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Ferment: is a taste fault in coffee beans that produces a highly objectionable spoiled-fruit taste. Ferment is result of enzymatic activity that occurs during frying process, changing sugars to acids in green coffee bean. Unlike dirtiness and mustiness, which can be disguised by dark roasting, ferment becomes worse longer it cooks.
Flat: is an odor taint that occurs as a result of aromatic compounds departing from beans during staling process in both whole-bean and ground coffees, or during holding process in brewed coffees.
Fruit-Like: is a description that refers to natural aroma of berries and that also correlates with perception of high acidity. It shouldn't be confused with fruity, which is first stage of taste defect ferment.
Grassy: is a taste and odor defect that gives coffee characteristic of newly mown alfalfa or green grass.
Green: is a herbal, grassy characteristic caused by incomplete development of flavor due to improper roasting. It may also be present in early pickings of a new bean harvest.
Groundly: is a musty, earthy taste associated with coffees that have been damaged in drying or storage.
Harsh: is an unpleasant taste. Reminiscent of raw weeds, and typical of "robusta coffees and Brazils" that have been allowed to dry on tree. It should be noted that a few coffee drinkers prefer harshness in cup (see Rioy).
Hidy: is a coffee that has absorbed aroma of leather or animal hides as a result of being stored or shipped in close proximity to these such items.
Heavy Roast: is very dark-roasted coffee with a bittersweet tang.
Mellow: is middle of road, a balanced flavor that's not too acidic and not too syrupy.
Musty: is a term usually applied to coffee flavors that result from improper heating or drying during processing. However, there also is a mustiness in vintage coffees that is a preferred quality. Connoisseur's, for example, love naturally sweet mustiness of vintage Colombian coffees.
Rioy: is a harsh, medicine-like flavor present in some coffees produced in Rio district of Brazil. The term is sometimes applied to any harsh-flavored coffees. The heavy, somewhat pungent, taste is preferred by a few coffee drinkers in southern United States and France.
Soft: is a low acidic green coffee that is of good drinking quality, without any unpleasant taste characteristics. Like flavor aspect of mellow.
Sour: is a particular taste linked to bacterial fermentation of green coffee beans, that produces a lactic acid from lactose and acetic acid from alcohol.
Spicy: is aroma of coffee versus it's taste.
Sweet: is trade term to describe coffees that taste un harsh or undamaged in any way as opposed to harshness of a (Rioy).
Tangy: is taste that would indicate a wine taste or acidic fruitiness that is quite pleasantly sharp, most evident in high-grown Costa Rican coffees.
Tannin: is a puckery flavor typically caused by presence of chemicals that are related to tannic acid. A similar property is found in tea's and certain red wines.
Wild: describes coffees with extreme aroma or flavor that could be called defects or attributes to some.
Winey: are coffees with a fruity acid and smooth body, not unlike a fine red wine. A good example of a winey coffee is Kenyan AA coffee.
So to finish, you now should be able to determine which coffees you would enjoy more than others, and possibly use this knowledge to entertain your friends at same time. Enjoy!
© Copyright Randy Wilson, All Rights Reserved.
Randy works with his son on Ultimate Coffees Info and daughter on Making Homemade Soap. Randy owned and operated a very successful storefront/mailorder business from 1988 to 2003. Currently full time owner/operator of several online businesses.