Your Complete Guide to Specialty Coffee Lingo Part 2: Coffee Roasting

In the first part of our specialty coffee lingo series we talked about coffee farming. You may have learned to answer the simple yet complex question of “where does a coffee bean come from?” or even learned that the elevation of a coffee farm can affect the flavor of your cup of coffee. 

From the coffee farm we move on to the roaster, which we have found to be an equally underrated part of the coffee journey that doesn’t get enough attention or education. 

The coffee roaster and the roasting process is what takes coffee fresh from the farm and prepares it to be brewed in our coffee shop! ALOT happens in this step of the process. Let’s look at some of the terms that can help us better understand how our coffee goes from coffee cherry to fresh roasted beans ready for us to brew into specialty coffee in Minneapolis!

Specialty Coffee Roasting Terms

Green Coffee: This term is used to refer to coffee beans that have not been roasted. When the coffee bean is taken from the cherry, it is green coffee until it is roasted. 

Roast: Green coffee beans, which are not good to eat, are heated to create complex flavors that are extracted during brewing.

New Crop: Coffee roasted soon after harvest when the beans are at their freshest and brightest.

Pulping: This refers to the process of removing the skin from the coffee cherry fruit, leaving just the coffee bean.

Chaff: This refers to flakes of the cherry’s inner skin which sticks to green coffee and is removed during roasting. 

Hulling: Removal of the coffee bean’s skin, called parchment, just prior to sorting.

Degassing: When coffee is freshly roasted it goes through this process where it loses three times its volume in carbon dioxide gas. This protects it from becoming stale for several days. 

Machine Drying: After coffee beans have been defruited, they are dried in machines with rotating drums or cascading slides. The other option is to dry the beans on open patios.

wet-processed/ washed coffee: removing the skin and pulp from the bean while the coffee fruit is still fresh. Most of the world’s coffees are processed in this way.

As you can see, after the coffee fruit, cherry, is picked from the coffee tree. It goes through a thorough and complex process. This all leads up to the final step of actually brewing the coffee. Next in our series of specialty coffee lingo, we will go over different brew methods and help you become the next coffee tasting professional!

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