Coffee Glossary : K

Are you not familiar with a term used in one of our articles or reviews? Our Coffee Glossary defines hundreds of common and not-so-common words in the coffee lexicon. Click any letter below to view a list of coffee terms and definitions beginning with that letter.

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  • Kalossi.  A growing region in the southeastern highlands of Sulawesi. At best, distinguished by full body, expansive flavor, and a low-toned, vibrant acidity. At worst, many display unpleasant hard or musty defects. Some display an earthiness which many coffee lovers enjoy and others avoid.

    Kenya.  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 probably is the most consistent in quality and most widely available.

    Kilimanjaro.  Coffee from the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

    Kona, Hawaii Kona.  Single-origin coffee from the Kona coast of the Island of Hawaii. The best Kona coffee displays classic balance, with medium body, good acidity, and rich, complex aroma and flavor.

    Kopi Luwak.  Coffee from Sumatra, Indonesia, distinguished not by origin, but by the uniquely intimate way it is processed. A mammal called a luwak, or civet, eats ripe coffee cherries, digests the fruit, and excretes the seeds, after which the seeds or beans are gathered from its dry droppings. Kopi luwak is one of the most expensive coffees in the world owing to obvious limitations on its production. Authorities differ on how much of the kopi luwak that arrives at coffee dealers is authentic and how much is ordinary coffee that has been “treated” in luwak manure, but samples certainly look authentic, smell authentic, and are pleasantly earthy, sweet and full in the cup.

    Adapted from Coffee: A Guide to Buying, Brewing & Enjoying; Espresso: Ultimate Coffee; and Home Coffee Roasting: Romance & Revival. St. Martin's Press.

    Copyright © 1996, 2001 by Kenneth Davids. All Rights Reserved.