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


Aged Coffee
There are different methods for ageing coffee - either holding the beans in burlap and rotating the coffee frequently as is done in Sumatra, or monsooning, where the beans are held in a warehouse and exposed to the moist monsoon winds as is done in India. Coffee can be aged 2 to 3 years. Strictly speaking, aged coffee is defective coffee, but it is sought out as it can impart a specific pungency especially to espresso drinks. Aged coffee is not the same as old coffee, so it is not baggy or flat. From my own prespective, it seems that when coffee prices are high, producers hold less coffee for ageing. When prices are low, there is more aged coffee produced (intentionally or not). Aged coffee will have more body, very low acidity, and often very strong, wild flavors. It can be an aquired taste.
Related Terms:
Baggy Monsooned Flat
Categories:
Processing


Asalan
The term in Bahasa Indonesian for green coffee that is hulled, dried, and ready to sell to an exporter. Used in North Sumatra and the Aceh coffee regions. Easy to misread as Aslan, the friendly lion, just as Aceh is so easy to read as Ache.
Related Terms:
Kopi Labu Gabah Wet-hulled Sumatra
Categories:
Processing Trade Terms


Beneficio
In Latin American countries, a wet mill is called a Beneficio, where fresh coffee cherries are brought for pulping, fermentation, and drying. In Rwanda and some other African countries it is a "washing station". In Kenya it is a "coffee factory".
Related Terms:
Factory Washing Station Wet Mill
Categories:
Processing Trade Terms


Blended Coffee
A blend is a mixture of coffees from multiple origins. Coffees are typically blended to produce a more balanced cup. Here at Sweet Maria's, almost all of the blends you'll see are made with espresso in mind.
Related Terms:
Single Origin Espresso
Categories:
Flavor Processing Brewing Trade Terms


Burlap Bags
Burlap bags are the traditional container in which coffee is transmitted. Burlap is cheap, but long storage in burlap bags may result in a characteristic "baggy" defect taste.
Related Terms:
Coffee Storage Vacuum Packaging Baggy GrainPro SuperGrain Bag
Categories:
Equipment Processing Trade Terms Defects


Cajuela
A standard volume measurement for coffee cherry used in Costa Rica. A Cajuela is a standard box size, or can also be a basket. One Cajuela can result in about 1.5 kilos green coffee. A good picker can pick 15 cajuelas per day.
Related Terms:
Fanega Lata Crop Wet Mill Beneficio
Categories:
Processing Trade Terms


Carbon Dioxide Process
A decaffeination method where beans are placed in a liquid bath of highly-pressurized CO2. As I understand it, supercritical CO2 acts as the solvent penetrating the coffee and extracting the caffeine, so when the coffee returns to normal temperature and pressure, there is no residue once the CO2 floats away. Some C02's approach the chemical decafs in cup quality, others are nearer to SWP decafs. Here's a longer and perhaps simpler explanation: Here is how it works: Coffee is mixed with water, and the beans expand in size, their pores get opened and the caffeine molecules become mobile. At this point carbon dioxide is added at 100 atmospheres pressure to the pure water. Basically the water and the carbon dioxide are mixed to create the sparkling water. The carbon dioxide acts like a magnet and attracts all the caffeine molecules that became movable. When the caffeine is captured by the carbon dioxide, this is removed. The carbon dioxide is very selective and it doesn't touch the carbohydrates and proteins of the coffee beans, which would damage quality. When the carbon dioxide has finished removing the caffeine, the coffee seeds are dried naturally. Carbon dioxide is then recycled and caffeine is sold for other commercial uses.
Related Terms:
Decaffeinated Coffee SWP WP
Categories:
Processing Trade Terms


Color Sorting
Sorting coffee by removing beans that have a color that indicates a defect. Color coffee sorting is often done by an optical sorting machine, which has a high speed camera that watches a stream of beans and actuates a jet of air to remove off-colored beans. Most high quality coffee also involves hand color sorting, which is traditionally done by women sitting either at conveyor belts or at tables.
Related Terms:
Defects Size Sorting Grading
Categories:
Equipment Processing


