ACIDITY: Taste those high, thin notes, the dryness the coffee leaves at the back of your palate and under the edges of your tongue? This pleasant tartness, snap, or twist is what coffee people call acidity. It should be distinguished from sour, which in coffee terminology means an unpleasant sharpness. Sometimes referred to as brightness.
AROMA: The sensation of the gases released from brewed coffee, ranging from fruity to herby, as they are inhaled through the nose.
BALANCED: No one quality overwhelms all others, but there is enough complexity to arouse interest. A well-balanced coffee contains all the basic characteristics to the right extent.
BODY: The sense of heaviness, richness, and thickness at the back of the tongue when you swish the coffee around your mouth.
CLEAN: Without off-flavor.
DEPTH: Describes the resonance or sensual power behind the sensations that drives the taste of the coffee.
FLAVOR: The way that a coffee’s brightness, body, and aroma work together to create a pleasurable experience.
FRENCH ROAST: A roasting process that brings the coffee’s natural oils to the surface of the bean and causes the coffee to take on a roasted flavor.
NUTTY: An aromatic sensation reminiscent of roasted nuts.
ORGANIC: An organically-grown coffee must be certified by an international agency as having been grown without synthetic chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides.
RICHNESS: An interesting, satisfying fullness.
ROUNDNESS: A balanced coffee whose basic characteristics are just at the right level, with none particularly apparent, give the impression of a well-rounded taste.
SOFT: A secondary coffee taste sensation characterized by an absence of any predominant taste sensation on any part of the tongue, except for subtle dryness.
SWEET: A basic taste characterized by solutions of sugars, alcohols, glycols, and some amino acids that are tasted primarily the tip of the tongue.