Coffee Glossary


There is not only a lot to try and experience around the topic of coffee, but also a lot to know. That's why we have created a coffee glossary for you here. Coffee knowledge from A to Z, summarized in short points, so that you already know what you're talking about and can show off. And we will be adding new terms all the time. Have fun learning. (Don't by confused by the order of the words, they were arranged following the german inital letters of the word.)

A - B


In anaerobic processing, the coffee cherries are often placed whole (or beans and cherries separately) in hermetically sealed tanks. There they ferment for several days. The gases that are produced are released through a valve. Anaerobic processing gives the cup profile a fruity sweetness.


Aftertaste or finish. All terms are used to describe a coffee. This refers to the taste that remains on the tongue and behind the palate after a sip of coffee. It should be pleasant and stay in the mouth for a long time. It can be chocolatey, caramel, floral or even fruity.


Arabica is a type of coffee. It currently accounts for two thirds of the coffee traded on the world market. Arabica is grown in the highlands above 1,000 meters. This means that the beans grow more slowly than the Robusta variety. Compared to Robusta, Arabica usually has more fruity notes but less caffeine.


When green coffee is roasted, CO2 is produced, which collects in the beans, among other things. The beans release this gas over time. This is called outgassing. Depending on the degree of roasting, beans should outgas for different lengths of time after roasting before they reach their optimal potential for consumption. For dark roasts, this is around two weeks; the lighter the roast, the less time is needed.


The Arhuacos are an indigenous people from Colombia. They live in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in the north of the country and grow coffee there. All of the farmers completely avoid chemicals and work in harmony with nature. They founded the ANEI cooperative to sell their coffee. You can find this coffee in our blends, among others.


A blend is a mixture of different country coffees or different types of coffee, such as Arabica and Robusta. The aim of a blend is to create a specific and balanced cup profile and to have a fairly consistent coffee. You can find blends in our Wilderer, Wilde Milde, Bergsonne and others.


Borbonera is a coffee variety. Today it is basically called Bourbon. The use of the old name is intended to make it clear that the harvested beans also come from very old coffee plants. Our farmer friend Rodolfo Ruffatti often has Borbonera from plants that are more than 60 years old.

Brewing group

The brewing group is the heart of a portafilter machine. It is the transition from the boiler to the coffee powder. In single-circuit machines, it usually only consists of a riser pipe in the boiler, the solenoid valve and the brewing head including shower. In dual-circuit machines, the brewing group is the unit made up of the heat exchanger, valve and brewing head.

Bitter substances

Bitter substances are created during roasting due to heat-related protein breakdown or the dehydration of carbohydrates. Both processes occur before and during the Maillard reaction. If the coffee is too bitter, then it was usually roasted too short or too quickly, so that bitter substances are retained, or too hot, so that bitter notes arise due to burning on the surface of the beans.

Broca infestation

The Broca beetle or coffee cherry beetle is the worst animal enemy of the coffee plant. Hypothenemus hampei , as it is called in Latin, causes damage of around 500 million dollars every year. The beetles lay their eggs in the coffee cherries, up to 120 of them, and the hatching insects feed until there is nothing left of the bean or cherry.

C - D


The Chemex is a special brewing vessel for filter coffee, developed by the chemist Peter Schlumbohm in the 1940s. It is made of glass, wood and leather and looks like an Erlenmeyer flask. The Chemex is patented, has been on display in the Museum of Modern Arts in New York as the best design product since 1943 and is featured in the James Bond novel "From Russia with Love".


Caturra is an Arabica variety. It is a mutation of the Bourbon plant and is characterized by smaller beans and a more compact growth habit. Caturra plants are often more productive than Bourbon, but the flavor profile can be similar. You can often find this variety in coffees from Central America.


A cezve, also called ibriki/briki or srjep, is a small pot with a long handle and a pouring spout. The pot is specially designed for making mocha or Turkish coffee. Traditionally, the pot is made of brass or copper, sometimes gold or silver. Variations of "cezve" can also be found in Russian, Ukrainian and other languages.


Cascara is a tea made from coffee. Specifically from dried coffee cherries. Cascara can be prepared cold or warm (10 g coffee cherries to 500 ml water). The taste is rather light with fine, sweet nuances of honey and citrus fruits. The taste is often reminiscent of iced tea. Depending on the variety, cascara tea contains one eighth of the caffeine content of coffee.


For us, cupping is an important tool for quality control of specialty coffee and is part of everyday life in the roastery. During cupping, coarsely ground coffee is placed in glasses, hot water is poured over it and extracted for a certain period of time. The coffee is then tasted and evaluated based on various criteria such as aroma, taste, acidity and overall appearance.

Direct trading

Direct trade is particularly important to us. We already source over 85 percent of our green coffee this way. We contact the farmers or cooperatives directly, visit them and see for ourselves the cultivation and working conditions on site. This way we get high-quality coffee and the farmers get a higher price.


The quality of coffee is also indicated by defects. Grade 5 coffee has more than 86 full defects and is the worst quality. Standard coffee with grade 4 has between 24 and 85 defects. Grade 3 is called exchange coffee and has 9 to 23 full defects and other criteria. Grade 2 or premium coffee has a maximum of 8 full defects and a maximum of 3 quakers. Even fewer defects and quakers and you end up in grade 1 - specialty coffee!


