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Coffee Dictionary (A)



AA - Some regions use this to describes the size of coffee beans. AA is the largest, highest quality grade of coffee bean. AB is a common grade that is good quality.

Acidity - When referring to gourmet coffee, acidity is usually considered a good thing. It is used to describe how tart the flavor is. Acidity is one of the four main categories (acidity, aroma, body and flavor) used to describe gourmet coffee.

Aficionados - A person who likes, knows about, and appreciates a particular interest or activity.

After-Dinner Roast - Refers to coffee beans which are roasted darker than what is considered normal (medium brown). The acidity of the coffee weakens while allowing a strong bitter-sweet taste to emerge. As the name suggests, this roast is best consumed after a large meal.

Aged Coffee - Refers to coffee which has been kept in storage for several years leaving it with reduced acidity and increased body. Traditionally, aged coffee is held longer than "old crop coffees" and "mature coffees". However, some coffee exporters have been experimenting with accelerated aging by deliberately exposing the coffee to humid air.

Air Roaster - A machine used to roast coffee with hot air. It works very much like a giant popcorn popper and is well known for producing very evenly roasted coffee beans.

Alajuela - A well-known province in Costa Rica which produces top-quality gourmet coffee.

Altura Superior - Market name for Mexico's finest gourmet coffee.

American Roast - Coffee beans roasted to medium brown. It is usually considered the "normal" roast.

Americano - A single shot of espresso with 6 to 8 ounces of hot water added.

Antigua - One of the world's finest and most distinctive coffees, grown in Guatemala's Antigua Valley.

Aquapulp - A procedure by which the pulp of freshly picked coffee beans is removed by a machine.

Arabian Mocha - Market name for coffee from Northern Yemen. This coffee is often compared to wine and is well-known for its chocolaty aftertaste. It is believed to be the oldest variety of cultivated coffee in the world and is still grown in the traditional fashion.

Arabica - The oldest variety of cultivated coffee trees in the world and also the most widely grown. It accounts for 70% of the world's coffee and all varieties of gourmet coffee.

Aroma - The smell of gourmet coffee, usually after being brewed. Aroma is one of the four main categories (acidity, aroma, body and flavor) used to describe gourmet coffee.

Automatic Drip Coffee Makers - Coffee makers that heat water and slowly drip into ground coffee beans placed in a filter which then drip into a container for serving. There is no chance that coffee grounds can get into your coffee.


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