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Coffee Descriptions: Part 2

Earlier, we shared a few of the most frequently used terms in the coffee industry to accurately describe the flavor and aroma of coffee. As we’ve said before, with such a diverse variety of coffees on the market, it’s certainly helpful to have a universal set of standards. Today, we’re back with part two of our coffee vocabulary guide that will hopefully come in handy when you’re trying an unfamiliar coffee at the café, or just casually using terms in your conversation about coffee.

coffee tasting


‘Nutty’ coffees have the aroma and flavor of fresh nuts. Most often, this refers to almond, hazelnut, walnut, cashew, or candied peanut. There are a few factors that can cause a certain coffee to have a nuttiness to it, such as processing, roasting methods, or the age and condition of the green coffee beans. Coffee professionals try not to use the term ‘nutty’ to describe coffee that has a rancid or bitter taste. Some examples of nutty coffees are Hawaiian Kona Volcanic Estate, Haitian Blue Mountain, and Burundi AA Kirimoro.



Sweet coffees typically have the aroma of chocolate, caramel, or fruit. Sweet coffees have a pleasant flavor, free of defects and harshness. Just like nuttiness, sweetness depends on the flavors of the coffee bean itself and the roasting techniques used. If you’re interested in experiencing a sweet coffee, then we suggest trying India Mysore, Brazil Santos, or perhaps Ethiopia Yirgacheffe.


Spicy/ Spicey

This does not refer to savory spices like oregano and pepper, but rather it refers to a taste and/or aroma similar to sweeter spices such as cloves, cinnamon, allspice, or other spices. Spicy or spicey may be used in reference to the coffee being natural, the character of the coffee’s acidity, or the two combined. Looking for a refreshingly spicy coffee to satisfy your taste buds? Give Marrakesh Blend, Maui Yellow Caturra, and Guatemala Antigua a try today.



Buttery coffees are characterized by a full-body, and a rich, smooth, oily flavor or texture in the mouth reminiscent of butter. This is created as the oils and fats are transferred from the coffee beans to the brew. Does a rich and smooth cup of hot, buttery coffee sound tempting? Then have some Jamaica Blue Mountain Cuvee and Highlander Grogg, and you’ll surely be satisfied. No matter what flavor you’re in the mood for, CoffeeAM has you covered! Join us once again right here to continue building your personal coffee dictionary. If there are specific terms that you would like to know more about, then please share them in the comments section, and we’ll explore them in our next post.


Updated 6/23/2020

Originally posted 8/2/2016

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