Mr. Coffee® Blog

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Coffee Terms and What They Mean

Coffee, java, joe - they're all terms you've become very familiar with. But as your love for the drink matures over time, you'll likely hear a coffee term or two that you're unsure of. Don't let this happen to you. Arm yourself with the knowledge you need to be a java professional. Brush up on these words so you're never in a position where you question the world's best drink.

A coffee's degree of tartness is referred to as its acidity. If your coffee is on the bitter side, it could be due to a number of factors, including bad coffee beans, a different kind of roast or just higher acidity levels.

Add ice cream to your coffee for an affogato.Add ice cream to your coffee for an affogato.

If you've ever wondered what heaven tasted like, it's affogato. The drink doubles as a dessert, and includes espresso and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This is where life peaks.

Cold Brew
Cold brew coffee is not the same as iced coffee. A true java lover knows the difference and has a clear favorite. While iced coffee is traditionally brewed, chilled and served over ice, cold brew doesn't use heat during extraction. Instead, the beans simply drown in water and the flavoring is extracted that way. As you can imagine, this takes longer to produce than standard iced coffee - but for some, it's well worth the wait.

Ever wonder what that creamy substance is on the top of your espresso? It's crema, and it can actually vary in color, from a pale brown to a deep red. When an espresso has a layer of crema, it's usually a sign that it's high quality.

The French term for a "half cup," a demitasse is a smaller, typically ceramic mug. They're commonly used to serve cappuccinos.

Direct Trade
The direct trade concept doesn't just affect meats and produce - it also spills into the world of coffee. Direct trade refers to the process of procuring beans straight from farms - not brokers or major corporations. Not only does this result in better working conditions for farmers, but it also improves the taste, as there's theoretically more care being put into each bean.

Here's another language lesson: "Doppio" is the Italian word for "double," referring to two shots of espresso. When someone asks for either, it basically means they need a lot of caffeine.

It's all in the froth.It's all in the froth.

That foamy goodness that's on your lattes and cappuccinos has a name, and it's called froth. It's made by heating milk to the perfect temperature, and no fancy drink is complete without it.

The process of turning a coffee bean into powder is grinding. Doing it on your own only takes a few extra minutes when you have the right equipment. Use the Blade Grinder with Chamber Maid Cleaning System to release the freshest flavor from your beans the moment you plan to drink a cup. Depending on the type of drink you're brewing, you'll need different sized grounds.

Soft Bean
If you're an advanced coffee drinker, you might want to drill down to the root of your favorite drink - literally. Soft beans refer to coffee beans that are grown at a low altitude and are usually less flavorful than hard beans, as they take less time to ripen. 

A tamper is the device you use with some coffee makers to pack grounds into the cup before pouring it into the device. 

Varietal Coffee
Opposite of what you might think, varietal coffee has very little variety in its beans. It's a term used to describe unblended coffee from one region.