Decaffeinated Coffee
Coffee from which caffeine has been removed, either chemically or using water filtration. A variety of methods for decaffeination exist, but all operate on the same basic principle: coffee is soaked in a liquid (water or pressurized carbon dioxide) bath and the caffeine is extracted from the liquid. See SWP, CO2 process, Ethyl Acetate. Decaffeinated beans have a much darker appearance and give off little chaff when roasting. Decafs will roast differently than regular coffees because of their altered state; in most roasting methods, they will roast faster than regular beans.
Related Terms:
Carbon Dioxide Process Chemical Process Water Process
Categories:
Processing


Demucilage
Mucilage is the fruity layer of the coffee cherry, between the outer skin and the parchment layer that surrounds the seed. In the traditional wet-process method, the mucilage is broken down by fermentation and then washed off. A forced demucilage machine does this with water and friction, such as a Penagos or Pinhalense Demucilager. The early machines were called "Aqua-pulpers" but they damaged the coffee, resulting in fruity or fermenty flavors.
Related Terms:
Mucilage Processing Fermented
Categories:
Processing


Density Sorting
Density sorting is a step at the dry mill where coffee is run across a density table. Tilted at an angle, the table vibrates and dense coffee beans travel to the TOP or the highest side of the table, whereas less dense seeds go to the LOWER angle of the table. Less dense seeds are either outright defects, or tend to have poor cup character because they are damaged, or under-developed. The density table is often called an Oliver table, and there are inferior air-based sorters as well.
Related Terms:
Dry Mill Preparation Processing Wet Process Dry Process
Categories:
Processing


Dry Mill
A facility that accepts dried coffee cherry and mechanically separates the coffee bean from the dried fruit and parchment layer. The facility can be highly mechanized, as in Ethiopia, or very simple, as in Yemen. Images of both can be found in the Tom's Coffee Travel trip reports, from from Ethiopia and Yemen.
Related Terms:
Wet Mill Processing
Categories:
Processing


Dry Process
Dry process is a method to transform coffee from the fruit of the coffee tree to the green coffee bean, ready for export. Dry processing is the original method, and the wet process was devised later (as well as the very recent pulp natural process). It is a simple method, using less machinery and more hand labor, and has been a tradition in some growing origins for centuries. It risks tainting the coffee with defect flavors due to poor handling, drying, or ineffective hand-sorting. In dry processing the fruit is picked from the tree and dried directly in the sun or on raised screens, without peeling the skin, or any water-based sorting or fermenting. The dried coffee turns to a hard, dark brown pod, and the green seed is torn out from the skin and parchment layers in one step, or pounded out by hand. Because there is no chance to skim off floating defects, or removed under-ripes as with the wet process, most defects must be removed visually, by hand. Dry process coffees generally have more body and lower acidity than their wet process counterparts, with more rustic flavors due to the long contact between the drying fruit and the seed. They also can have more defects, taints, and lack of uniformity both in the roast and in cupping. A dry process coffee is sometimes referred to as natural coffee, full natural, or traditional dry process, or abbreviated DP.
Related Terms:
Tree-dry Natural Wet Process Pulp Natural
Categories:
Processing


Drying Coffee
In both dry-process and wet-process (and the other hybrid processes like pulp natural and forced demucilage) the coffee must always be dried before processing. In dry process you simply pick the coffee cherry fruit from the tree and lay it out in the sun to dry. In wet process you pulp the seed out of the fruit skin, ferment it to break down the fruity mucilage, wash it, and then dry it. Drying on raised beds is usually preferable by buyers like us, rather than on the ground or in a drying machine (a Guardiola).
Related Terms:
Dry Process Wet Process Dry Mill
Categories:
Processing Trade Terms


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
Categories:
Origins Processing


Ethyl Acetate
A chemical decaffeination process, but one using a mild type with low toxicity. It sometimes imparts fruity flavors to the coffee. This is a "direct contact method" of decaffeination since the solvent chemical that washes out the caffeine comes into contact with the coffee. Since Ethyl Acetate can be naturally derived from fruits and vegetables, it is considered benign.
Related Terms:
SWP Decaffeinated Coffee CO2
Categories:
Processing Trade Terms


