Coffee 101 - Coffee Terms Demystified

May 14 09:07 2011 Niall Kennedy Print This Article

Coffee has a language all its own. As a coffee lover you really need to know these terms whether you want to take your appreciation of the humble bean to a higher level,Guest Posting just to enjoy your trip to the local coffee house a little bit more, or  et the most out of your new espresso maker. Here are a few of the frequently used terms.

Auto Frother: device that automatically froths milk for cappuccinos and lattes.

Automatic Drip Maker: machine that automatically heats water and filters it through the coffee.

Automatic Espresso Machine: an espresso machine featuring controllable, programmable dosing.

Bean to Cup: fully automated process. Machines with bean to cup capability do everything from grinding the beans to filling a cup with coffee.

Boiler: steam machine inside coffee maker. Machines with larger boilers usually are more powerful and produce more hot water for beverages.

Boiler Element: electric element that heats boiler in electric espresso makers.

Cappuccino: Italian espresso based beverage.

Cup Warmer: metal portion at top of espresso maker where cups are placed for warming.

Dosing: refers to either the number of grams of coffee per cup or the amount of brewed coffee per cup.

Drip Tray: Part of espresso maker where cup sits for filling.

Espresso:  Italian black coffee which preceded specialty coffees. Rich black.

Filter Basket: Metal filter where grounds are placed for brewing.

Filtered Method: process of brewing coffee with a filter, coffee is separate from the water.

French Press: aka plunger pot. A cylindrical maker in which ground coffee is steeped then filtered. Grounds are pushed to the bottom of the pot with the plunger. Coffee stays in the top of the pot.

Fully Automatic Espresso Machine: machines which automatically manage the brewing process from bean to fresh cup of coffee.

Grind: process of preparing beans for coffee brewing.

Group: Portion of espresso maker that brews coffee.

Group Handle: Portion of espresso maker that holds the filter basket that ground coffee goes into.

Heat Exchanger: heats water for coffee without taking water from the boiler.

Hopper: portion of grinder that holds beans.

Knock-out Box: container used to knock the used grounds from group handle.

Latte: Hot beverage made with one quarter coffee, three quarters of steamed, hot milk with little froth.

Mocha: term used to describe hot beverage made from espresso, chocolate and milk.

Moka Pot: Classic Italian espresso-maker used on top of the stove.

Percolator: coffee maker that continuously runs water through the grounds to make coffee.

Pod: a self-contained, single serving unit of ready to use coffee.

Pour/Pour Speed/Pour Time: the amount of time required to pour from group into cup. Should be 25 to 30 seconds for espresso.

Pump: device that moves water through the coffee maker.

Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine: machine without pre-set dosing capability.

Steam Arm/Wand: metal tube delivering steam to froth milk.

Super Automatic Espresso Machine: machine which automatically manages brewing process from bean to fresh cup of coffee in addition to other features such as a water filter.

Tamping: act of pressing ground coffee into filter basket.

Vacuum coffee maker: machine using vacuum process to make coffee.

Traditional espresso maker: machine that is not a bean to cup automated model.

Water Filter: filters contaminants from water for better taste.

Water Font: nozzle used to dispense water from machine boiler.

Water Softener: filters lime and minerals from water, preventing build up of scales in the coffee maker. This is a must have for anyone using hard water.

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Niall Kennedy
Niall Kennedy

Niall reviews automatic espresso machines. He has gathered actual buyer opinions on several leading models at his espresso machine reviews website at

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