The correct dosage of ground coffee and water has a major impact on the taste of your coffee. The dosage varies depending on the method of preparation. For filter coffee, 6 to 7 grams per 100 milliliters is suitable. For cold brew, it is 12.5 grams per 100 milliliters. There are certain guidelines that you can find on our website under "Coffee knowledge". However, these are only suggestions that you can change.

Dark roast

The roasting level of coffee can be roughly divided into light, medium and dark. This is analogous to filter preparation, omniroast and espresso. To be more precise, there are specific terms for the roasting levels. For dark roasts, these are Vienna Roast, French Roast and Italian Roast. Beans that are almost black roasted are sometimes called Sicilian roast.


Coffee dehydrates the body! No, coffee is 98 percent water and therefore cannot dehydrate. The caffeine does not dehydrate, but rather stimulates the metabolism. It is therefore absolutely safe to drink more than one cup of coffee a day. Nevertheless, you should also drink plenty of pure water, because you need a good two to three liters a day - and you shouldn't drink that much coffee.

E - F


Coffea excelsa is a type of coffee that has very little economic significance, with a market share of just 1 %. Excelsa plants grow even under difficult environmental conditions and the coffee made from their beans has a very aromatic taste that many coffee drinkers find difficult to get used to. The caffeine content is even higher than in Robusta beans.


Espresso comes from Italy. It is brewed from fine coffee grounds using high pressure and hot water. The process produces a concentrated coffee with a thick, hazelnut-brown layer of foam - the crema. Espresso is the basis for all milky coffee drinks. The beans for espresso are dark roasted.

E.A. Sugarcane

The EA Sugarcane process is used to extract caffeine from green coffee. The green coffee beans are made permeable with steam. They are then placed in a bath of ethyl acetate (EA), which comes from sugar cane. This liquid extracts the caffeine from the beans. The process is repeated several times over eight hours, then the beans are dried.


Decaf (or decaffeinated) refers to coffees from which the caffeine has been removed using various processes. A chemical process is often used to remove the caffeine from the green coffee using acid or alkaline baths. However, there are also natural processes, such as the EA Sugarcane process, which is healthy- and taste-friendly. Our decaffeinated coffee is decaffeinated using the EA Sugarcane process.


Even today, coffee harvesting is still mostly done by hand. This is because a cherry of any ripeness can be present on a bush and because coffee often grows in areas that are inaccessible to machines. Hand harvesting involves picking, which is carefully picking only ripe cherries, and stripping, where all cherries are stripped from a branch regardless of their ripeness.

Filter coffee

Filter coffee is one of the most popular methods of making coffee - whether with a filter machine or and manual filter. Although it is easy to prepare, excellent results can be achieved because it brings out a lot of flavors. This is why many coffee experts prefer filter coffee as their brewing method. We recommend 18 grams of coffee to 270 milliliters of water.


Floaters are defective coffee cherries. They are overripe coffee cherries, malformed with only one bean and an empty parchment shell, worm-eaten cherries with gas formation or late harvest beans that were not sorted out. Floaters are easy to recognize in washing separators because the float. There they are separated from the sinkers, the ripe and unripe cherries.

French Press

The French press is very popular, and no wonder, as it is very easy to use. Unlike other filter methods, the French press is equipped with a metal sieve. This means that the suspended particles, fats and oils contained in the coffee are retained during preparation. This gives you more body in the cup profile and your coffee tastes more nuanced.


Fermentation is an important step after the coffee cherries have been harvested. The classic processing methods are washed, natural and honey. However, experiments are also often carried out during fermentation. Therefore, there are now processing methods such as anaerobic, aerobic, Mosto also called Candy natural, with microorganisms, with lactic acid, carbonic maceration and many more.

First Crack

The first crack is the sound that can be heard from the roaster when the beans crack due to the heat and pressure. From this point on, the beans develop their aromas, the chlorogenic acid is steadily broken down and the sugar caramelizes. We never roast until the second crack, when the cell structure of the bean is broken. That would be too dark and undrinkable for an espresso. (This is our opinion)

G - H


Grading is the classification of coffee. Grading is carried out by Q-graders who have been specially trained for this purpose. Even though there is no universally valid grading system, many work with the system published by the SCA. Coffee is divided into 5 quality grades: 1 Specialty Coffee, 2 Premium Coffee, 3 Exchange Coffee, 4 Standard Coffee and 5 Off-grade Coffee.

Green coffee

Green coffee is nothing more than raw coffee. It is called green coffee because the beans actually have a slightly greenish color when raw. Green coffee is not necessarily suitable for drinking, but it is often used as a food supplement because of its ingredients. The brown color is created during roasting and some ingredients are reduced or lost completely.


Roasted coffee beans must be ground for brewing. Ideally, this should be done freshly each time before brewing. Depending on the method of preparation, the beans can be ground very finely or relatively coarsely. The rule of thumb is that the longer the coffee is in contact with water, the coarser the grind should be. For espresso, grind very finely and for the French press, grind very coarsely.