European Preparation
European Preparation indicates that additional hand sorting has been performed on the coffee at the mill after optical sorting. The terms is used in central and south America. I suppose it originated because certain European buyers required the extra sorting, and this then became a standard and a selling point. "Hmm, those Europeans know their coffee, I'll get the preparation they like." What is funny is that the absence of the term does not mean that hand sorting is lacking, since many many coffees have high levels of hand sorting but there is no indication of that in the name. European prep does not necessarily mean the cup is better or worse than a coffee without this term applied.
Related Terms:
Preparation Hand Sorting
Categories:
Processing


Factory
In Kenya, a "Factory" is actually a coffee mill, where the fresh cherry is brought for wet-processing. It is called a wet mill usually, and a beneficio in latin america. In Rwanda and some other African countries it is a "washing station".
Related Terms:
Beneficio Dry Process Wet Process Wet Mill
Categories:
Processing Trade Terms


Fanega
A fanega is a measure of coffee used in some Latin America countries. It is equal to 250 kilograms of coffee cherry. It is used to measure only whole coffee fruit.
Related Terms:
Cherry Beneficio Wet-process
Categories:
Processing Trade Terms


Fermentation
A key part of the wet process of coffee fruit is overnight fermentation, to break down the fruit (mucilage) layer that tenaciously clings to the coffee seed, so it can be washed off. Fermentation must be done soon after picking the cherry from the tree, and lasts 12 - 24 hours depending on temperatures and other factors. When you feel the slimy coffee and the parchment layer feels rough like sandpaper, the coffee is ready to wash. Good fermentation and subsequent drying can lead to the cleanest coffee flavors in wet-process lots. Note that when I talk about fermentation, I don't mean to imply that the coffee seed is subject to fermentation. That would create defective coffee. The fruit coating the outer parchment skin is broken down with the action of peptic enzymes in the coffee. Cacao is fermented, coffee is not.
Related Terms:
Wet-process Fruity Fermented Fermenty
Categories:
Processing


Fermented
As a defect flavor, a fruit quality in a coffee that is excessively ripe, toward rotten. Fermented flavor can be the result of poor wet-processing, over-ripe cherry, or some other contamination in the processing. As a processing step, all wet-process coffee is fermented to break down the mucilage. Coffee is fermented for 12-24 hours, sometimes longer, so the mucilage can be washed off the parchment layer.
Related Terms:
Wet-process Fruity Vinegar Fermenty
Categories:
Processing Defects


Floater
In the wet process, and sometimes in Pulp Natural or Forced Demucilage process, coffee cherries or parchment are floated in a tank of water. Good cherries or seeds are dense and sink. A coffee bean that did not mature inside the parchment layer will float in wet-processing.
Related Terms:
Sailor Quaker Defect
Categories:
Processing Defects


Floaters
During the wet-process method, coffee cherry or the de-pulped (without skin) coffee seeds are floated in a water bath and/or transported down a channel in water. At this time, floating fruit can be skimmed off, whereas good fruit/seeds will sink. Coffee will float if the bean is hollow, undeveloped, under-developed, damaged by the coffee berry borer or other pest.
Related Terms:
Under-ripes Quakers
Categories:
Processing Defects


Gabah
In Sumatra, the term in Bahasa Indonesian for coffee that is barely dried after pulping and fermenting (or not), and ready to sell to a collector. This coffee is usually 40-50% moisture content.
Related Terms:
Kopi Labu Asalan Wet-hulled Sumatra
Categories:
Processing Trade Terms


