11 Words All Coffee Snobs Should Know

11 Words All Coffee Snobs Should Know

Jake Bonneman Jake Bonneman
3 minutes of coffee drinking

Do you know what coffee solubles are?

Can you appreciate the crema on a well-executed doppio of espresso?

Have you ever used the word "mouthfeel" when describing your coffee—but not as a joke?

Do discussions about acetic acid really get your motor running?

Of course—you're a true coffee snob aficionado.

But did you know there are some people who don't know what some of these coffee terms mean? Strange but true.

In fact, it may be hard to believe, but most “average” people don't know what these coffee terms mean. I know!

That's okay though, because today we're going to teach those average people 11 words that every real, true, actual coffee lover should know.

(Note: This may as well be called "11 words you already know the definition of." But hey—If you accidentally learn something down below, don't worry! I won't tell anyone.)

11 Terms Every True Coffee Snob Knows

  1. Crema - The rich foam on the top of a well-brewed cup of espresso, often considered the mark of a good barista

  2. Tamping - The action of compressing coffee grinds in the portafilter with a tamper to create even extraction

  3. Extraction - The process by which coffee flavor, oils and solids are drawn out from the ground coffee beans during brewing

  4. Solubles - A category of substances that dissolve in water, including sugars, acids and proteins

  5. Cupping -  The formal process of tasting, analyzing, and evaluating coffee, very similar in concept to wine tasting. It allows people to fully taste the coffee and appreciate its subtle flavors, as well as judge its quality.

  6. Acetic acid - a sour compound that is one of the main contributors to coffee's taste and aroma

  7. Bright - Describes coffees with high levels of sweetness, fruitiness, acidity and floral aromas

  8. Balance - The ideal state of brewed coffee, in which the sweet, sour, bitter, and salty flavors in the coffee are in harmony.

  9. Mouthfeel - Also called "body"—this refers to the physical sensation of coffee in the mouth. It's often described as creamy, velvety or syrupy depending on the coffee.

  10. Finish - The aftertaste of coffee, which can be long-lasting and complex. This aftertaste can be affected by a number of factors, including the type of bean used, the brewing method, and even the grind size. Ultimately, the finish is one of the most important aspects of coffee flavor.

  11. Doppio - A double shot of espresso, typically served in a small cup.

Did you know all of those? Why am I even asking—of course you did.

But for those poor, unfortunate souls who didn't already know all of these terms, now they can act like real snobs and impress everyone else with their vast coffee-related vernacular.

You're They're welcome.

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