Even in hectic times today, coffee enjoyment should not be neglected. The slow coffee trend has developed in this way. Coffee is not (just) for a quick caffeine kick or to have something warm in the stomach. If you pay enough attention to the process and the drink, you are giving yourself enjoyment and a moment of deceleration from hectic everyday life.


Guatemala is a coffee-producing country in Central America. Coffee probably came to the country with monks in the 18th century. In Guatemala, Arabica is primarily cultivated, with the varieties Caturra and Bourbon. You can find coffee from Guatemala in our Hausespresso, Wilde Milde and Wildsau .

Honey processed

In this processing, the coffee cherries are sorted, freed from the pulp and then dried. This is done together with the mucilage, a thin layer of fruit pulp. The mucilage is sticky and its consistency is reminiscent of honey, which is not used in this method. This method is quite modern and gives the coffee a more pleasant acidity.


Especially these days, it is important to know where the coffee comes from. That is why many coffee roasters write the origin of the coffee, i.e. country, region and farm, on their packaging. This makes coffee production more transparent and increases the appreciation of the product. Often - especially with industrially produced coffee - it is not even possible to specify the exact origin.

Highland coffee

Highland coffee is the name given to coffee that grows at altitudes of over 1,500 m. Due to the altitude, the coffee grows and ripens more slowly, which is why it is said to have a mild and balanced aroma. The most well-known highland regions include Ethiopia, Colombia and Costa Rica. But highland coffee is also grown in Asia, the Caribbean and Hawaii. But lowland coffee also exists in the best quality.

Moka pot

A popular preparation method from Italy. The moka pot or espresso maker or Bialetti makes a strong coffee with chocolate notes and a full-bodied taste with a pleasant body. However, it is not a real espresso, as the moka pot can only reach 1.5 bar. There are also newer models with a pressure valve that reach higher pressure but not as high as a portafilter machine.


Hydrolysis is part of the coffee preparation process. In this chemical reaction, the particles created during extraction break down further into water-soluble protein and sugar. Hydrolysis ensures that the flavors from the bean pass into the water. Hydrolysis therefore brings the aromas and full-bodied flavor to your coffee.

I - J

Italian roasting

The Italian roasting takes place at a good 245 degrees Celsius. This creates an intense dark brown with pronounced roasted aromas. The coffee oil can sometimes already escape from the beans and collect on their surface, which makes the beans shine. Some people like Italian roasts, but we don't roast our coffees - including espressos - that dark.


The most important ingredients of coffee (in beans) are caffeine, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, acids and alkaloids. The beans also contain vitamin B2, niacin, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6 as well as potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. There are also around 800 aromatic substances in the beans. Many of these substances are broken down during roasting, and many end up in the drink. The good news is that black coffee only has 2 calories per 100 ml.


The abbreviation stands for International Coffee Organization. This uses the "indicator price" to provide information about changing coffee prices on the world market. This index is made up of the following: Colombian Milds, Other Milds, Brazilian Naturals and Robustas. The "indicator price" is one of the most important reference prices in the coffee industry worldwide.

Industrial roasting

Coffee that is roasted industrially is roasted at high temperatures of around 600 degrees Celsius for a time between 2 and 4 minutes. The beans are immediately "quenched" or cooled with water after the roasting process, otherwise the beans would continue to roast - until they eventually burn. We roast our coffee artisanally, at lower temperatures, with more time and we cool them with air after roasting.

Instant coffee

Today, instant coffee is usually understood to mean soluble coffee. This is basically produced in the same way as filter coffee. The only difference is that the processes used extract more ingredients from the powder. The liquid is then clarified, concentrated and dried. The remaining powder can easily be dissolved in hot water. The quality of instant coffee depends fundamentally on the quality of the coffee used to produce it.


Coffee sacks are often made of jute or sisal. The standard size for coffee sacks is 60 or 69 kilograms. In the past, the green coffee was only packed in jute sacks, but today an inner sack made of food-safe plastic is often used. The sacks contain information on the country of manufacture, the exporter and the year of production, among other things.


Yemen is one of the oldest coffee-producing countries. Coffee probably came to Yemen in the 14th century through slave traders. Coffee cultivation then gave Arabia a monopoly role. The trading center was the Yemeni port city of Mocha, also known as Mokka. Even today, there are still very fine and sought-after Yemeni coffees such as the Yemen Mattari.

Jacu Coffee

This is bird coffee from Brazil. It is one of the "luxury coffees" in the world. The wild Jacu bird eats the ripest cherries from the coffee plant and digests everything except the coffee beans, which it excretes. These then are collected, washed and roasted to make coffee. The price of the coffee is high because the amount available depends on the appetite and digestive organ of the Jacu bird.

Jamaica Blue Mountain

And another luxury coffee in the world. It grows in the Blue Mountains in Jamaica between 900 and 1,700 meters. The cool climate there means the coffee cherries ripen particularly slowly, and the cultivation area is only 6,000 hectares. These and other factors bring the market price for a kilogram of this coffee to just over 100 dollars.

