Place of Origin
The earliest cultivated and most widely grown species of the coffee tree. It produces approximately 70 to 75% percent of the world's coffee and is viewed as superior to "Robusta" beans. Arabica coffee grows best between 2,000 and 6,000 feet above sea level, in warm climates along the equator. The predominant producing regions are Central America, South America and eastern Africa. Arabica’s characteristics include a balanced aroma, sweet and acidic taste. It also has a higher price because of increased production costs." Coffee Arabica" is the species name assigned to the coffee tree by European botanist Linnaeus while categorizing the flora of the Arabian peninsula.
Market name for coffee from the slopes of Mt. Meru in Tanzania.
Market name for a good, low-acid coffee from the Dominican Republic.
Market name for coffee from the southwestern region of the Dominican Republic. It is considered to be the best coffee from that country.
A mixture of coffee beans from more than one country of origin. Designed to create a specific flavor and aroma profile.
Very low acid, mellow Colombian coffee, region in Colombia.
Market name for Arabica coffee from the slopes of Mt. Elgon in Uganda.
Central Hard Bean
High altitude coffee beans grown in Central America. Extremely high quality.
Generic term for beans grown in Central America.
The market name for a respected coffee from south-central Peru.
A coffee-growing state in southern Mexico. At their best, Chiapas coffees display the brisk acidity, delicate flavor, and light to medium body of the better-known Mexican coffees of Oaxaca and Vera Cruz States.
A region in eastern Zimbabwe that produces the countries best coffees.
Coatepec, Altura Coatepec
Region in Mexico producing high-grown coffee.
The market name for a high-grown coffee from north-central Guatemala.
The best Costa Rican coffees display a full body and clean, robust acidity that make them among the most admired of Central American coffees.
Costa Rica Central Valley
Region in Costa Rica on the slopes of the Poas, Barva and Irazu volcanoes with altitudes of 4500 to 5000 ft. Coffee is known for excellent body and finesse.
Costa Rica Orosi
City in Costa Rica with surrounding area producing perfect balance between body and acidity in coffee.
Costa Rica Tarrazu
Bright, crisp acidity and intense flavor, good body and exceptional aroma. Region in Costa Rica producing high-quality coffee. “The Land of the Saints” is in western Costa Rica, and has altitudes reaching 6000 ft.
Costa Rica Tres Rios
Lively, tangy and fragrant, smooth and well balanced. Region in Costa Rica producing high quality coffee on the eastern outskirts of San Jose.
Costa Rica West Valley
Region in Costa Rica with altitudes at 3000 to 3500 ft. Naranjo, Palmares and San Ramon are coffee-producing communities at these altitudes, producing coffee with good aroma and balanced cup.
Market name for coffee grown in northeastern Colombia.
A coffee from Ethiopia.
High-grown Dominican coffee is a fairly rich, acidy coffee with classic Caribbean characteristics. Lower grown Dominican coffees tend to be softer and less acidy.
El Salvador coffees tend toward softer, less acidy versions of the classic Central America flavor profile. The best high-grown El Salvador's from trees of the bourbon and pacamara varieties can be fragrant, complex, lively, and gentle.
Region in Ethiopia producing natural coffee, usually used in blends.
Lowland plantation-grown washed coffee. Government owned plantation.
Ethiopia Ghimbi (Lekempti)
Natural coffee from Wellega region. Light to medium acidity, clean cup with fruity character.
Region and city in Ethiopia. Legendary for mocha flavor, very distinctive unwashed character.
Name given to washed coffee from Djimmah. Exhibits winy characteristics.
Region in Ethiopia, fairly balanced cup regarding acidity and body. Both washed and natural.
Lowland plantation-grown washed coffee from Kaffa region. Government owned plantation.
Premium quality from highest elevation in Sidamo region. Washed, clean cup with lemon-like acidity.
Refers to a coffee with unusual aromatic and flavor notes, such as floral, berry, and sweet spice-like qualities. Coffees from East Africa and Indonesia often have such characteristics.
Individual farm or estate growing high quality coffee beans. Often Finca’s grow, process and export only their own coffee.
Five Horseman Blend
Coffee quality delivered against contract that is one of the following: Prime Mexican, Central Standard El Salvador, Prime Guatemalan, Standard Honduras, Hard Bean Costa Rica.
A wet-processed coffee from western Ethiopia.
Guatemala is a complex coffee origin. Hard Bean grade coffees from the central highlands tend to exhibit a rich, spicy or floral acidity and excellent body. Coffees from mountainous areas exposed to either Pacific or Caribbean weather tend to display less acidity and more fruit.
Region in Guatemala stated to be the birthplace for all coffee in Guatemala, with majestic volcanoes: Fuego, Agua and Acatenengo.
Region in Guatemala framed by three volcanoes: Toliman, Atitlan and San Pedro, and containing lake Atitlan. Small plantations in this region often use avocado trees to shade the coffee plants.
Region in Guatemala containing rugged limestone mountains that have rainfall all year.
Located south of Guatemala City, this region is so high in altitude, and it is not always considered a plateau, with soil frequently nourished by Guatemala’s most active volcano, Pacaya.
Region in Guatemala located northwest of Guatemala City. Surrounded by mountains and many rivers, which nourish its soil.
Easternmost gourmet coffee region in Guatemala with the newest plantation.
Guatemala San Marcos
Region west of Guatemala City, has the country’s two highest volcanoes, Tacana and Tajumulco, the latter being the highest in Central America at 13,800 ft.
