Coffee Talk

Coffee drinkers seem to have their own language sometimes. Here are some of the keywords you should know to be conversational about your coffee.

Coffee Closeup


Steaming cup of coffee


Steaming cup of coffee


Steaming cup of coffee


Steaming cup of coffee


Iced coffee


Morning sun shines on coffee


Black coffee


Acidity – describes the “tartness” or “tangy” quality felt in the mouth. May range from low to high. Words that describe it include: “bright,” “tangy,” “sparkling” and “crisp.”

Americano - a shot or two of espresso that’s poured into a glass and filled with water. One of the strongest coffees available.

Aroma - a combination of what we taste and what we smell. Words that describe it include: “exotic,” “floral,” “winey,” “earthy,” “fruity,” “pungent,” “sweet” and “clean.”

Barista - person who makes coffee drinks as a profession.

Body – describes the weight or thickness of the beverage on the tongue. It is the lingering after-taste felt on the tongue after the beverage is gone. Ranges from light to full.

Breve - cappuccino made with light cream.

Café Au Lait – brewed coffee and steamed milk

Cafe Latte - a shot of coffee, filled with steamed milk, and topped with milk foam.

Caramel Macchiato - an espresso drink with caramel, vanilla and foamed milk. Usually topped with caramel.

Cafe Mocha - chocolate syrup, topped with espresso, steamed milk, whipped cream, and chocolate sprinkles.

Cappuccino - one-third espresso, one-third steamed milk, and one third foamed milk on top to contain the warmth.

Crema - the tan foam that forms when you brew espresso. Crema makes a "cap" which helps keep flavors and aroma of the espresso contained within the cup.

Dark - roasting term meaning dark brown beans with a shiny surface. Equivalent to espresso or French roast.

Double – two shots of espresso

Drip – a regular brewed coffee

Dry – no foamed milk

Earthy - an odor taint in the coffee beans that produces a mineral-like taste sensation. Results when fats in the coffee beans absorb organic materials from the ground in the drying process during harvesting.

Espresso - A one-ounce shot of rich black coffee made and served immediately. It is created by pumping hot water through fine espresso grounds at high pressure.

Fair Trade Certified - Fair Trade raises incomes and living standards for small coffee farmers overseas. The organization promotes self-reliance and equality for farmers who are disadvantaged under present trading conditions.

Flavor - refers to the total impression of a drink’s aroma, acidity and body. Words that describe it include “chocolatey,” “nutty,” “winey,” “fruity,” “spicy,” “woody,” “earthy” and “smoky.”

French Roast - the bean is roasted high enough to bring the natural oil of the coffee to the surface, giving the cup a roasted flavor. Does not refer to beans from France.

Froth or Foam - steamed milk that has become thick and foamy.

Full – moderately strong drink

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Copyright © 2008 Kelsi Krieger

Please e-mail me with any questions or feedback at kak830@ufl.edu!