GrainPro SuperGrain Bag
A multi-layer plastic bag with a gas barrier enabling coffee "to build up a modified atmosphere, similar to the principle of the Cocoon" (quoted from the GrainPro literature). The bags can be used with any kind of commodity, and in tests using coffee, the bags have been shown to extend the flavor life of the coffee. We started using them extensively in 2008 to store delicate coffees and have found them to work very well. It means that we can buy more coffee at the peak of the season, when the best coffee is available, and then hold it in GrainPro for a few months with no flavor loss. In our coffee reviews, when we indicate GrainPro arrivals we are saying that, independent of the arrival month, the coffee is being stored to optimize freshness. For example, ordering a Costa Rica in Decemeber that arrived in jute bags in June formerly meant the coffee was on it's last legs, and might be showing some age in the cup flavors. Last year, we tapped into GrainPro shipments that arrived in June the following February and they were spectacular, with no indication of age in the cup flavor! These bags are for resealable safe storage of dry commodities. The bags act as a gas and moisture-proof barrier which guards against the ingress of water vapor, while retaining low Oxygen and Carbon-Dioxide levels created by the respiration of the commodity. They are made of tough, multi-layer plastic with gas barrier between layers of PE 0.078mm thick material. They are sealed using tie-wraps and placed inside the large jute bags of coffee in our warehouse.
Related Terms:
Vacuum Packaging Jute
Categories:
Equipment Processing Trade Terms


Green Coffee
Green coffee is a dense, raw green-to-yellow colored seed. In it's essence, coffee is the dried seed from the fruit of a flowering tree - each fruit having 2 seeds facing each other (the flat side of the coffee "bean") or in the case of the peaberry, a single rounded seed. Coffee is imported from coffee-producing origins in this form, then either roasted at home in small machines, on the stove or a host of other methods ... or roasted at a small, local shop in a batch roaster ranging from 5 kilos to 50 kilos ... or roasted at a large commercial roaster, either batch or continuous. Green coffee can be stored for months, up to a year or more in vacuum packs, with little to no flavor loss (whereas roasted coffee starts to stale within 10 days from roasting. Coffee is not really a bean, it is the seed from the fruit of a flowering tropical shrub.
Related Terms:
Silverskin Parchment
Categories:
Roasting Processing Trade Terms


Guardiola
Guardiola is a term for a drum type coffee dryer, that brings down the moisture level over a period of 3 days or so. It is used as an alternative to patio drying in the sun for wet-process coffees still in parchment. It is considered better than the vertical dryers. Input heat temperature should be around 50 centigrade.
Related Terms:
Mechanical Dryer Coffee Dryer
Categories:
Processing


Hand Sorting
Practiced around the world, with both wet processed and dry processed coffees, hand sorting is generally the final step in the preparation of specialty coffees. Whether on conveyor belts or tables, the work of hand sorting is usually done by women at the mill just before coffee is bagged and labeled for export. Hand sorting removes any defective (small, broken, or discolored) that were not caught by the optical color sorter (if it was used). In the most sophisticated and the most basic coffee processing alike, hand sorting is crucial for controlling the quality of the cup.
Related Terms:
Preparation European Preparation
Categories:
Processing


Hulling
Hulling is the step at the dry mill where the green coffee bean is removed from the parchment shell. (See Wet Hulled for the Indonesia method).
Related Terms:
Dry Mill Preparation Processing Wet Process Dry Process
Categories:
Processing


KVW
A decaf plant in Germany specializing in the methylene chloride solvent method. KVW stands for Kaffee Veredelungs Werk. Solvent based methods have been shown to leave insignificant traces of chemicals that are fully dispatched by roasting the coffee.
Related Terms:
Decaffeinated Coffee SWP CO2 Ethyl Acetate Methylene Chloride Decaf
Categories:
Processing Trade Terms


Mbuni
Also spelled M'buni or Buni, this is a Swahili term that refers to dry-process coffee. In Kenya, M'buni coffees are harvested at the end of the season and sell for much less than red rip cherry from the middle of the season, which are wet-processed.
Related Terms:
Dry Process Wet Process Kenya Uganda
Categories:
Processing Trade Terms


Mechanical Dryer
Mechanical dryers are used as an alternative to sun-drying coffee on a patio, either due to poor weather, or when the patio does not have enough capacity. It is not considered as good as sun-drying coffee. The drum type dryer, called a Guardiola, is considered better than the vertical dryers.
Related Terms:
Guardiola Patio-Drying
Categories:
Processing


