mountain, or is blended. If you pay $12 per lb for Jamaican coffee, it cannot be true Blue Mtn. but either the lower grown Jamaica High Mountain, or most likely a blend that contains a small percentage of JBM. The history of coffee in Jamaica is epic ...In 1728, Sir Nicholas Lawes, the then Governor of Jamaica, imported coffee into Jamaica from Martinique. The country was ideal for this cultivation and nine years after its introduction 83,000 lbs. of coffee was exported. Between 1728 and 1768, the coffee industry developed largely in the foothills of St. Andrew, but gradually the cultivation extended into the Blue Mountains. Since then, the industry has experienced many rises and falls, some farmers abandoning coffee for livestock and other crops. In order to save the industry, in 1891 legislation was passed "to provide instructions in the art of cultivation and curing coffee by sending to certain districts, competent instructors." Efforts were made to increase the production of coffee and to establish a Central Coffee Work for processing and grading. This effort to improve quality, however, was not very successful: until 1943 it was unacceptable to the Canadian market, which at the time was the largest buyer of Jamaican coffee. In 1944 the Government established a Central Coffee Clearing House where all coffee for export had to be delivered to the Clearing House where it was cleaned and graded. Improvement in the quality of Jamaica's coffee export was underway. In June 1950 the Coffee Industry Board was established to officially raise and maintain the quality of coffee exported.See our Jamaica Coffee Offerings for more information.
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Java
Java is a clean cup for an Indonesian, a fully wet-processed coffee that has the Indonesian body and thickness in the cup without earthy or dirty flavors. Our experience is that early lots of Timor and Java can be the finest while in Central Americans you usually need to hold out for the mid-crop to late-crop samples. But there are always exceptions... In the case of Sumatra and Sulawesi, it seems that the second to third wave of arrivals can be the best. Of course, these truisms are made to be broken... that's why samples and cupping are always the key. In the past we liked the Kayumas best since it exemplifies both the thick oily body of a Java with some other nice flavors ---sometimes Java is pure body and nothing else which makes it very unbalanced as a straight roast, while still an effective blender. See our Java Coffee Offerings for more information.
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JBM
JBM is short for Jamaica Blue Mountain, which is both a trade name for certain Jamaica coffee, and a Typica cultivar. As a cultivar, it is one of the older New World Typica types since the Typica was circulated around the Carribean isles long before it was planted in the mainland of Central America. Not all Jamaica-grown coffee is necessarily JBM cultivar. As a trade name, it supposedly signifies the higher grown coffee from Jamaica, as opposed to Jamaica High Mountain, which is lower grown (!). There is no blue shade to the coffee or the mountain, or a specific geographical designation it indicates.
Related Terms:
Jamaica
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Origins Biology/Cultivars Trade Terms


Kona
Kona coffee comes from farms along the Kona Coast on the Big Island of Hawaii. Coffee is grown at elevations relatively low compared to other coffee-growing origins; 800 to 1500 FEET above sea level, whereas coffee in Guatemala comes from 800 to 2000 METERS. The nicer coffees come from small family farms above the old road (Mauka coffees) and are grown from Kona Typica type seeds. Note that "Cona" is the brand of vacuum coffee brewer.
Related Terms:
Kona Typica Hawaii
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Origins


Mexico
Mexican coffee originates from South-central to Southern regions of the country. For that reason, coffees from Coatepec and Veracruz are much different from Oaxacan Plumas, which are in turn much different from the Southernmost region of Chiapas. The later is a growing region bordering the Guatemalan growing area of Huehuetenango, and you will find similarities between those coffees. In general you can expect a light-bodied coffee, mild but with delicate flavors ...But there are exceptions of course. Mexican is one of the largest producers of certified organic coffees, and because of the US close proximity, we receive the bulk of fine Mexican coffees in this market. Mexican coffees are worth exploring for the variety of cup characteristics they present, and their great price! Mexicans are moderately priced, lighter bodied, and wide-ranging in their cup character. For this reason, you need to explore coffee selections from each of the regions to get a good sense of the possibilities of Mexican coffee. Unfortunately, I rarely approve of the cup quality of coffees from Coatepec and Atoyac, and have never carried a Veracruz. Most of the impressive coffees I find are from Oaxaca and Chiapas. See our Mexico Coffee Offerings for more information.
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Micro-Region
Micro-Region is more specific coffee-producing zone. For example, if the Country for a specific lot is Nicaragua, the region might be Nueva Segovia (a state as well), the Micro-Region might be Dipilto, and then perhaps a nearby city name would locate the coffee even further.
Related Terms:
Country Micro-Region Department
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Origins


