Coffee Terms Decoded

At Categorically Coffee we are on a mission to close the gap between the newcomers and a coffee world which is full of snobbery and confusing terms… Specialty coffee is by no means exclusive, it shouldn’t be confusing and being a part of it can be very affordable. We have looked into the top buzzwords around, to provide some understanding to those who might see them as obstacles...

Specialty Coffee – Specialty coffee is a term thrown around a lot, used to describe a high grade of coffee. Certain climates and conditions produce the highest quality coffees, which is why certain countries are so dominant in coffee production such as Brazil and Colombia. Specialty coffee has quality at the heart of its production cycle, at all stages. Some regular coffees do not.

Arabica – Arabica is a coffee bean type. There are 2 main coffee bean types, being Arabica (smooth, pleasant, and found in most coffee consumed), and Robusta beans (which are stronger, harsher and often used in blends on account of their powerful kick and lower price). The coffee arabica plant originates from Ethiopia an contributes to 60% of coffee consumed worldwide. Varietals of the Arabica bean include Caturra and Typica.

Burr Grinder – Some grinders are far better at achieving uniform grinds than others. There are steel blade grinders and there are burr grinders. Burr grinders use ceramic burrs to grind the coffee instead of chopping it up with steel blades. This leads to a far more even grind, allowing for a much better coffee, with maximum taste being taken from the beans.

Sustainable Coffee – Like many industries, the coffee industry has its troubles with sustainability. Sustainable coffee is coffee grown in a manor that has no negative impact on the environment (often a positive one!) and is fair to all involved in the production line. This is from farmers to logistics to coffee shops!

AeroPress Coffee Maker – A device that was created in 2005 which is used to produce great coffee using a filtering method quickly and neatly. AeroPress are affordable, compact and great for quick one-cup coffee making.

Sidamo Coffee – Sidamo coffee is an exclusively Ethiopian roast. They are known for being rich and full bodies with floral and fruity notes. Sidamo coffee is popular thanks to its smoothness and well-balanced drinking experience. It can also be great as an iced coffee or cold brew, as well as hot!

Flat White – Ahhh the “flat white”. One doesn’t need to think too hard to know that it’s a milky coffee which is popular amongst modern-day coffee enthusiasts. But what exactly is a flat white? There are plenty of variations of milky coffee drinks and you should know your flat white from your latte! Especially if you’re ordering one at full volume in Starbucks tomorrow… where other milky coffees use foamed milk, a flat white is simply steamed milk on top of espresso without any foam.


We will keep an eye on what other coffee buzzwords are around and continue the decoding again soon!

Leave a comment