Coffee Glossary

Are you confused by many of the terms coffee aficionados bandy about? Fear not as we’ve compiled this handy coffee glossary for you, meaning you’ll be speaking like a coffee pro in no time at all. We’ll be adding to this list regularly as and when we discover new words that the ‘average joe’ of coffee drinkers would be unfamiliar with.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

A

Americano

An americano is a diluted espresso in a 1:1 ratio – so a 30ml shot of espresso and 30ml of hot water water. Always add the espresso to the water and not the other way around, as this will preserve the crema.

B

C

Caffè

No, not a small shop that serves all day breakfasts – caffè is the Italian word for coffee and is therefore what an Italian would call an espresso.

Cappuccino

A cappuccino is a coffee made with one 30ml shot of espresso and 120ml of warm frothed milk. It is served in a 200ml cup and can optionally be dusted with high-quality cocoa powder. Read more in our guide on how to make the perfect cappuccino

Cold Brew

Simply a coffee that is made with cold water and steeped in the fridge for around 24 hours. It is then served cold with or without milk. The major benefit of making cold brew coffee is that it less acidic and bitter than standard coffee. Read more about how to make the perfect cold brew coffee in our guide.

Crema

Crema refers to the ‘Guinness like’ foamy top found on a good cup of espresso. It is formed as the first of the water is passed through the coffee grounds as is the light coloured liquid you will see initially. This liquid filters up through the darker coffee setting on top. A good crema is the hallmark of a good coffee and so is much revered in the coffee world.

D

E

Espresso

Espresso is the basis of pretty much every other coffee drink. It is a highly concentrated 30ml ‘shot’ of coffee, created by passing hot water through ground coffee beans at high pressure. As well as being the foundation of many other drinks it is also drank on its own.

F

G

H

I

J

Joe

Just a slang name for coffee. it comes from one Josephus Daniels who was secretary of the US Navy between 1913 and 1921. He wanted to add a strict morality to the Navy and among his tactics for doing so was the banning of alcohol. As such, naval officers turned to increased purchases of other drinks – particularly coffee. Therefore a cup of coffee was sarcastically referred to as a ‘cup of Josephus Daniels’, which eventually was shortened to a cup of Joe.

K

L

Latte

A latte is a very milky coffee, even milkier than a cappuccino. It is made by adding hot milk to an espresso in the ratio 3:1 – so that is one 30ml shot of espresso and 90ml of hot milk.

M

Macchiato

A macchiato is a single shot of espresso with a small amount of hot steamed milk added. Sometimes also referred to as a caffè macchiato or an espresso macchiato.

Mocha

A mocha is a chocolate coffee – made by adding 30ml of chocolate to a single 30ml shot of espresso and topping up with 15ml of steamed milk.

N

O

P

Q

R

S

T

Tamp

The action of pressing the ground beans down into the portafilter basket on an espresso machine prior to passing the water through. Creating a nice even tamp is important as when the water is passed through at high pressure, you want the water to pass through the coffee grounds uniformly. If it doesn’t then some grounds will be over-brewed and taste bitter and some will be under-brewed, leaving much of their flavour in the basket. Needless to say, this doesn’t result in a great cup of coffee.

U

V

W

X

Y

Z