Our passion starts with the bean when we select some of the highest quality crops, sourced directly from sustainable small coffee farms around the world.




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Coffee Tasting Terminology

Coffee Tasting Terms

The Coffee Definitions and Home Roasting Coffee Terms in this section are used in “scoring” our coffees during cupping—Cupping is what we coffee geeks call a coffee tasting. They are generally subjective, and should only be used as comparisons with other coffees.


Acidity is not something negative. Acidity can actually add something interesting to brake the otherwise monotony of a sensory experience. You could find descriptors such as citrusy, vibrant, malic, tannic, etc. We’ll try to help you by guiding your experience so that you
can better recognize what is your favourite cup, or maybe just to experience
something new.
 For an example plantations located at higher altitudes tend to develop higher
acidity levels.


Fragrance and Aroma 

The aroma is your olfactory experience while you bring the cup to your mouth. All the complexity of those smells give you a first impression and suggest to your senses what you are going to drink. The fragrance is basically what you smell from the dry coffee grounds. It Doesn’t matter if you prefer chocolaty, fruity, floral or spicy fragrances and aromas, the important thing is that it is enjoyable.



This is the tactile, the physical sense in the mouth. It could beheavy, light, winey, creamy, dry. Usually coffees grown at low altitudes tend
to develop a richer and heavier body than those grown at high altitudes. This is caused by the bean density which, ultimately, increases with the altitude. Another huge impact in body is made by the drying process chosen for those coffee beans where naturals shows a thicker body than washed (for example). 



Aftertaste is the finale. As it happens in a movies, the finale can turn the movie into masterpiece or it could ruin all the hard work made by technicians, directors and actors. The aftertaste is the feeling, the aromas and tastes that linger in you mouth after drinking your cup. A good, fresh coffee should not have a harsh, woody, burnt or very bitter aftertaste.



Flavour. It is what you perceive in your cup by drinking it: jasmine, peach, chocolate, caramel (there are too many possibilities). It is really important to understand that coffee could express different attributes at different temperatures. The best temperature to drink coffee is usually around 60°C/65°C when the complexity of that cup show off all its potentials. 



Other coffee taste terms



When we can experience a cup with easily distinguishable characters and aromas. Without “dark notes” that can somehow obscure the brightness of that perhaps exotic or floral cup.




A complex cup is a cup that can show many attributes. The term complex is usually related to a positive evaluation where body, acidity, flavours and aromas play harmoniously in creating a splendid cup full of pleasant nuances.




Coffee with a good intensity and full of flavour.



It is a coffee with lighter aromas and flavours but not necessarily less complex or pleasant, indeed very often the most delicate coffees can make you fall in love, especially if filtered. 

Terms Used in coffee Roasting


The bean protective layer that comes off the coffee during roasting. In the drupe (or coffee cherry) is the seed protective layer and it is placed in between the seed and the parchment.  of the coffee bean that remains attached to the bean after processing. Anyway, this layer pops out from the bean during the roasting process and using airflow technology the chaffs are drown to a collector avoiding fire and so smoky aromas or flavors. 


First Crack

 When the coffee reach a certain temperature the moisture in the bean create steam. The bean expand and the steam escape with a certain violence  from the inner bean creating cracks. This stage of roasting is one of the most important and delicate stages, the way you manage this stage can put your signature on a good job or even compromise a previous stage of perfect roasting profile. It is generally accepted as the point where pyrolysis begins. It is quite easy to understand when it occurs as you can distinctively hear the coffee popping ( literally like pop corns).


Second Crack

 After passing first crack, could be your choice to roast it dark. When you built up more heat in you coffee the beans could reach a second crack. This is less audible and faster. During this phase the chemical reactions will include the wood compounds of the same beans. Our company never bring the coffee to the second crack as we believe this part of the roasting could add only unpleasant and roasted notes flattening the nice complexity of a specialty coffee.



The quakers are unripe coffee beans roasted. The unripe bean will react differently and they will look less roasted. They are quite different in color as they looks lighter in color. If you brake one of them they will smell like row peanuts. There could be always a small few of them, the important is not to exceed. To many of them could compromise the final cup. 

other coffee curiosities 

The coffee itself has certain terms and abbreviations associated with it that are primarily used by people within the industry to describe the coffee. In this section I’ll try to explain those we use here at The Captain’s Coffee. Hope it helps you understand the coffee a bit more.


Certified Organic Coffee Coffee that carries the “organic” label has been tested and certified to have been grown, processed, shipped and packaged without exposure to agricultural or other chemicals. Unfortunately this is an expensive procedure reason why many producers can’t afford to obtain it. There are many producer that could actually apply for it but cause of the expenses make the certification not sustainable for their business. 


SHG and SHB Coffee Beans 

Abbreviation of  “Strictly High Grown” and “Strictly Hard Bean” respectively. That means that the coffee is grown in altitude (over 1200 masl ). High altitude is commonly associated to a higher quality of the beans (not always true but quite realistic). It is an abbreviation commonly found in central and south america origins.   


Shade Grown and Bird Friendly 

The coffee is grown under the shade of taller trees. This not only respect the natural habitat and way of growing of coffee plants but it preserve the same forest: natural habitat for birds and not only. 

Obviously this way to grow coffee make the job harder for farmers and the corps are obviously lower in quantity as the coffee tree are spread and not placed for an intensive production. 

This has a huge positive impact in sustainability but the price for this coffee will be obviously higher.