Most people know that oenophiles have their own language to describe the complex flavors in a good glass of wine. What may be more surprising is that the world of coffee has almost as many words. One of my favorite coffee sites, Sweet Maria’s, has a reference guide to all the lingo, but I almost prefer to dive into it headfirst:
The weather betrayed Harar coffee this year, rain during the drying time, drought during the wet time. So you can imagine that I was surprised to cup a small lot of Harar at random and find it was not only free from those defective “dirt and rot” flavors, but was a really nice cup. It was sweet, lively, spicey, silky-bodied, and was marked by candied fruit flavors and sweet spice notes. And equally surprising is that it came from our old supplier Mohammed Ogsadey under his Horse mark, a source that has, in recent times, tasted a bit more like a horse than anything. It was this one lot, with the charming designation of 14659 that was so sweet and delicious, because even it’s [sic] sister-lot that came with it had weird gamey notes, and a distinct mustiness. Well, I know when I am facing a small miracle, so I bought every bag that remained. This is a different type of coffee than the apricot to blueberry-toned lots of 2+ years ago. The fruited notes are a bit deeper, and in general this lot is not as acidic as those historic ago. It’s a very balanced cup between the body, spice notes, fruits and acidity. When I first cupped this I feared I might be experiencing a little “irrational exhuberance,” [sic]…But I checked and rechecked my cup results and continue to get sweet spice and low-toned jammy fruit notes.
I have no idea what any of that means, but it just sounds delicious, doesn’t it? The most detailed description I can muster up of my coffee is “with milk and sugar.” How do you describe your favorite beverages?