Coffee Glossary

  • Acidity

    This is what brightens a coffee. It gives life. In wine it
    is often referred to as nerve (nervosité in French), backbone or spine.

  • Aftertaste

    The lingering flavor after the coffee has been
    swallowed can either reinforce the pleasure derived from a coffee's
    other attributes or it can weaken and even sabotage it. Does the
    coffee sweetly disappear or is there a harshness that emerges?

  • Baggy

    A very unpleasant taste usually caused by excessive use of batching oils during the manufacturing of jute bags. When the percentage of oil used exceeds 7%, this off-taste begins to occur.

  • Balance

    Is the coffee harmonious? Is something excessive?
    Is the coffee missing something?

  • C&F

    "C. & F." or "cost and freight" (also abbreviated CFR) requires the seller to pay the costs and freight necessary to bring the goods to the named destination, but the risk of loss or damage to the goods, as well as any cost increases, are transferred from the seller to the buyer when the goods pass the ship's rail in the port of shipment. Insurance is the buyer's responsibility. 

  • CIF

    "C.I.F."-- meaning "cost, insurance, and freight"--is C. & F. with the additional requirement that the seller procure transport insurance against the risk of loss or damage to goods. The seller must contract with the insurer and pay the insurance premium. Insurance is generally more important in international shipping than domestic shipping, because U.S. laws generally hold a common carrier to be liable for lost or damaged goods.

  • CIP or Freight/Carriage and Insurance Paid To

    This term is the same as "freight/carriage paid to" but with the additional requirement that the seller has to procure transport insurance against the risk of loss or damage to the goods during the carriage. The seller contracts with the insurer and pays the insurance premium. 

  • Clean Cup

    Clean cup is complete freedom from taints or faults. It is the
    transparency necessary for a coffee's terroir to shine through

  • DDP or Delivery/Duty Paid

    "Delivery/duty paid" represents the seller's maximum obligation. The term "DDP." is generally followed by words indicating the buyer's premises. It notes that the seller bears all risks and all costs until the goods are delivered. This term can be used irrespective of the mode of transport. If the parties wish to make clear that the seller is not responsible for certain costs, additional word should be added (for example, "delivered duty paid exclusive of VAT and/or taxes")

  • DDU or Delivery Duty Unpaid

    Delivered duty paid. Under these terms, the seller fulfills his obligation to deliver when the goods have been available to the buyer uncleared for import at the point or place of the named destination. The seller bears all costs and risks involved in bringing the goods to the point or place of named destination. There is no obligation for import clearance

  • Defects

    describes the quality factor based on physical appearance (defective beans) including extraneous matter.   More info

  • DEQ Ex Quay

    "Ex quay" means the seller has agreed to make the goods available to the buyer on the quay or the wharf at the destination named in the sales contract. The seller bears the full cost and risks in delivering the goods to that point including unloading. There are two variations of ex quay contracts: "ex quay duty paid" and "ex quay duty on buyer's account." In the first, the duty is paid by the seller. In the second, the duty also is paid by the seller, but the buyer must reimburse the seller

  • DES Ex Ship

    "Ex ship" means the seller shall make the goods available to the buyer on board the ship at the destination named in the sales contract. The seller bears the full cost and risk involved in bringing the goods there. The cost of unloading the goods and any customs duties must be paid by the buyer. 

  • Earthy

    An off-taste resulting from poor drying methods when beans pick up the flavours from the soil micro organisms, mud-barbecues being very susceptible to this. Also damaged beans with ruptured parchment may absorb compounds from the soil, or sand particles in the water used during washing

  • ECC

    European Coffee Contract

  • ECSC

    European Contract for Spot Coffee

  • EDCC

    European Contract for Delivered Coffee

  • ep

    European Preperation

  • Ex W

    "Ex works" means the seller's only responsibility is to make the goods available at the seller's premises, i.e., the works or factory. The seller is not responsible for loading the goods on the vehicle provided by the buyer unless otherwise agreed. The buyer bears the full costs and risk involved in bringing the goods from there to the desired destination. Ex works represents the minimum obligation of the seller

  • FAQ

    Frequent Average Quality

  • FAS

    "F.A.S." or "free alongside ship" requires the seller to deliver the goods alongside the ship on the quay. From that point on, the buyer bears all costs and risks of loss and damage to the goods. Unlike F.O.B., F.A.S. requires the buyer to clear the goods for export and pay the cost of loading the goods. 