Methylene Chloride Decaf
The Methylene Chloride decaf method is a solvent-based process for washing the caffeine out of coffee. Called MC decaf for short. MC decafs have been shown to leave insignificant trace amounts of solvent that are fully dispatched in the roast process.
Related Terms:
Decaffeinated Coffee SWP CO2 Ethyl Acetate KVW
Categories:
Processing Trade Terms


Micro-Mill
A Micro-Mill is a tiny low-volume, farm-specific coffee producer who 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!) In Costa Rica, farmers usually belonged to large cooperative mills, or simply harvested cherry and sold it to a big mill. Large estates might have complete processing facilities. Now farmers of modest size can craft small micro-lots with complete control on scaled-down equipment from Penagos or Pinhalense.
Related Terms:
Micro-lot Penagos Pulp-Natural Process Pinhalense Wet Mill Dry Mill
Categories:
Processing


Mill
A coffee mill might mean a coffee grinder, but we usually use the term to refer to a coffee processing facility, either a Wet-Mill or a Dry Mill. A wet mill will be part of the wet-process, where coffee is pulped (peeled), fermented in concrete tanks, and then washed and dried. Then it is ready for the dry mill, which may or may not be at the same location. At the dry mill it is hulled out of the parchment skin that surrounds the green bean, classified by density and size, sometimes by color too, and bagged for export. A wet mill can be called a Washing Station or a Factory (Kenya) or a Beneficio Humido (as opposed to a Benificio Seco for a Dry Mill).
Related Terms:
Wet Mill Dry Mill
Categories:
Processing


Monsooned Coffee
Monsooned coffees are stored in special warehouses until the Monsoon season comes around. The sides of the structure are opened and moist monsoon winds circulate around the coffee making it swell in size and take on a mellowed but aggressive, musty flavor. Our source for Monsooned Malabar is the Coehlo's Gold brand from the Silver Cloud Estate. In thier monsooning process, arabica coffee is spread on the floor of the special monsooning warehouse in Mangalore, raked and turned around by hand to enable them to soak in moisture of the humid winds. The monsooning process takes around 12 to 16 months of duration, where in the beans swell to twice their original size and turn into pale golden colour.Then there are additional hand-sortings to remove any coffee that did not expand properly, and the coffee is prepared for export. This is an extremely earthy, musty, pungent cup with a unique combination of caramelly finish and potent flavors. It is not for those who like a "clean" cup, or sweet coffees! By all standard definitions, this is a defective set of cup flavors. But Monsooned Malabar get's a free pass by the coffee censors because of cultural tradition, history, and the fact that (while it doesn't conform to the traditional ideas of good coffee) it is in it's own right a unique coffee flavor. It has some use in espresso blending with a preparation of longer drum roasting and resting (after roasting) of 3+ days. There are Italian espresso roasting companies that use this coffee in their "exotic" blend offering, along with 2-3 other non-monsooned arabicas to even out the cup and provide aroma and some sweetness ... for example Cafes Trottet. Even as a drip/infusion brew, the coffee mellows after 2 days and the cup is more balanced so resting is key to best cup results.
Related Terms:
Categories:
Processing


Mucilage
Indicating the fruity layer of the coffee cherry, between the outer skin and the parchment layer that surrounds the seed.
Related Terms:
Coffee Cherry Demucilage
Categories:
Processing Biology/Cultivars


Nitrogen Flushing
Pushing nitrogen, an unreactive gas, into a bag of coffee to force out oxygen, which is more reactive. Nitrogen flushing is often done as part of vacuum packaging, since vacuuming out oxygen is not sufficient to remove all oxygen in a bag.
Related Terms:
Coffee Storage Vacuum Packaging
Categories:
Equipment Processing Trade Terms


