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Understanding Coffee Terms That May Still Be Unfamiliar

Admin BFI
16 October 2023
Understanding Coffee Terms That May Still Be Unfamiliar

Coffee is not only a morning pick-me-up but has also become a lifestyle. Coupled with the rapidly growing coffee culture, especially among coffee enthusiasts, when you step into a coffee shop or look at a coffee menu at a restaurant, you often encounter various terms that may still be unfamiliar to some people. In this article, you will get to know some coffee terms that might not be so familiar, and learn about the differences between the types of coffee you frequently come across.


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1. Unfamiliar Coffee Terms

1.1 Acidity

When you hear the word "acid," you might not immediately associate it with coffee. However, in the world of coffee, acidity is a term that refers to the level of acidity in coffee beans. This acidity gives coffee a fresh and lively taste. It's not like the acidity in oranges but more related to characteristics such as fruity, floral, or bright notes that can be tasted in a cup of coffee. High acidity levels are often associated with coffee from specific regions, such as Ethiopia, known for its acidic flavor profile.


1.2 Cupping

Cupping is a term used to describe the process of assessing and testing coffee. It's a method used by coffee professionals to evaluate the quality, taste, and aroma of coffee. The cupping process involves visual assessment, aroma evaluation, and tasting of the coffee. Evaluators will sample coffee using a specific method, often slurping it quickly and spreading it across the palate to assess different flavors.


1.3 Manual Brew

Manual brew is a term that refers to the process of making coffee by hand, typically without the use of an espresso machine. Manual brew methods include the French press, pour-over, AeroPress, and others. The uniqueness of manual brew is that it gives you full control over the coffee-making process, from water temperature and flow rate to the contact time between water and coffee. This allows you to produce a cup of coffee with characteristics that match your preferences.


1.4 Full Wash

Full wash is a term commonly used in the context of coffee bean processing. This method involves separating the fruit skin (pulp) from the coffee beans after the drying process. The coffee beans, once separated from the pulp, undergo a wet fermentation process to remove the mucilage that clings to the beans. The result is clean, mucilage-free coffee beans that are ready for roasting. The full wash process often yields coffee with high acidity levels and a clean taste.


1.5 Single Origin

Single origin is a term indicating that coffee beans come from a specific region or country. In contrast to coffee blends that consist of beans from various regions, single origin allows coffee enthusiasts to explore the flavor characteristics of coffee from a particular area. For example, single origin Ethiopian coffee will have different characteristics from single origin Colombian coffee. Coffee enthusiasts often seek out single origin coffees to explore various unique flavors and aromas from different regions.


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2. Types of Coffee and Their Differences

In addition to the terms mentioned above, you often hear about various types of coffee. What are the actual differences between Espresso, Cappuccino, Latte, and Mochaccino?


2.1 Espresso

Espresso is the foundation of almost all coffee beverages. It's a highly concentrated coffee made by forcing hot water through finely ground coffee beans under high pressure. Espresso is typically served in a small cup and has an intense flavor. It serves as the base for coffee drinks such as Cappuccino, Latte, and Mochaccino.


2.2 Cappuccino

Cappuccino is a coffee drink made from espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam. The ratio between espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam is the key to a perfect Cappuccino. Cappuccino has a rich flavor and is usually served in a small cup or glass.


2.3 Latte

Latte is a coffee drink consisting of espresso and steamed milk. The main difference between Latte and Cappuccino is that Latte has more milk and less milk foam. This makes it have a lighter coffee flavor and more creaminess from the milk.


2.4 Mochaccino

Mochaccino is a sweeter coffee variation made from a mixture of espresso, steamed milk, chocolate, and often topped with whipped cream. It's a drink for coffee lovers who also enjoy chocolate in their coffee.


3. Coffee Types in Indonesia

Indonesia is one of the world's largest coffee producers, with various types of coffee known worldwide. Here are some of the standout coffee types from Indonesia:


3.1 Kopi Luwak

Kopi Luwak is one of the most famous and unique coffees in Indonesia. It's known for its unique processing method. Coffee cherries are consumed by civet animals (Luwak), then fermented in the animal's stomach, and the beans are excreted as Luwak feces. The collected beans are then washed, roasted, and ground into coffee. The fermentation process in the Luwak's stomach is claimed to give this coffee a unique taste with caramel notes and reduced acidity. While Kopi Luwak is renowned, its production is limited, and it comes with a high price.


3.2 Kopi Gayo

Kopi Gayo originates from the Gayo region in Aceh, North Sumatra. Kopi Gayo is known for its distinctive taste, with herbal, chocolate, and slight sweetness notes. Kopi Gayo is typically medium roasted to bring out its unique natural flavors. Its high quality has gained international recognition, making it one of the best coffees from Indonesia.


3.3 Kopi Flores

Kopi Flores is grown on the island of Flores, East Nusa Tenggara. This coffee has varying taste characteristics depending on the region. Kopi Flores often has sweet and fruity flavors with balanced acidity. Some Kopi Flores varieties also have delightful spicy notes. It's known for its consistent quality and is a favorite among coffee enthusiasts.


3.4 Kopi Java

Kopi Java is one of the most historical coffees in Indonesia. Its history dates back to the Dutch colonial period in Java, Indonesia. This coffee has a light to medium body with gentle acidity. Usually, Kopi Java is served with a medium roast to reveal its classic flavor profile. Despite its association with the island of Java, this coffee is also grown in various regions in Indonesia.


3.5 Kopi Toraja

Kopi Toraja comes from the Toraja region in South Sulawesi. This coffee has diverse taste profiles depending on the region and processing method. However, in general, Kopi Toraja tends to have a rich flavor with mild acidity, along with spicy and chocolatey notes. Kopi Toraja is also known for its strong aroma and is a favorite among coffee connoisseurs.


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With this knowledge, you can better enjoy and appreciate the diversity of flavors and aromas offered by the world of coffee. So, on your next visit to a coffee shop, don't hesitate to try something new and explore various coffee terms that might still be unfamiliar to you.



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