Jackson 2/1257

The rather unusual name Jackson 2/1257 is the name of an Arabica variety. It is from the Bourbon-Typica group and is considered to be very strong and highly productive. The variety is often found in Rwanda and Burundi. It has large beans, grows well at medium to high altitudes and achieves a good cup profile.

K - L

Coffee rust

Hemileia vastatrix is ​​a rust fungus that attacks coffee plants and causes leaf rust. This is the most economically important disease in the coffee industry. Originally it was only found in Africa, but since the beginning of 1900 at the latest it has been found all over the world. A coffee rust infection can affect 30 to 80 % of the plants and can even lead to complete crop failure.


Some stories assume that coffee was discovered in the Kingdom of Kaffa, others assume it was in Abyssinia. What is certain is that both are in Ethiopia. Nevertheless, the province of Kaffa is sometimes considered to be the namesake of coffee. According to historians, however, this more likely comes from the Arabic word "Kachve" and means "giving strength".

Kopi Luwak

This is a questionable "luxury coffee". Kopi Luwak is produced when the palm civet (or civet cat) in Indonesia eats the coffee cherries and then the excreted and washed beans, which have been fermented in the intestinal tract, are roasted to make coffee. It is doubtful whether the coffee is really better than others and because many locals have started to catch civet cats due to the high demand, keep them inappropriately and only feed them coffee cherries.


The term body describes the physical properties of coffee. Let's say the mouthfeel, the viscosity of the drink and things like that. For solid food, you would say texture. The body describes the interaction of components such as acids, oils, proteins and fiber and is also evaluated in cuppings: the body can be thin, watery, syrupy, heavy or buttery.


The coffee plant produces caffeine as a defense against pests. This substance has an invigorating effect on humans. 400 mg of caffeine per day should normally be the maximum for an adult. This corresponds to about 5 cups of filter coffee or 12 espressos. Those who consume more do not have to worry about negative effects, but should also take caffeine-free days.


Coffea Liberica is a type of coffee, along with Robusta and Arabica. Its habitat is the forests of Liberia and the Ivory Coast, it looks lush and its fruits are large. Liberica is considered to be particularly pest-resistant. That is why it had a heyday in the 1980s, when leaf rust was raging around the world. Today, the variety accounts for just under 1 percent of the world market.

Long-term roasting

Long-term roasting is the opposite of industrial roasting. In the artisanal method, the beans are roasted at lower temperatures between 190 and 240 degrees for a good 15 to 20 minutes. The beans are then air-cooled so that they do not continue to roast. During long-term roasting, the harmful chlorogenic acid is broken down and the aromas of the beans are better brought out.


The lungo is a variation of espresso. More water is used to brew it than for a normal espresso, but the same amount of coffee powder is used. This means that the water has longer contact with the coffee powder and this brings out aromas in the powder, which does not happen with a normal espresso. A lungo should not be confused with an Americano, where an espresso is lengthened with the same amount of water.


Lorke is another German name for flower coffee (Blümchenkaffee), which in turn is a term for a very thinly brewed coffee. Flower coffee probably originated in Saxony in the 19th century. At that time, the Meissen porcelain factory had a series of cups called "scattered flowers". This term was developed because the flowers on the bottom of the cup could be seen through the very thin coffee.

Latte Art

Latte art is the art of every good barista. It is artistic decorations in the milk foam that make every cappuccino, flat white or cortado a real eye-catcher. Fresh cow's milk with a high fat and protein content is best for latte art. Long-life milk tastes a little more bitter in comparison. Oatly Barista Edition is a good vegan alternative.

M - N

Maillard reaction

This reaction is named after the French scientist Louis Camille Maillard. It is a non-enzymatic browning reaction that occurs when food is fried or roasted. Amino acids, peptides and proteins are combined with reducing compounds under the influence of heat to form new compounds. This reaction creates the popular aromas and typical coffee taste in roasted coffee.


It is also called the elephant bean because it is the largest coffee bean found. It was discovered in 1876 in Brazil near the town of Maragojipe. It is very low in acid, easy to digest and gentle on the stomach. It grows up to 24 millimeters long, which is a good 30 to 40 percent larger than conventional Arabica varieties. It is a cross between Arabica and Liberica.


This is a layer containing sugar and pectin that surrounds the coffee bean. This layer is used primarily in honey processing. When dried, the mucilage sticks the beans together in such a way that it looks as if someone had poured honey on them. Coffee processed in this way can be clearer or more complex, finer or more intense in the cup.

Grinding degree

The right grind size has a significant impact on your cup profile. If coffee is ground too finely for the chosen preparation method, it will be over-extracted and bitter. If it is ground too coarsely, it will be under-extracted and thin. The rule of thumb is: the longer the coffee is in contact with water, the coarser it needs to be ground.


A microlot is the cultivation of a variety on a very small lot, i.e. area. The coffee is given particularly intensive care and only perfectly ripe cherries, picked by hand, are harvested. Microlot coffees usually achieve an exceptionally good quality and are popular among connoisseurs. There are now also nanolots, which are even smaller.


