Arabica

Arabica, noun: Coffee variant. The most important coffee variant (followed by Robusta) with approximately 55% of the world’s production. Cultivated at high altitudes, at elevations of at least 3000 feet above sea level. It is maintained and harvested exclusively by hand. The beans have an elongated shape with an S-shaped notch, less caffeine than Robusta, but in exchange more diverse flavors, from asparagus to nut. Arabica coffee is mostly prepared according to the wet method (washed, lavado). Brazilian naturals are the only Arabicas that are cultivated at lower elevations and are prepared semi-washed/semi-lavado or semi-dry.

Blend

Blend, noun: The mixture of two or more green coffees in order to achieve a very specific well-rounded taste. This may consist of various coffee varieties (Arabica and Robusta) or one variety from different cultivation areas. It is the opposite of single origin.

Brazilian naturals

Brazilian naturals, noun: Green coffee type. Indicates the half-dry prepared Arabicas from Brazil that are cultivated below 3000 feet above sea level.

Coffee

Coffee, noun: From the Arabic “qahwah,” meaning stimulating drink. It is a (usually) hot, black caffeinated drink made from roasted and ground coffee beans, the seeds from the coffee berry. In 1614, the Dutch started out on a research trip to Aden in Yemen and stole a coffee plant. They succeeded in transporting coffee sprouts to the Netherlands and cultivating these on the island of Java in 1699. Coffee became one of the most popular drinks in the world. Note: In 1660, James Howell wrote: “Tis found already that this coffee drink hath caused a greater sobriety among the Nations. Whereas formerly apprentices and clerks with others, used to take their mornings draught in ale, beer, or wine, which by the dizziness they cause in the brain, make many unfit for businesse, they use now to play the good-fellows in this wakefull and civill drink.”

Green coffee

Green coffee, noun: Unroasted beans that are polished after the wet or dry preparation and selected according to size and quality (something we do by hand). They are transported in bags or containers for further processing/roasting. Green coffee is traded on the stock market, primarily in New York and London. The quality is assessed using samples, whereby it can have various imperfections: e.g., black or unripe beans. A stone in the sample can mean 1 to 5 penalty points depending on its size. The number of penalties shows the care that the coffee received in its preparation – or the lack thereof.

Kopi luwak

Kopi luwak, noun (also civet coffee or kape alamid): A coffee rarity: It is produced from the beans of coffee berries eaten and later excreted by the civet (luwak). They are collected and painstakingly washed and cleaned. Kopi luwak has low acidity, a slight woody spiciness and a light cacao finish that is reminiscent of dark chocolate – however, it all depends on which coffee the civet has eaten. It comes from Indonesia and Vietnam (here as well there have been attempts made at synthetic enzyme solutions). It is traded in Europe at extreme prices with roasted beans costing €220 per kilogram. This has led to civets now being kept in cages and fed coffee extracts.

Liberica

Liberica, noun: Coffee variant. A very hardy plant that requires little water. It is cultivated in Malaysia. The beans are large, oblong, hard and contain little sugar and a relatively high amount of caffeine. Like Robusta it is used for coffee blends. It is hardly ever drunk pure as it is somewhat more reminiscent of a bitter, spicy herbal tea than coffee.

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