Your Ultimate Guide to Coffee Jargon - Somethings Brewing Store

Your Ultimate Guide to Coffee Jargon

If you’ve ever found yourself in a conversation wondering what your coffee-snob friend is talking about, you’ve come to the right place. With so many drink options and fancy terms, it can be hard to know what is going on in the world of coffee. 

We’ve created a guide of all the coffee lingo you need to know— whether you’re a coffee novice looking to make sense of packaging labels, talking to a friend, or looking chalkboards at trendy coffee shops.


An espresso shot poured over a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


A mix of two or more single origin coffee beans.


This is the quick bubbling of carbon dioxide while brewing freshly roasted coffee. Giving your coffee a moment to bloom could enhance its flavours.

Café au lait:

French for “coffee with milk” the coffee essentially has with hot milk poured into it. It differs from a white coffee, which is coffee with cold milk poured into it.


This is a tasting method for coffee professionals. The technique involves blending coarsely-ground coffee beans with water in small bowls.


The coffee oil that floats to the top of a coffee beverage. Generally golden to dark-tan in colour, and is the result of several factors in brewing. 


French word meaning a small coffee cup. Used to serve an espresso or macchiato.


Double shot of espresso with a small dash of hot water.

Drip coffee:

Made by pouring hot water onto beans, without excessive pressure. This can be done using a percolator or a press pot or a coffee maker. 


The brewing process in which flavour is drawn from the coffee grounds.


Finely ground coffee dust particles that cause unwanted bitterness in your coffee. Blade grinders and other inconsistent coffee grinders cause fines. 

First crack:

The first stage of roasting when the coffee emits a cracking sound. A large amount of the coffee’s moisture is evaporated.


The size of the ground coffee beans. The ideal grind will vary depending on the brewing method used.


It’s how the coffee feels in the mouth — could be oily, bubbly or silky.

Pour Over:

A device used to manually pour hot water over coffee grounds that results in a more precise flavourful cup of coffee.


A football-shaped coffee bean that hasn't separated into two parts.


A traditional term from when espresso machines had levers. Espresso shots are “pulled”.


The process whereby green coffee beans are heated to create flavours that are extracted during brewing.

Second crack:

Softer sounding than the first crack, when the oils start to move from the inside of the bean to the outside.

Speciality coffee:

Coffee that has been sourced with a supreme focus on the quality of bean, from crop to cup.

Single Origin:

Unblended coffee from a single region, country, place or farm.

Tasting Notes:

The way companies communicate the subtleties in coffee, including aroma, acidity, sweetness.

With Legs:

This means to go.

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