Mikron ist dasselbe wie Mikrometer und gibt so mit eine Größeneinheit an. Der begriff wird vor allem in der Elektronik und Technik verwendet, kommt aber auch beim Kaffee ins Spiel. Da Mikron genauer ist als zu sagen "Stufe 3", da das ja von Mühle zu Mühle unterschiedlich ist. Espresso sollte bei circa 250 Mikron liegen, Filterkaffee hingegen zwischen 500 und 700 Mikron.


Natural is the oldest method of processing green coffee. The cherries are dried whole. This happens on the floor or on so-called African beds. To avoid mold or fermentation, the cherries are turned several times. The process is finished after two to five weeks. Natural coffee tastes delicately sweet, but still clear.

Neapolitan pot

This pot is also called Cuccumella. As the name suggests, it comes from Naples. Coffee made from this pot is similar to coffee made from a moka pot. What is special, however, is that the pot is upside down. When the water in the lower part is boiling, you turn the pot over and let the water drip through the coffee grounds in the metal sieve. This can take a few minutes.


Coffee also contains minerals and vitamins, such as niacin. Niacin is a water-soluble vitamin from the B group and plays a key role in the synthesis and breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. In addition, niacin is important for the repair of DNA in cells, cell division and the immune system. One cup of coffee contains a tenth of the daily niacin requirement.


Coffee cannot be 100 percent sustainable due to its origins in distant countries. However, it is important to work as sustainably as possible in the countries where it is grown and in the roasting plant. This includes organic farming, direct trade, good working conditions and the reuse of packaging and waste. For example, the silver skins that are left over from roasting are used to produce biogas in the Garmisch-Partenkirchen organic waste recycling plant.


And another coffee variety with a beautiful name: Nyasaland. The Arabica variety is descended from Typica and was brought from Jamaica to Nyasaland, Malawi, in the late 1800s. Until 1891, Malawi had a flourishing coffee industry, but it eventually declined due to the hot climate and the high incidence of pests. The variety still exists, it has a good cup profile but is susceptible to serious diseases. It is mostly used by small farmers in Uganda.

O - P

Organic Farming

Organic farming refers to the production of food based on certain methods that focus primarily on sustainability and closed material cycles. Only coffee beans that have been cultivated according to organic farming guidelines find their way to our roastery.


There are oils in the coffee bean. These water-soluble oils are formed during roasting and serve as carriers of the typical aroma and flavor. These oils are good as long as they stay in the bean. If beans are roasted too much, the oil comes out and burns. In our opinion, oily coffee beans are completely over-roasted. Robusta has a lower oil content than Arabica.


The Obermayer is a Viennese coffee house speciality. It is a double mocha with very cold liquid cream or Obers (how cream is called in Austria) added using an upside down coffee spoon. The Obermayer must be served and drunk quickly due to the temperature differences. The name probably comes from a certain Obermayer of the Vienna Philharmonic, who always ordered his coffee this way.

Oxalic acid

Oxalic acid is an organic acid that is found in various foods such as beetroot, spinach and rhubarb. In large quantities, oxalic acid can be harmful: it binds to calcium and magnesium in the body and can increase the formation of kidney and bladder stones. Oxalic acid is also found in coffee, but in smaller quantities than in spinach or beetroot. In comparison, Arabica varieties have less oxalic acid than Robusta varieties.


Obata or Obata Red is a high-yielding, rust-resistant Brazilian Arabica variety introduced to Costa Rica in 2014. It is a cross between Timor Hybrid 832/2 and Villa Sarchi. It has large beans, a good cup profile and likes to grow in low and medium altitudes.


Peaberries are created by chance. There is only one small round coffee bean in the cherry, instead of the normal flattened double bean. This happens when only one of the two intended cells for fertilization is fertilized. Peaberries occur in all varieties and sometimes make up to 10 % of the harvest.


Picking is the most laborious way of harvesting coffee cherries. Only the ripe cherries are picked by hand from the branch. This harvesting method guarantees the highest quality of the green coffee that will be produced. The other common methods are stripping and mechanical harvesting.

Parchment skin

The coffee cherry has seven layers. The outermost layer is the fruit skin, the innermost layer is the bean and the middle layer. The beans are surrounded by other layers, such as the silver skin and the parchment skin. If the beans still have the parchment skin around them when sold, it is called parchment coffee. However, this skin is usually removed before export.

Pour Over

This is the name given to hand-brewing methods for coffee. Ground coffee is poured over with water and this creates filter coffee - it's that simple. In general, fewer bitter substances are released from the coffee grounds when the coffee is filtered manually. At the same time, the aromas contained in the coffee can develop optimally. This is why hand-filtering has experienced a renaissance in the course of the Third Coffee Wave.


The pH value indicates the acidic or basic character of water. The scale goes from 0 to 14. At the lower end is the base, at the upper end is the acid. Water intended for human consumption should have a pH value of 6 to 8. The middle, 7, is optimal for coffee. The hardness of the water is also important for coffee.

Q - R


Quimbaya is a town in the Colombian province of Quindio, located in the Eje Cafetero, the coffee-growing region. The name comes from the pre-Columbian Quimbaya culture, which became famous for its goldsmithing. The town is located at 1,425 meters and has a mostly foggy, relatively cool climate with temperatures between 17 and 27 degrees Celsius, making the place ideal for growing coffee.