Organic
Organic coffee has been grown according to organic farming techniques, typically without the use of artificial fertilizers. Some farms have more local Organic Certification than the more well-known USDA Organic branding. In the US, when the "organic" label is used, it means (or it should mean) that the coffee is certified organic. There are plenty of areas where farmers are too poor to afford pesticides and so use other non-chemical methods to manage production and pests, but alas, they are also too poor to afford organic certification. In areas where coffee is handled many times between the farmer and the mill, and hence the exact location of its production is not known, organic certification is unavailable.
Related Terms:
Farm Gate Fair Trade
Categories:
Processing Trade Terms


Parchment
Green coffee still in it's outer shell, before dry-milling, is called Parchment coffee (pergamino). In the wet process, coffee is peeled, fermented, washed and then ready for drying on the patio, bed, or a mechanical dryer. It is called parchment coffee because it is protected by an outer shell, which will be removed as the first step of dry milling, when the coffee is ready to export. While in parchment, it is critical that parchment coffee is rested for between 30-60 days. In Spanish, parchment coffee is called pergamino.
Related Terms:
Wet Process Pulp Natural
Categories:
Processing


Patio-Drying
Patio-drying is a term to indicate that a coffee was dried in the sun after processing, on a paved or brick patio. Drying in the sun is the traditional method and is slower and more gentle than mechanical drying techniques. Coffee is raked on the patio to ensure even drying from top to bottom. Even better is screen-drying on raised "beds" which allows for air movement through the coffee.
Related Terms:
Screen-drying Guardiola Mechanical Dryer Wet-process Dry-process Processing
Categories:
Processing


Penagos
Peñagos is a Colombian company that produces demucilage coffee processors. This is a forced demucilage machine that uses little water, and removes the coffee fruit layer from the parchment seed using friction and a small amount of water. It is key to the newer Micro-Mill facilities. With this machine, you can adjust the water pressure level, and control exactly how much mucilage to leave on the seed; you can produce a fully-washed style coffee, or a pulp-natural style coffee.
Related Terms:
Pulp-Natural Process Pinhalense
Categories:
Equipment Processing


Preparation
Preparation refers to the dry-milling steps of preparing coffee for export: hulling, grading, classifying, sorting. Sorting means using density sorters (like the Oliver table), optical color sorting, and hand sorting. Then the coffee is bagged and ready to load in the shipping container. EP is a standard called Euro Prep.
Related Terms:
Dry Process Wet Process Processing Preparation Dry Mill
Categories:
Processing Trade Terms


Processing
Coffee is either wet-processed (also called washed or wet-milled) or dry-processed (also called wild, natural or natural dry, and we abbreviate it DP sometimes). The type of processing is chosen to produce different cup qualities, or sometimes is just a matter of tradition, logistics or economics. In a nutshell, washed coffees are brought to a mill soon after picking, the coffee cherry is depulped, allowed to ferment, washed to remove all pulp, laid on patios or run through an electric dryer, removed from their final skin called parchment, and sorted. Dry -processing involves laying out the cherries on patios or roofs, and later removing the skin, pulp and parchment in one fell swoop. Dry processed coffees are more yellowish-green because there's more silverskin (chaff) attached to the bean. They look rangy, but often have more body and character in the cup.
Related Terms:
Wet-process Dry-process Pulp-natural Parchment
Categories:
Processing


Pulp Natural
Pulp natural is a hybrid method of processing coffee to transform it from the tree fruit to a green bean, ready for export. Specifically, it involves the removal of the skin from the coffee, like the first step of the wet process, but instead of fermenting and removing the fruity mucilage, the coffee is dried with the fruit clinging to the parchment layer. Pulp natural can be performed with a traditional pulper, or with newer forced demucilage equipment, which allows for greater control of exactly how much mucilage is left to dry on the coffee. Pulp natural coffees tend to have more body and less acidity than their wet process equivalents, and can have a cleaner, more uniform quality than full natural dry-process coffees. This is called "Miel" process in Costa Rica, meaning "honey."
Related Terms:
Wet Process Semi-washed Penagos Demucilage Dry Process
Categories:
Processing


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
Categories:
Origins Processing