  • FC or Fine Cup

    Coffee with good, positive characteristics.

  • FCA

    This term has been designed to meet the requirements of multimodal transport, such as container or roll-on, roll-off traffic by trailers and ferries. It is based on the same name principle as F.O.B. (free on board), except the seller fulfills its obligations when the goods are delivered to the custody of the carrier at the named point. If no precise point can be named at the time of the contract of sale, the parties should refer to the place where the carrier should take the goods into its charge.


    Several lots are provided and sent to the same destination. It is the company which loads them in a single container ship which is full of containers and which is carried to the port of loading. Once it arrives at the port of unloading, they proceed to desegregate the goods which are put at the disposal of different receivers/agents.

  • Fermented

    A taste fault in the coffee beans producing a highly displeasing sour sensation on the tongue. The result of enzyme activity in the green coffee beans changing the sugars to acids in the drying process during harvesting.

  • Flavor

    This is a combination of taste (sweet, sour, bitter, salty
    and pungent) and aroma - or nose. This is where a fine coffee can
    truly stand out as an elegant, and even forceful, expression of place
    terroir. The judge must determine whether a coffee's flavor profile is
    merely generic or a genuine expression of terroir brought out by the
    care of the harvester and the skill of the processor. For example, a
    slightly off - fruity flavor determined by the fermenting process may
    be pleasant for many but it is a reproducible flavor the world over.

  • FOB

    Under "F.O.B." or "free on board," the goods are placed on board the ship by the seller at a port of shipment named in the sales agreement. The risk of loss of or damage to the goods is transferred to the buyer when the goods pass the ship's rail (i.e., off the dock and placed on the ship). The seller pays the cost of loading the goods. 

  • FOT

    "F.O.R." and "F.O.T." mean "free on rail" or "free on truck." Both refer to goods being carried by rail and should only be used when the goods are carried by rail. The risk of loss or damage is transferred when the goods are loaded onto the rail. 

  • Fruity

    The "fruity" off-taste is believed to be a direct result of a delay in the pulping process or improper fermentation and washing. These delays are sometimes caused by insufficient water supply or shortage of electricity on picking days. When mucilage is left on the bean for too long, the growth of micro-organisms speeds up enzyme activity in the bean, causing its natural sugars to convert into acids which are responsible for the "Fruity" flavour.

  • Full

    An intensity description of bouquet indicating gases and vapors are present at a moderately pronounced strength.

  • Fully Washed

    Washed process combined with fermentation 

  • GCQ or Good Cup Quality

    Coffee with good, positive all-round characteristics.

  • Grassy

    An odor taint giving the coffee beans a distinct herbal character similar to freshly mown alfalfa combined with the astringency of green grass. Created by the prominence of nitrogen compounds in the green beans while the cherries are maturing.

  • Green

    A taste taint giving the coffee brew an herbal character due to an incomplete development of the sugar carbon compounds in the roasting process. Result from insufficient heat during a short period.


    After importing, the company can have deliveries of different origins. The suppliers deliver them at the same container load centre and afterwards they are transported together to the domicile of the client

  • Mouthfeel

    The tactile sensation imparted by a coffee.
    Mouthfeel can include the perception of viscosity, density, weight,
    texture and astringency.

  • Over-ripe

    Conversely, the "over-ripe" off-taste is caused by too many over-ripe cherries in the harvest. Mucilage is also absent in these fruits due to natural fermentation which breaks it down. The coffee is thus also damaged during the pulping process.

  • Overall

    Does the coffee have an exciting complexity or is it a
    simple but very pleasing coffee? Does the cupper simply not like it?
    This category is the cupper's personal call.

  • Spicy

    or Medicinal, chemical :

    Are off-tastes usually occuring from contamination during storage or from the use of jute bags which were previously used for storing something else.

  • Stinker

    This off-taste has been attributed to unhygienically maintained pulpers or fermentation vats which allow beans from the previous days' processing to remain in the pulper or vats where they rot and contaminate the next lot of processed coffee. In addition, faulty adjustments of pulpers lead to high incidents of "pulper cuts" on the beans, making them vulnerable to micro-organisms attacks and eventually converting them into stinkers.

  • Sweetness

    The sensation of sweetness correlates directly with
    how uniformly ripe a coffee was when harvested. Sweetness is not
    entirely dependent on how much sugar is in the roasted coffee, but
    also on other components which combine to create the impression of

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