A Quaker is an underdeveloped coffee bean that cannot be roasted. Due to pest infestation or because the cherry was picked unripe, not enough amino acids and sugar have developed in the bean. This means that no Maillard reaction takes place when roasting Quaker. If there are too many Quakers in the roasted coffee, they have a negative effect on the taste of the drink.


The Q-grader is the sommelier of coffee. The training is carried out by the Coffee Quality Institute. Q-graders evaluate green and roasted coffee. There are currently around 8,500 Q-graders worldwide: 43 in Germany, 74 in Switzerland and 7 in Austria. Certification is valid for 36 months and then has to be renewed. There are now also evaluations for Robusta coffee, where the examiners call themselves R-graders.


The quality of green coffee is determined by Q-graders. They evaluate the coffee based on globally valid criteria such as acidity, body, aroma and taste. Each criterion is given 6 to 10 points. A coffee with 80 points or more is a specialty coffee, and with over 90 points it is an excellent specialty coffee.


This is the English term for cooling the coffee beans immediately after they come out of the roaster in order to abruptly stop the roasting process. Quenching can be done with either air or water. Water is usually used in large industrial roasting operations, while air is used in smaller roasting plants that roast by hand.

Yield (Rendement)

In the coffee world, yield (rendement) refers to how many kilograms of cherries are needed for one kilogram of green coffee. The ratios for yield are: Arabica 4 to 7, Robusta 2.5 to 4 and Liberica 8 to 12.5. The number means how many kilograms of cherries are needed for one kilogram of green coffee. For Arabica, this is between 4 and 7 kilograms of cherries.


Robusta, or Coffea Canephora, is, alongside Arabica, the most important type of coffee on the world market. It accounts for a third of the coffee traded on the world market. It grows at lower altitudes, for example, and is therefore exposed to more pests. Robusta can tolerate more heat than Arabica, with an ideal temperature of 22 to 30 degrees. It also needs and tolerates more water.

Roasting level

When it comes to roasted coffee, a distinction is generally made between light, medium and dark roasts. The latter are also often called espresso roasts, while medium roasts are often called omniroasts. Light roasts are particularly suitable for preparation using (manual) filter methods. All of our roasts - even the dark ones - are a little lighter than from others.


Ristretto is another variant of espresso. But compared to lungo, which uses twice as much water for the same amount of ground coffee, ristretto only uses about half as much water as espresso for the same amount of coffee. This makes it even more aromatic and intense. A ristretto has about 15 to 20 milliliters.


Coffee from Rwanda is among the best in the world. The fine floral and fruity notes make the coffee so special. We also have coffee from Rwanda, which we have been buying directly from Eric Wright's social project Community Coffee Rwanda for many years. Our Rwanda Umusazi is particularly special with notes of tropical fruits.

S - T


This is the name given to the size classification of coffee beans. The beans are placed in sieves, so-called screens, with different hole sizes. The screens are stacked on top of each other and then shaken. If the hole is too small, the bean no longer falls through and defines its size this way. The most common bean size is between 15 and 18. In total, there are sizes 8 to 22. One size step corresponds to a 64th of an inch.


Stinkers or stinker beans are called that because they are coffee beans that give off an unpleasant smell. They smell rotten and a single bean can spoil an entire roasted batch. A stinker occurs when a bean is forgotten in the pulper or fermentation tank and is over-fermented.

Single Origin

Single origin refers to the beans for a coffee that come from just one country, one region or even just one farm. Nowadays, this also applies when they come from a micro or nano lot. Specialty coffee is usually single origin. The advantages are specific taste differences between different growing regions and varieties. The disadvantages are that single origins are not always available and do not taste the same every year.

Specialty Coffee

Coffees that have been rated by the Q-graders with more than 80 points can be called specialty coffees. This means that they are of particularly high quality. For example, we only buy coffee that has received 85 points or more for our specialty coffees. Specialty coffees are usually lightly roasted in order to preserve the fruity aromas in the bean.


A difficult topic for coffee drinkers. Fruity aromas in coffee are often perceived as acidic. But there are also coffees that really contain too much acid and we don't like those either. Telling the difference takes some time, practice and many cups of different coffees. If you don't like fruitiness (acidity), you should go for dark roasts.


The brewing temperature for coffee plays an important role for the taste in the cup. If the brewing water is too hot, the aromas will burn; if it is too cold, the coffee will be sour. The optimal brewing temperature for (almost) all methods is between 89 and 95 degrees. Within this range, you can and should experiment to find what tastes best to you. The only exception is cold brew, which is "brewed" at refrigerator temperature.


An indispensable tool for anyone who makes their coffee with a portafilter machine. The tamper compresses the ground coffee in the filter so that it can be extracted optimally. A little practice is needed, because if you tamper incorrectly, you risk channeling and over- or under-extraction. An approximate guideline for the force when tamping is 15 KG.

Third Coffee Wave

The third coffee wave is a trend that no longer sees coffee as just a product. This attitude stands for the production and consumption of high-quality coffee and the appreciation of the producers. Origin, variety, fair and sustainable cultivation and similar factors are important for consumers. The coffee movement emerged in the USA in the mid-1990s.

