Glossary of Coffee Terminology



A specific variety of coffee (coffea arabica). Considered to be the best variety of coffee. The majority of the world's commercial coffee is arabican. Nearly all specialty coffee is arabican.



The name given to the person who makes coffee drinks as a profession.



A mixture of two or more individual varieties of coffee



This is the trade name of a specific brand of french press/plunger pot. Through common usage, the name has become somewhat synonymous with the term french press pot. (see also french press pot)



Another name for a french press pot



The drug contained in coffee. A bitter white alkaloid, often derived from coffee (or tea) and used in medicine chiefly as a mild stimulant and to treat certain kinds of headache.



Crema is the tan foam formed on the surface of the espresso during the brewing process. The crema makes a 'cap' which helps retain the aromatics and flavors of the espresso within the cup—the presence of crema indicates an acceptable brew. Crema is due to colloids and lipids forced out into an emulsion under the pressure of a commercial espresso machine.



A French term meaning 'half cup'. A small coffee cup.


French press / plunger pot / cafetiere / Melior / Bodum

A device for making coffee in which ground coffee is steeped in water. The grounds are then removed from the coffee by means of a filter plunger which presses the grounds to the bottom of the pot. Also referred to as a 'Bodum' or a 'Melior' —two companies that make these brewers.



The term given to milk which has been made thick and foamy by aerating it with hot steam


hard bean

Describes coffee grown at relatively high altitudes—4,000—4,500 feet. Coffee grown above 4,500 feet is referred to a strictly hard bean. The theory behind this terminology says that beans grown at higher altitudes mature more slowly and are harder and denser than other beans and are thus more desirable.



Normally, each coffee cherry contains two beans. Occasionally, a cherry will form with only one bean. These are called peaberries and are frequently separated from other coffee and sold as its own distinct grade.



The cupped handle on an espresso machine which holds the ground coffee during the brewing process.


soft bean

Describes coffee grown at relatively low altitudes (under 4,000 ft). Beans grown at lower altitudes mature more quickly and produce a lighter, more porous bean.


Provided by Over The Coffee


Crowning Glory



  • 2 tablespoons thawed frozen whipped topping
  • 3/4 cup freshly brewed Italian Espresso Roast coffee
  • ground cinnamon or grated semi-sweet baking chocolate squares

Spoon whipped topping onto coffee in large cup or mug.

Sprinkle with cinnamon or chocolate.

Makes 1 serving


Milk Chocolate Espresso


  • 1/3 cup freshly brewed Italian Espresso Roast coffee
  • 1/4 cup chocolate milk

Pour coffee into large cup or mug.

Heat chocolate milk in small saucepan on low heat until warm, stirring briskly and constantly with wire whisk to create foam.

Stir milk into coffee.

Makes 1 serving.


Italian Espresso Float


  • 3/4 cup freshly brewed Italian Espresso Roast coffee
  • 1/4 cup coffee or vanilla ice cream

Pour coffee over ice cream in large cup or mug (or, carefully top hot coffee with ice cream).

Serve immediately.

Makes 1 serving.


Provided by Maxwell House

This page originally published as a FoodDay article in 1997.

Copyright © 2007, Forkmedia LLC. All rights reserved.

Arrow to Top Arrow to Top

This page modified January 2007

The FoodWine
Main Page


World Recipes
One Country, One Recipe

   Clip to Evernote

Bookmark and Share


Twitter: @KateHeyhoe

Search this site:

Advanced Search
Recent Searches



Kate's Global Kitchen
Kate's Books
Cookbook Profiles
Global Destinations
Holiday & Party Recipes
I Love Desserts

Caffeine and You Caffeine and You
Inside My Skull Inside My Skull
cooking kids Cooking with Kids
cat toys Stark Raving Cat

Conversions, Charts
   & Substitutions

About FoodWine
   Contact Info
   Privacy Statement


cat toys

Copyright © 1994-2021,
Forkmedia LLC