Glossary of coffee

Alex | September 24, 2021

If you can’t tell your cortado from your cappuccino or your macchiato from your latte, we’re here to help. With so many different coffee types and terms out there, the world of coffee can feel quite overwhelming. That’s why we’ve put together a short A – Z of coffee terms to help. And while it’s not exhaustive, it’ll give you and your team the basics so you’re no longer bamboozled!

​​Acidity

Acidity is one of the main categories used by professional tasters to determine quality. As a rule, if coffee is highly acidic, it’ll likely have a vibrant and bright taste whilst low acidity can taste rather dull and flat.

Affogato

Traditionally known as “affogato al caffe”, affogato is an Italian coffee-based dessert. It’s simply a scoop of vanilla ice cream drowned with a shot of espresso. Delicious.

Americano

The Americano consists of just hot water and espresso. The ratio of these ingredients is typically either 1/2 and 1/2 or 1/3 espresso and 2/3 water. Mostly enjoyed black, although some people do add milk.

Arabica

Arabica is a type of coffee that makes up about 70% of the world’s coffee production. It is generally regarded as producing better tasting coffee. You can read more about the difference between Arabica and Robusta coffee in our blog.

Aroma

One of our favourite things about coffee is the aroma. It’s simply the fragrance that is produced by hot, freshly brewed coffee.

Barista

Someone with extensive coffee knowledge who prepares and serves your coffee. Our range of office coffee machines serves up premium barista-style drinks at work.

Blend

A mixture of two or more single-origin coffees that produce a balanced coffee flavour. You can shop our coffee here.

Cappuccino

A coffee classic. An espresso shot combined with foamed steamed milk to make a smooth milky coffee.

Cortado

Espresso topped with flat steamed milk originally from Spain.

Crema

The thick, caramel-coloured foam that sits on top of an espresso.

Espresso

Concentrated coffee that’s made when hot water is forced at pressure through fine coffee grounds made famous in Italy. A great choice of coffee that’ll help get you through the afternoon at work.

Extraction

The process of drawing flavour from coffee grounds. If coffee is under-extracted it will taste sour and over-extracted coffee will taste bitter.

Filter coffee

Filter coffee is just coffee made with a cone lined with filter paper giving a sediment-free, smooth refreshing cup of delicious coffee.

Flat white

A flat white is a very popular espresso-based drink topped with steamed milk.

Cafetiere

Also known as French Press, this is coffee made by steeping grounds with hot water in a glass jug with a plunger.

Latte

A long mild, milky drink made with espresso with steamed milk originating from Italy.

Macchiato

Espresso topped with just a very small amount of steamed milk.

Mocha

Espresso mixed with hot chocolate for those with a sweet tooth.

Ristretto

Espresso made with less water for a smaller, stronger coffee best served in a little demitasse cup.

Robusta

Robusta Coffee is made from the beans of the Coffea canephora plant and is mostly grown in West Africa, Indonesia, Vietnam and other parts of Southeast Asia. It makes up around 30% of the world’s production. Read more about Robusta coffee in our blog.

Single-origin

Coffee sourced from a particular country, region or farm.

V60

This is a coffee dripping system made in Japan. It sits over your cup with a filter paper inside. It’s a handy and simple way of making a great cup of coffee when you’re working from home.

Ask us anything!

Got a question about coffee? There’s not much we don’t know about coffee so we’re up to the challenge! If you’d like any information on coffee itself or you’re thinking about getting a coffee machine for your office, please just get in touch.