The term often used to describe coffees grown at relatively high altitudes, 4,000 to 4,500 feet. Coffee grown above 4,500 feet is referred to as strictly hard bean. The higher altitudes and lower temperatures produce a slower-maturing fruit and a harder, less porous bean. Hard bean coffees are traditionally excellent in quality.
The best of the dry-processed coffees of Ethiopia grown in eastern Ethiopia near the city of Harrar. Usually light-bodied, but fragrant with complex fruit or floral-toned acidity.
A single-origin coffee from the Kona coast of the Island of Hawaii. It displays classic balance, with medium body, good acidity, and rich, complex aroma and flavor.
The market name for a respected coffee of Costa Rica.
Coffee grown at altitudes of 3,500 feet above sea level or higher.
From Karnatake state (formerly Mysore).
Catchall phrase for coffee from Java, Celebes or Sumatra. Indonesia coffees are usually marketed under the name of the island of origin. Most are distinguished by full body, rich flavor, and a low-toned, vibrant acidity.
Jamaica Blue Mountain
A celebrated single-origin coffee from above 3,000 feet elevation in the Blue Mountain District of Jamaica. It is a balanced classic coffee with rich flavor, full body, and a smooth yet vibrant acidity. These characteristics and its relatively short supply have made it one of the world's most celebrated coffees.
Java coffees are grown on large Indonesian farms or estates, operated by the government, and are wet-processed using modern methods.
A growing region in the southeastern highlands of Sulawesi. It is distinguished by full body, expansive flavor, and a low-toned, vibrant acidity.
Hawaiian island producing smooth, medium body coffee with low/medium acidity.
Kenya coffees are celebrated for their deep, winy acidity, resonant cup presence, and complex fruit and berry tones. Of the world's great coffees, Kenyan is the most widely available and consistent in quality.
Hawaiian region, smooth, medium body, low/medium acidity. Believed by some to be the best overall coffee available.
The market name for a respected floral and fruity, wet-processed coffee from south-central Ethiopia.
An acronym for Medellín, Armenia, and Manizales, three of the best and most famous coffees of Colombia. To simplify large-scale coffee contracts, coffees from these three regions are sold together as MAM.
The most famous coffee of Sumatra, Indonesia. From the Lake Toba area toward the northern end of the island.
The market name for a respected coffee of Nicaragua.
The market name for one of the most admired coffees of Yemen.
The market name for one of the most respected and most characteristic Venezuelan coffees.
High grown coffee from Mexico, light with snappy, nutty flavor.
Region in Mexico where coffee is produced; best coffee is from closest to the Guatemala border.
A single-origin coffee from Yemen; also a drink combining chocolate and usually espresso coffee. It is the world's oldest commercially cultivated coffee.
Dry-processed, single-origin coffee from southern India deliberately exposed to monsoon winds in open warehouse to increase body and reduce acidity.
The market name for coffee from the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
Highest quality and largest bean from Colombia.
A single-origin coffee from Papua New Guinea. The best-known New Guinea coffees are produced on very large, state of the art estates that produce a very well prepared, clean, fragrant, deeply dimensioned, moderately acidy coffee.
Market name for coffee from the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca.
The market name for one of the well-respected coffees of the Dominican Republic.
The market names for coffee from the south of Tanzania.
Robusta Robusta (row-bus-ta)
coffee represents 25% of the world’s coffee production. Robusta grows from sea level to 2,000 feet, in wet valley lands and humid tropical forests. The predominant producing regions are West Africa and Indonesia. Compared to Arabica, Robusta characteristics include a higher caffeine content, stronger flavor and heavier body. Robusta trees yields are double those of Arabica, and are more resistant to disease and insects. The coffee industry uses Robusta in soluble coffee, instant coffee, and as a price stabilizer in blends.
A market name for a category of high-quality coffee from Brazil.
The market name for a fruity wet-processed coffee from southern Ethiopia.
Unblended coffee from a single country, region, and crop.
Coffee grown at relatively low altitudes (under 4,000 ft). The lower altitudes and consequently warmer temperatures produce a faster maturing fruit and a lighter, more porous bean.
Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA)
Headquartered in Long Beach, California, an important and influential association of specialty coffee roasters, wholesalers, retailers, importers and growers.
A single-origin coffee from the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.
Usually rated a top quality coffee from Sumatra.
Three Horseman Blend
Coffee quality delivered against contract that is one of the following: Prime Mexican, Central Standard El Salvador, Prime Guatemala.
A term used by many people in the American specialty coffee industry, to describe an unblended coffee from a single country, region, and crop.
A cupping term describing positive characteristics that distinguish a given coffee from coffee from other regions.
Believed to be highest quality estate coffee from Puerto Rico.
Region in Yemen producing high quality coffee.
Full bodied, medium acidity, also known as Arabian mocha, Yemen or Mocha. The name mocha comes from the ancient port, presumably from where this coffee was often shipped.
Low acid Yemen coffee, medium body, said to be one of the best from Yemen.
Region in Yemen.
Estate coffees from eastern Zambia, located in south-central Africa, that appear in the North American specialty market. They tend toward the softer, less acidy version of the Africa profile.
Zimbabwe coffee exhibits excellent cup presence and the vibrant, winy acidity characteristic of East Africa coffees. Some rank it second in quality only to Kenya among Africa coffees. Most is grown in the Chipinga region, along the eastern border with Mozambique.