Nematodes
Nematodes are a diverse phylum, but in terms of coffee agriculture, there are both beneficial and negative-acting nematodes. Depending on the species, a nematode may be beneficial or detrimental to plant health. From an agricultural perspective, there are two categories of nematode: predatory ones, which will kill garden pests like cutworms, and pest nematodes, like the root-knot nematode, which attack plants. Predatory nematodes can be bred by soaking a specific recipe of leaves and other detritus in water, in a dark, cool place, and can even be purchased as an organic form of pest control. Rotations of plants with nematode resistant species or varieties is one means of managing parasitic nematode infestations. For example, marigolds, grown over one or more seasons (the effective is cumulative), can be used to control nematodes.[11] Another is treatment with natural antagonists such as the fungus gliocladium roseum.
Related Terms:
Coffee Diseases CLR CBB
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Origins Biology/Cultivars


Nicaragua
Nicaraguan coffees from the Segovia, Jinotega and Matagalpa regions are underrated. They often possess interesting cup character along with body and balance, outperforming many other balanced Central American and South American high-grown coffees in the cup. Nicaragua coffees have a wide range of flavor attributes: Some cup like Mexican coffees from Oaxaca, others like Guatemala. Some are citrusy and bright, such as the coffees of Dipilto in Nueva Segovia department. For me, Jinotega and Matagalpa coffees can demonstrate their remarkable versatility in a wide range of roasts, from light City roast through Full City and into the Vienna range. The botanical cultivars utilized are traditional: Typica, some Bourbon and Maragogype dominate, along with Caturra and Paca. There is some of the dreaded Catimor varietal, but many farms have removed it after the "catimor craze" 10-20 years ago. Good Nicaraguan coffees are considered a "classic" cup: great body, clean flavor, and balance. They are unique among Centrals in the fact that the highest grown (SHG grade: Strictly High Grown) do not develop the pronounced and sharp acidity of other Centrals. In season, we offer some new "exotic" cultivar coffees too, a Pacamara Peaberry , a longberry "Java" cultivar, and the large bean Maragogype. Pulp Natural process is also a variation that gives the cup great body and a slightly rustic fruited layer. See our Nicaragua Coffee Offerings for more information.
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Origin Flavor
"Origin Flavor" is a term we started to use in distinction to "Roast Taste". Origin flavors (from specific fruit, berry, floral, herbal, confectionary, food-like, etc.) are broader in scope that roast-derived notes. Roast flavors are often described as sweet to bittersweet, caramel to chocolate to burnt, and might be found across coffee growing regions. These are conceptually useful, but we acknowledge they are flawed distinctions since the compounds that form "roast taste" flavors are inextricably linked to the compounds that result in the "origin" flavors. But to describe the way that dark roast tastes eclipse origin distinctness of coffee, it is useful. The term "Origin Distinctness" is a related concept, as well as Cultivar Flavor.
Related Terms:
Pyrolysis Second Crack Caramelization Roast Taste Degree Of Roast First Crack Roasting
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Flavor Origins


Panama
Panama coffee was historically under-rated and overlooked. That perception has been corrected in recent years with the outstanding Best of Panama competition held each year, attracting global competition for the best lots, and spectacular prices. The Gesha cultivar produced in some of the small coffee estates has also garnered heaps of attention for it's unique floral cup character. Panama coffees are brightly toned with vivid floral aromatics and clean fruited notes. They outcup many higher priced coffees and the cup character is obvious, quality is consistent. Cheaper Panamas sold as BEP are a staple of higher-end commercial roasters and lower-end specialty roasters. There are many lower-grown Panamas that are ubiquitous in the U.S. market and of little interest to us here. It's just the Boquete coffees from the Chirqui district, ones from small family-owned farms that produce the truly distinct, unique coffees. They employ N'gbe Indians for the picking season, who will come to the coffee farms to work under some of the best wage standards and work laws in Central America. See our Panama Coffee Offerings for more information.
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Origins


Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea is a distinct coffee among the Indonesians, even though it doesn't even have an entire island to call it's own. Papua New Guinea occupies the eastern half of the island it shares with the Indonesian provice of Irian Jaya (no organized coffee production originates from Irian Jaya). The small-farm "Coffee Gardens" have a unique wild note in the cup but are in no way as earthy as other Indonesian coffees such as Sumatra and Sulawesi. These small farms are often organized into coops that share wet-milling facilities and are Organic certified, The Plantation coffees are the larger farms and have the cleaner, more delicate and sophisticated cup character. While a lighter body than Javas, good PNG has the delicate notes, complexity, and sometimes the acidity or brightness of the best Central Americans. See our Papua New Guinea Coffee Offerings for more information.
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Peru
Organic Peru ... you can get it anywhere now. It is usually the cheapest certified Organic coffee on the market, it's the "blender" coffee of Organics, it's $4/Lb. roasted at Trader Joes. And it is threatening to lower prices for organic coffee farmers globally. The Peruvian coffee industry took note of the premium prices paid for Organic coffee, and realized they could produce Organic for less cost, focusing on quantity, not quality. They wanted to be to Organic coffee what Vietnam is to robusta. There are stories of forest being clear-cut for organic farm (it takes 3 years for an existing farm to become certified organic... not so with a "new" farm. I doubt the image of cutting forest to grow organic product is an image consumers have in mind ... then again, it's Organic and it's $4 per lb. roasted. Well, you get what you pay for. The problem is, the Peruvian organic coffee glut forces quality-oriented farmers within Peru and everywhere else too to accept lower prices for their crop in order to compete. And a farm that is trying to produce a truly excellent coffee in a conscientious way cannot compete with a larger quantity-oriented farm, whether its a co-op or not. Cup a Trader Joe's organic Peru versus a high quality Organic Peru and the differences are profound: not only do the cheap ones have little to no positive qualities, they also have defective taints in the cup, grassy, fermenty notes in particular. Okay, I am a little cynical about Peruvian coffee. It's not because there aren't good lots though. They do exist and it takes some detective work to find them. After all, Peru is a hugely varied land and they produce a lot of different coffees. It's the land of the Incas and by most measures a latecomer in the modern world coffee trade. Peruvian offerings are hardly mentioned in William Ukers 1936 edition of All About Coffee and have not been well thought of due to an indelicate, blunted acidity that doesn't have the refinement of the Centrals. I think a lot of this is historical bias because Peru can produce some very fine coffees. In general, these coffees have Central American brightness but in a South American coffee flavor package overall. The good organic lots do have more of a "rustic" coffee character. As long as it is kept in check and does not dominate the cup, this can add interest to the flavor rather than detract. The cup has it all, body, brightness and good depth in the flavors. While there are still mediocre arrivals, it doesn't take much cupping to find a really good one. The Chanchamayo is usually (but not necessarily) the top region, but good Norte and Cuzco from the south are out there. Buy the first Peru you are offered and you are bound for cup troubles. Poorly processed coffee, coffee with defects, might fool the cupper at first, but 2 months down the line the coffee fades, the acidity fails, baggy flavors emerge, and you know you made a bad decision. It's a lot of work to find a good lot among the abundance offered by brokers and other channels, and it takes slogging through a lot of samples to find them though. But hey, it's better slogging through samples at a cupping table than stacks of paper at a desk! See our Peru Coffee Offerings for more information.
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Puerto Rico
I have tried other Puerto Rican coffees but only bought Yauco Selecto in recent years. And we pick and choose the shipments because the really early lots have a greenish cast to the cup flavors, and the late lots turn a bit flat. When this coffee is on, in the mid-crop pickings, don't expect fireworks ... rather, think about the general term "island profile". These coffees, which include Jamaica and Kona, have a soft cup, not acidic, balanced, and mild. They are approachable coffees, and all happen to be quite expensive. (Be aware of the fact that higher priced coffees don't necessarily have a "better" cup, but rather that price is determined by the cost of production, and limited availability. Remember that this is a coffee grown in the U.S. so production costs are higher.) See our Puerto Rico Coffee Offerings for more information.
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Pulping
The first step in processing wet-process coffee, pulp natural or forced demucilage coffees. Pulping simply refers to removing the skins from the coffee fruit, leaving parchment coffee.
Related Terms:
Pulp Natural Dry Process Wet Process
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Origins Processing