Turkish coffee

Mocha or Turkish coffee is a coffee drink that is traditionally made in a pot (cezve, ibrik). Finely ground coffee and cold water are placed in the pot. This is then heated in a bed of sand, in the embers of a fireplace or on the stove. Before the invention of the coffee filter, all coffee was a mocha. With a mocha, you always have some coffee grounds in the cup.


Coffea Arabica Typica. One of the oldest Arabica varieties in the world. It is a large variety characterized by very low production, susceptibility to the most important diseases and good cup quality. The Typica group, like all Arabica coffees, is said to originate from southwest Ethiopia. Due to its susceptibility to diseases, it has already been replaced in many growing areas by more resistant varieties.

U - V


These are unripe coffee beans that have not been sorted out. Undermatures give the coffee a heavy body and grassy aromas. When roasted, they do not darken like the other beans and are therefore always a little lighter. After roasting, they often smell of peanuts and are therefore also called "peanuts".

Environmental balance

In general, the environmental impact of coffee is not what you would call sustainable. It still comes from faraway countries and has to be transported long distances. A lot of water is also used to produce coffee beans. Bean coffee, especially filter coffee, has the best environmental impact. No high-tech waste is created by the necessary machines and much less waste is produced compared to capsules or pads.

Country of origin

The original country of origin of coffee is generally believed to be Ethiopia. Today, coffee is grown in around 90 countries around the world. The country of origin is now the country from which the coffee comes. The top countries of origin (in terms of quantity produced) are Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia and India. High-quality coffee can come from any of the 90 countries.


Over-extraction, like under-extraction, is not good for your cup of coffee. Over-extraction removes too many aromas from the coffee beans and your drink tastes bitter and strong. The optimal extraction range is between 18 and 22 % of the aromas. Anything above this is over-extraction. This usually occurs because the coffee grounds have been in contact with water for too long or have been ground too finely for the duration. Anything below 18 % is called under-extraction.


Great coffee also comes from Uganda. Coffee accounts for a good 50 percent of total export earnings. Coffee from Uganda has a strong flavor of its own that clearly sets it apart from the coffee from its neighboring countries. The fruity note that is characteristic of African beans can also be found here. The Ugandan Robusta in particular impresses with its great aroma, lack of acidity and good flavor.


Since 2007, V60 has meant optimal coffee brewing with a manual filter. The Japanese manufacturer Hario developed this dripper: The V stands for the V-shape and 60 for the 60-degree angle. In addition, the filter has only one large opening at the bottom instead of several small ones, which is intended to optimize the water flow. This design is intended to give the coffee more depth and is popular with many coffee lovers.

Fully automatic

The fully automatic coffee machine is a coffee machine that can be found in many households in Germany. Hardliners say that is not making coffee, but experts say that fully automatic machines can also produce good coffee: it always depends on the beans used and the quality of the machine. The advantages of a fully automatic machine are the many different coffee specialties that can be prepared. It is important to look after the machines and clean them regularly.

Brew Ratio

This refers to the ratio between water and ground coffee, also known as the brew ratio. The ratio indicates how many grams of ground coffee are needed for how many milliliters of water so that the final drink tastes good. For filter coffee, the recommendation is 1:15 to 1:17, for espresso, 1:2 to 1:3.5. However, these are only guidelines that you can change yourself - depending on what you like best.

Volcanic soil

Volcanic soil is great for growing coffee plants. The soils have a mineral richness that promotes deep root growth and complex flavors. In addition, volcanic soil has optimal water retention and drainage capacity. Coffee grown on volcanic soil is often low in acid and develops a rich flavor with smooth nuances.


There are about 125 varieties of coffee in the world. Most are Arabica, followed by Robusta. These different varieties have evolved naturally or have been bred by farmers to be more resistant to diseases and pests and to produce higher yields. Bourbon, Typica, Heirloom are some of the oldest varieties.

W - X


Washed is a classic method of processing coffee. The floating cherries are first sorted out in a basin, the others are sent through the pulper, which separates the pulp and the coffee bean. The beans are then washed again in the basin until the mucilage is also removed. After that, they are washed again and then the beans are dried in the sun.

Water hardness

The hardness of the water has a massive influence on the taste of the coffee. The Specialty Coffee Association has even issued guidelines for water: The water hardness must be between 50 and 175 ppm CaCO3. In words: Water hardness (on the german water scale) between 2 and 4 is good for filter coffee, between 3 and 6 is good for espresso. The harder, i.e. more calcareous, the water is, the less fruity and aromatic your coffee will be.

White beans

White beans or "glassy beans" are a defect in coffee. These defects occur when the coffee beans are not completely dried or absorb water again after drying. These coffee beans lack acid, they have little aroma and only a very small, weak body. Black beans also have a defect, but this is caused by fungal infection.

Wildkaffee/wild coffee

That's us, named after our founders, whose last name is Wild. But there is also coffee that is called wild coffee. This is the name given to original, uncultivated coffee that grows wild in the rainforest. It is mostly found in Africa, especially in Ethiopia, Madagascar and the Congo. Wild coffee is also differentiated: for example with terms such as "garden" and "forest".