Quakers
A quaker is an industry term to describe under-ripe, undeveloped coffee seeds that fail to roast properly. These are most often the result of unripe, green coffee cherry making it into the final product. Normally, these are skimmed off as floaters (in the wet-process) or visually removed in the dry-process method. They are removed on the density table (Oliver table) as well. They occur much more often in dry-process coffees due to the lack of water flotation of the fruit, and the difficult task of removing them visually. Even the best coffees might have occasional quakers, and they can be removed post-roast when they are easy to see. Under-developed coffees do not have the compounds to have a proper browning reaction in the roaster (Maillard Reaction, caramelization), so they remain pale in color. My own theory on the term: Quakers are those resist fighting in war, quaker beans are those that resist roasting in the drum; coffee roasting re-imagined as war? hmmm...
Related Terms:
Maillard Reaction Floaters
Categories:
Processing Defects


Raised Beds
Raised beds, also refered to as "african-style beds" are elevated beds used for drying coffee when dry-processing. Coffee can either be dried on raised beds or patio-dried (dried on the ground). Raised beds promote airflow, and thus they may promote even and rapid drying.
Related Terms:
Dry Process Pulp Natural
Categories:
Equipment Processing


Resting
Resting might refer to "reposo", the time after drying the parchment coffee, when it is held for 30-60 days to stabilize. In Brazil, the reposo time is longer. This step is critical for longevity of the coffee and occurs before processing/removal of the parchment. Coffee that is not rested in this way will fade quickly, becoming baggy. Resting might also refer to the step after home roasting a batch; coffee brewed immediately has so much C0-2 coming off it that it prevents good extraction or infusion of water. Also, certain characteristics are not developed immediately after roasting, such as body. A rest of 12-24 hours is recommended, or up to 3-5 days for some espresso coffees.
Related Terms:
Degassing Dry Mill Preparation Processing Wet Process Dry Process Roasting Storage Roasted Coffee Storage
Categories:
Roasting Processing


Screen-drying
Screen-drying is also called Raised Bed or Africa Bed drying because of it's original use in Ethiopia. It is a method of drying coffee in the sun, laying it on elevated screens or mats to allow air movement through the coffee. It is now used in many countries because it allows for even drying with both sun and convective air movements through the elevated coffee beds. It is considered better than Patio-drying by many.
Related Terms:
Patio-drying Processing
Categories:
Processing


Screening
Running coffee through a screen with holes of a fixed size to sort beans for size.
Related Terms:
Grading
Categories:
Processing


Semi-Washed
Semi-washed has been used, most commonly in Brazil, to describe a hybrid coffee process. But it is uncertain if the term always indicates the same method. Semi-washed coffees are also very common in Sumatra, where they are called Giling Basah. Semi-washed coffees are best described as "wet-hulled", 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.
Related Terms:
Pulp Natural Dry Process Wet Process
Categories:
Processing


Silverskin
On dried green bean coffee, the thin inner-parchment layer that clings to the bean and lines the crease on the flat side. Silverskin becomes chaff and falls off the bean during roasting. It is a fine inner layer coating the seed, between the thicker parchment and the bean. Formerly, dry mills would polish coffee to remove the silverskin, since the coffee looked better to the buyer. But this generates heat that damages cup quality, so the polishing step is discouraged.
Related Terms:
Chaff Green Coffee Dry Mill
Categories:
Processing Trade Terms


Sorting
Sorting refers to several steps performed in the preparation of coffee for export. Coffee is sorted by size on a grader or screener (and peaberry is sometimes removed as well). It is sorted by density on a density table (Oliver table, or rarely an air density sorter). It is sorted by color with a high tech optical color sorter, and/or by hand, visually.
Related Terms:
Dry Mill Preparation Processing Wet Process Dry Process Density Sorting Color Sorting Size Sorting
Categories:
Processing


SWP
Swiss Water Process is a patented water filtration decaf method, not a chemical solvent method. The plant is in Vancouver, Canada.
Related Terms:
CO2 Decaffeinated Coffee Ethyl Acetate
Categories:
Processing Trade 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


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


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


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