Coffee and Espresso Glossary – T


TACHIRA – See Venezuela Tachira Coffee.

TACITAS – Tiny china cups, even smaller than demitasse cups, used to serve Cafe Cubano (Cuban Coffee; Cafecito) at the end of a meal.

TAINT/TAINTED (Tainted Taste; Tainted Odor) – See Coffee Defects.

TAMP/TAMPING – See Tamping Espresso Coffee.

TAMPER – See Tamping Espresso Coffee.

TANGY – An intense, even piercing, sour/sweet secondary coffee taste sensation felt on the sides of the tongue. The predominant taste is a darting sourness and tangy quality that is produced by excess sugars which provide an almost fruity sensation.

Unwashed India Arabica Coffees are known for this characteristic tangy quality.

TANZANIA AA COFFEE (Tanzanian AA Coffee) – The highest grade of Tanzania Coffee. Also see Tanzania Coffee.

TANZANIA ARUSHA COFFEE (Tanzanian Arusha Coffee) – Tanzanian Arusha is a market name for the Arusha varietal coffee plant grown in Tanzania on the hills of Mt. Meru.

The Arusha varietal is an Arabica coffee plant varietal that is either a Typica or French Mission variety. Also see Tanzania Coffee.

TANZANIA KILIMANJARO COFFEE (Tanzanian Kilimanjaro Coffee) – A Tanzanian coffee grown on the hills of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

TANZANIA MBEYA COFFEE (Tanzanian Mbeya Coffee) – Grown in southern Tanzania, Mbeya coffee is also known as Pare – both are market names for coffees from this southern region. Also see Tanzania Coffee.

TANZANIA MOSHI COFFEE (Tanzanian Moshi Coffee) – A market name for Tanzanian coffee grown on the hills of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Also see Tanzania Coffee.

TANZANIA PARE COFFEE (Tanzanian Pare Coffee) – Grown in southern Tanzania, Pare coffee is also known as Mbeya – both are market names for coffees from this southern region. Also see Tanzania Coffee.

TANZANIA PEABERRY COFFEE (Tanzanian Peaberry Coffee) – See Tanzania Peaberry Coffee.

TAPACHULA COFFEE – See Mexican Tapachula Coffee.

TARRAZU COFFEE – See Costa Rica Tarrazu Coffee.

TARRY – A taste defect which causes the brewed coffee to exhibit an undesirable burnt character. This tarry quality is created during the holding process after brewing the coffee, and is caused by the condensation and scorching of proteins in the coffee.

TART – A sour, puckering secondary coffee flavor characteristic/taste sensation along the sides of the tongue. This tart quality is created by excess sour acids.

TASSIMO COFFEE PODS (T-Discs; T Discs) – See T-Discs.

TASTE – The overall description and combined sensations and perceptions of the distinctive aroma and flavor characteristics of the coffee; the fusion of body, acidity, aroma, and aftertaste.

A well-balanced coffee is one in which no single taste characteristic dominates and/or overpowers/overwhelms the others. A coffee’s taste is what remains once the coffee’s acidity, body, and aroma have been described.

The water-soluble taste and aromatic compounds of coffee are perceived primarily through smell (the olfactory membranes) and taste buds (nerve endings on the tongue). Professional coffee tasters often distinguish the coffee’s taste (flavor) from its acidity, aroma, and body.

Some general coffee taste descriptions include complex (multi-flavored), rich (describes a full-bodied coffee), and bitter. Some coffees have a taste reminiscent of red wine and are referred to as winy. Other coffees have a fruity essence that suggests berries or citrus.

Many other coffee taste characteristics are listed throughout this Coffee and Espresso Glossary.

TASTE BUDS – The tongue’s nerve endings which sense various stimulations including sour, bitter, salty, and sweet. Also called taste receptors.


TASTE OF THE ROAST – A general term describing the various sensations associated with dark-roasted coffee, including sweet and subtle caramel flavors and pungent notes in contrast to acidy notes of light-roasted coffee. Also called roast taste.

TASTE PROFILE – A coffee’s overall flavor qualities including body, aroma, acidity, sweetness/bitterness, and finish/aftertaste. Also important is whether there are any flavor defects.

TASTE RECEPTORS – The tongue’s nerve endings which sense various stimulations including sour, bitter, salt, and sweet. Also called taste buds.

TASTER’S CHOICE – A brand of instant coffee sold by the Nestle company replacing their Nescafe brand. In 2003 the Nescafe brand was reintroduced in the United States and now goes by the name Nescafe Taster’s Choice available in either plastic packaging or glass.

TASTE TAINT – See Coffee Defects.

TASTING COFFEE – See Coffee Cupping (Professional Coffee Tasting).

T COFFEE BEANS – See Kenya T Coffee Beans.

T-DISCS (Tassimo Coffee Pods; Tassimo Coffee Pod; T-Disc; T Disc) – See T-Discs.


TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS FOR ESPRESSO – See Espresso Technical Specifications.

TEN STANDARDS OF FAIR TRADE – See Ten Standards of Fair Trade.