Region
Region is a more specific area within the country. Arabica coffee grows roughly between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. Country of Origin is where the coffee is grown in general terms. Micro-Region is more specific. For example of a Country for a specific lot is Nicaragua, the region might be Nueva Segovia ( a state as well, the Micro-Region might be Dipilto, and then perhaps a nearby city name would locate the coffee even further.
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Country Micro-Region Department
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Origins


Sidikalang
Sidikalang is found less and less frequently in Sumatra and other parts of Indonesia. Much of the Typica was lost in the late 1880s, when Coffee Leaf Rust swept through Indonesia. However, both the Bergendal and Sidikalang varieties of Typica can still be found in Sumatra, Sulawesi, and Flores, especially at higher altitudes and in remote areas.
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Gesha Pacamara Mundo Novo Catuai Catimor Caturra Bourbon Typica Varietal Cultivar Maragogype Arabica Bergendal
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Origins Biology/Cultivars


South American Coffee
South American coffee varies widely from country to country, from chocolaty semi-washed Brazils to lighter Colombias, Organic Peru coffees to high grown Bolivia. No specific flavor can be attributed to South American coffees.
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Origin Flavor Coffee Growing Regions Bolivia Brazil Colombia Ecuador Peru Central America
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Strictly Hard Bean
In Costa Rica, a classification/grading for specialty coffee. indicates the coffees was grown at an altitude above 1200 meters/4000 feet. Beans grown at a higher altitude, have a greater density, and thus a better specialty cup.
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SHG Grade Altitude Strictly High Grown
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Origins Trade Terms


Sulawesi
Sulawesi coffees are low-acid with great body and that deep, brooding cup profile akin to Sumatra. The coffee is sometimes known as Celebes, which was the Dutch colonial name for the island. Indonesians are available as semi-washed (or wet-hulled) coffees and less frequently as washed coffees. While a fully washed coffee may appear to have less defects, it may not satisfy the expected flavor profile of this coffee origin. People look to Sulawesi and Sumatra for heavy body, low acidity, intense foresty or earthy flavors, chocolate roast notes. Those flavors are largely the result of how the coffee is processed after the coffee cherry is harvested, and more specifically, these types of flavors come from the wet-hull method, called Giling Basah in Indonesia. There are risks with this type of process. The green coffee is dried further on the patio or (in the worst cases) on the dirt! And if a suddent rain comes along and the coffee is not quickly gathered, it can develop musty off notes. Even without added moisture, the fruity mucilage layer can ferment into a very undesirable off cup flavor. Giling Basah method requires as much care as any other type of processing to acheive the best results, and a rigorous cupping regimen can distinguish between positive fruited or earth notes, and rank dirty or fermented defects. See our Sulawesi Coffee Offerings for more information.
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Sumatra
Arabica coffee production in Sumatra began in the 18th century under Dutch colonial domination, introduced first to the northern region of Aceh around Lake Tawar. Coffee is still widely produced in these northern regions of Aceh (Takengon, Bener Mariah) as well as in the Lake Toba region (Lintong Nihuta, Dairi-Sidikalang, Siborongborong, Dolok Sanggul, and Seribu Dolok) to the southwest of Medan. In the past, Sumatra coffees have not been sold by region, because presumably the regional differences are not that distinct. Rather, the quality of the picking, preparation and processing of the coffee determines much of the cup character in this coffee. In fact, Sumatras are sold as Mandheling (Mandailing) which is simply the Indonesian ethnic group that was once involved in coffee production (see note on origin page). The coffee is scored by defects in the cup, not physical defects of the green coffee. So a fairly ugly-looking green coffee can technically be called Grade 1 Mandheling. Indonesians are available as a unique semi-washed process and (rarely) fully-washed coffees. Semi-washed coffees are best described as "wet-hulled", localy called Giling Basah, and will have more body and often more of the "character" that makes Indonesians so appealing and slightly funky. In this process, the parchment coffee (the green seed with the parchment shell still attached) is very marginally dried, then stripped of the outer layer, revealing a white-colored, swollen green bean. Then the drying is completed on the patio (or in some cases, on the dirt), and the seed quickly turns to a dark green color. See our Sumatra Coffee Offerings for more information.
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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.
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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
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