Viennese roast

The Viennese roast is a level of roasting. It is a fairly strong and dark roast that definitely goes as far as the "second crack". At this point, the coffee beans have taken on a dark brown color and are starting to shine as the coffee oil comes out. The Viennese roast is not yet as dark as the Italian roast, however. The French roast is also in between the two.


Xanthine is a group of chemical substances. One of these is caffeine. Caffeine is a triply methylated xanthine. Theophylline is only doubly methylated and is also used in medicines, especially in the treatment of respiratory diseases. Theophylline is indispensable in the treatment of bronchial asthma and COPD, especially since it has been proven to have an anti-inflammatory effect.

Xanh lun

Xanh lun is a Robusta variety. It is compact and very productive. The variety offers high quality, relative drought tolerance and is late ripening. The mother tree of this variety comes from a farm in Bao Lam district, Lam Dong province, in the central highlands of Vietnam. It is a fairly young variety and only received official variety approval in 2021.


Xylitol, or birch sugar, is a sweetener that was discovered in the 1970s. Xylitol looks like household sugar, tastes like it, but has a good 40 percent fewer calories. We don't think there should be any sweeteners in your coffee, but if there are, then it's better to have fewer calories, right?

X in Expresso

You have to improvise with the X. So X as in Expresso. All coffee lovers will probably start a heated discussion now. But it's actually quite simple: the drink is originally called Espresso with an S. But there are also some language areas that handle this differently - mainly for linguistic reasons: Spain, Portugal and Romania, for example. There it is called Expreso, Expresso and Expres.

Cafe X

Café X are AI-supported, autonomous robot coffee bars. They were developed by Cafe X Technologies. They can be found at the San Francisco airport, the Museum of Future in Dubai, the Tesla Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg and at several locations in Texas, Arkansas and Kansas, Ohio and California.



Yirgacheffe is a coffee growing region in the south of Ethiopia. It is one of the best growing regions in the world. Coffee from Yirgacheffe grows at an altitude of over 2,000 meters in nutrient-rich soil and in a good high-altitude climate. This makes the coffee particularly fruity and spicy and is one of the best in the world.


Yakumama is the name of a coffee from Peru. Yakumama is a cooperative of around 200 small farmers in the Cajamarca region. Yakumama means "mother of water" in Quechua and refers to a giant snake that supposedly lives in the Amazon rainforest. For the Incas, Yakumama was a goddess and the mother of all aquatic creatures.

Yamanaka Sangyo

Yamanaka-Sangyo is a Japanese company that produces disposable paper filters, among other things. In the 1990s, however, the company developed and patented coffee drip bags. However, the bag could not bear the weight of the moist coffee powder, which is why this version was not a commercial success. Success only came in 1998, when the Daji Corporation further developed the drip bags with a cup holder.

Yemen Mattari

A particularly popular premium coffee. It is said that the professional cultivation of coffee began in the Mattari area. When Yemen became big with the export of coffee in the 15th century, the province of Bani Matar was the place where coffee was grown. The best coffees from Yemen still come from Bani Mattar and are therefore called "Mattari".


The Yanesha are an indigenous people in Peru who live very closely connected to nature and their land. Plants, including coffee, are considered to have a soul in their culture and are worshipped as nature deities. Many of the coffee plants that the Yanesha cultivate simply grow in wild forest areas.

Method of preparation

There are many different ways to prepare coffee. In Germany, the most popular are fully automatic machines, filter machines and, unfortunately, capsule or pad machines. As part of the third coffee wave, preparation using a manual filter is becoming popular again. There are also many traditional methods, such as crushed roasted coffee in clay bowls, or experimental methods using laboratory equipment and nitrogen. There are also portafilter machines, Chemex, moka pots, French presses and many more.


Sugar is still often used in coffee. We say leave it out. On the one hand, it's much healthier and on the other, the coffee really tastes like coffee. If you really want to sweeten your coffee, there are at least a few alternatives to white industrial sugar: muscovado sugar, xylitol, honey. Nevertheless, all of the ingredients massively change the real taste of coffee.

Chicory coffee

Substitute coffee or muckefuck was made from chicory roots, among other things. These are the roots of the common chicory. The use of the plant as a coffee substitute began around 1680 in Central Europe. Substitute coffee was made from many things, including barley, malt, acorns, beech nuts or dandelion roots.

Civet cat

The civet is a species of civet cat from Indonesia. The animals like to eat coffee cherries. It was long assumed that Kopi Luwak was made from coffee beans digested by civet cats. However, the palm civet, also a species of civet cat, is responsible for Kopi Luwak. And in this case too, the coffee beans have to go through the entire digestive tract.


Certifications such as organic and fair trade are important for coffee buyers. However, many coffee farmers, especially small ones, find certification a burden. This is because it costs a lot of money: around 3,000 euros for an initial certification. And similarly high fees are then charged annually.

Everything you always wanted to know about coffee. In a nutshell, without having to read lengthy blog posts. If you want to find out more about these terms, you will always find exciting topics described in detail in our blog . And if you just want to quickly know what anaerobic or civet means in connection with coffee, then you are in the right place here in the coffee glossary. Coffee knowledge from A to Z, for your pocket, for newbies and connoisseurs.