TEPPI COFFEE – Grown at elevations ranging from 3,600 feet to 6,200 feet above sea level, Teppi coffee is an Ethiopian Coffee that exhibits a distinct wildness characteristic of the country’s coffees.

Along with Bebeka coffee beans, Teppi coffee beans are often used for blending and are known to offer a well-balanced cup of brewed coffee.

Also see Ethiopian Coffee.

THE COFFEE PROJECT – See Coffee Project.

THE HOMEROASTER – See Homeroaster.

THERMAL BLOCK – A system used to heat water in espresso machines utilizing coils of pipe which are enclosed within a heating element or within a hot water tank. Also see Thermoblock.

THERMAL CONTAINER – A container designed to maintain brewed coffee’s proper temperature without applying direct heat.

THERMOBLOCK – A heating system in some espresso machines which sends the water through a series of channels, or heated metal coils. As the water passes through the coils it becomes increasingly hotter and then reaches the espresso machine boiler. A thermoblock heating system is somewhat similar to how a car radiator works. Also see Thermal Block.

THERMOMETER – A device used to measure the brewing temperature of coffee or espresso, steamed milk being prepared for espresso-based specialty coffee drinks (espresso drinks), and whole coffee beans during the coffee roasting process.

THERMOSTAT – A part, on most home espresso machines (consumer espresso machines) that have a single boiler, which measures the temperature and can activate or deactivate the machine’s heating element based upon the measured temperature.

THE ROASTERS GUILD – See Roasters Guild.

THE SONGBIRD FOUNDATION – See Songbird Foundation.

THICK – A relatively high percentage of solid materials (insoluble proteins and fine particles of coffee bean fibers) which are suspended in the brewed coffee. Common in espresso.

THIN – Denotes a brewed coffee with a relatively low (almost imperceptible) percentage of solid materials (insoluble proteins and fine particles of coffee bean fibers) in suspension, and thus the coffee lacks any substantial body.

THREE WAY SOLENOID (3 Way Solenoid; 3-Way Solenoid) – See Pressure Relief System.

TIMOR COFFEE (Tim Tim Coffee) – See Timor Coffee.

TIMOTHY’S WORLD COFFEE (Timothy’s K Cups) – See Coffee Companies.

TIM TIM COFFEE – An Indonesian name of Timor coffee, an interspecific hybrid of Robusta (Coffea canephora var. robusta) and Coffea arabica. Tim Tim was first discovered in the 1940s on the island of Timor in Indonesia. Timor coffee plants began to be cultivated due to their strong resistance to coffee leaf rust, a disease that afflicts most coffee plant species.

The Tim Tim varietal has 44 chromosomes and resembles the Arabica coffee plant. The coffee beans are respected for their vibrant yet low-toned acidity and full body though if poorly processed there may be an unpleasant hardness or musty taste. Also called Bor Bor Coffee; Hybrido de Timor Coffee. Also see Indonesia Coffee.

TIPPED – A mistake during coffee roasting which causes a charring of the end of the coffee beans due to too much heat being applied too quickly. This taste taint gives the brewed coffee a cereal-like taste.

TOAST-LIKE – A coffee aroma descriptor (aromatic sensation) suggesting a malty or cereal aroma; grain-type aroma and/or flavor (e.g., barley, wheat, corn, freshly baked bread, toast, malt extract).

TOBACCO – A coffee aroma sensation suggesting the odor and taste of unburnt tobacco.

TOFFEE LATTE – See Espresso Drink Recipes.

TONE – The color and overall appearance of the brewed coffee.

TORAJA COFFEE (Indonesia Sulawesi Toraja Kalossi Coffee; Celebes Toraja Coffee) – See Sulawesi Toraja Coffee.


TRES RIOS COFFEE – Tres Rios is a coffee growing region in Costa Rica near the Pacific Ocean. The Tres Rios region produces some of the country’s most distinguished coffees which are known to be bright coffees with a sweet, mild flavor. Tres Rios is a market name. Also see Costa Rica Coffee.

TRANSFAIR CANADA – See Organic and Fair Trade Coffee Organizations.

TRANSFAIR USA – See Organic and Fair Trade Coffee Organizations.

TRIANGLE CUPPING – A method used by cuppers (professional coffee tasters) to ensure that two coffee samples are different from each other.

Three cups of each of the two coffees are tasted but with each three cups one of the cups is from the other sample and the cupper has to pick out the odd sample.

TRIGLYCERIDE PROCESS OF DECAFFEINATION – In this direct contact method method of decaffeination, green coffee beans (milled but not yet roasted) are placed in hot water, and this solution serves to draw caffeine toward the surface of the beans. Then the coffee beans are put in a separate container and immersed in coffee oils which were previously extracted from other coffee grounds.

A high temperature is maintained for several hours as the caffeine is removed from the coffee beans by the triglyceride in the oils, while the essential flavor elements of the coffee beans remain relatively intact.

When a sufficient amount of caffeine has been removed (separated) from the coffee beans they are removed from the oils and dried.

The caffeine is then removed from the oils, which are used again to decaffeinate a new batch of green coffee beans.

TRIGLYCERIDES – Chemical compounds which serve as decaffeination agents in the process of decaffeinating coffee. Also see Decaffeinated Coffee.

TT COFFEE BEANS – See Kenya TT Coffee Beans.

TUGOSARI COFFEE ESTATE – One of the five largest Dutch colonial estates on the eastern end of the island of Java in Indonesia. The finest Java coffee comes from these large plantation estates established by the Dutch government in the 18th century when Java was part of the Dutch East Indies.

Together these large estates – Kayumas, Tugosari, Blawan, Pancoer, and Jampit – encompass more than 4,000 hectares of coffee tree plantings.

TURBULENCE – Agitation of coffee grounds within the coffee bed during coffee brewing. The brew turbulence is created by the rate of the water flow during brewing as well as the water’s spray pattern and the configuration of the brew basket on the brewing equipment.

TURKISH COFFEE – This traditional coffee involves a distinct brewing method that includes grinding coffee beans to a powder, adding sweetener and spice, and then boiling it in water in an ibrik, which is a brass or copper pot with a long handle.

The very fine coffee grinds are then served along with the liquid coffee beverage, which is typically poured directly into a demitasse. The coffee grinds are then allowed to settle before drinking the coffee. Turkish coffee is also called Middle Eastern Coffee and Greek Coffee.

TURKISH ROAST – See Dark Roast.

TURPENY – A coffee flavor characteristic/aromatic sensation similar to turpentine. This turpeny quality is produced by volatile nitrites and hydrocarbon compounds which are present in the aftertaste of brewed coffee creating either medicinal sensations (e.g., like camphor) or resinous sensations (e.g., like turpentine).

TWISTY – A brewed coffee that is unreliable, exhibiting more than one negative quality either in a single cup or from cup to cup.

TYPE I HAWAIIAN KONA COFFEE BEANS (Type I Kona Coffee Beans) – A grade of Kona coffee beans. Type I Kona coffee beans have two seeds (half-beans) per coffee cherry (fruit). The coffee beans are oval (football-shaped) on one side and flat on the other side. Also see Hawaii Coffee.

The primary grades of Type I Hawaii Kona Coffee beans are: Prime (the lowest grade); Kona #1, a mid-grade coffee bean often sold in bulk and used in many restaurants; Fancy (also a high grade); and Extra Fancy (the highest grade).

TYPE II HAWAIIAN KONA COFFEE BEANS (Type II Hawaii Kona Coffee Beans; Type II Kona Coffee Beans) – A grade of Kona coffee beans. Type II Kona coffee beans have just one whole round bean per coffee cherry (fruit). These are also known as Kona Peaberry or peaberry Kona coffee beans.

Grades of Type II Hawaii Kona Coffee include Peaberry Prime and Peaberry Number One, sorted by size, moisture content, and purity of bean type.

From one to eight percent of any crop are peaberry coffee beans, and they are said to have a higher density as well as more concentrated, robust flavor, rich aroma and with a distinct aciditybrighter yet lighter – than non-peaberry coffee beans from the same crop.

This may be due to the peaberry’s ability to get more nutrients from the coffee tree while developing within the coffee cherry (fruit).

Peaberry beans are considered the “champagne of coffee” and sell for a higher price. Also see Kona Peaberry CoffeeHawaii Coffee; Hawaii Kona Coffee.

TYPICA COFFEE – A Coffea arabica coffee plant varietal (Coffea arabica var. typica), Typica and varietals derived from Typica tend to grow in a conical shape with secondary varietals growing in a slight slant of about 60 degrees off the vertical trunk. Typica is a relatively tall coffee plant varietal, growing to about 3.75 meters in height.

Though Typica is not an extremely productive varietal (e.g. 25% less productive than the Bourbon varietal), Typica produces one of the most admired cups of brewed coffee.

Typica is considered an “Old Arabicavarietal along with Bourbon (Coffea arabica var. bourbon), and these older varietals are said to produced a higher quality cup of brewed coffee than more modern varietals including the many hybrids and other varietals derived from Typica such as Arusha (Coffea arabica var. arusha), Bergendal (Coffea arabica var. bergendal), Blue Mountain (Coffea arabica var. blue mountain), Maragogype (Coffea arabica var. maragogype), Maragojipe (Coffea arabica var. maragojipe), Mundo Novo (Coffea arabica var. mundo novo), Pacas (Coffea arabica var. pacas), Pache comum (Coffea arabica var. pache comum), and Sidikalang (Coffea arabica var. sidikalang).

All Typica coffee plants today are virtually the same genetic variety as the coffee plants that were given to King Louis XIV by the French in the 17th century.

Since the time of King Louis and the French intrigue, slight mutations to the Typica varietal have occurred in the different locations where the coffee plant is grown including Kona in Hawaii.

To read more about the history of this prized coffee see World’s Best History of Coffee.

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