Coffee Glossary : O

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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  • Oaxaca (Wah-HAH-kuh), Oaxaca Pluma.  Market name for coffee from the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca.

    Ocoa.  Market name for one of the better-respected coffees of the Dominican Republic.

    Old Arabicas.  Botanical varieties or cultivars of the Coffea arabica species that were developed by selection relatively early in the history of coffee, such as var. bourbon and var. typica, as opposed to hybrid varieties that have been developed more recently in deliberate efforts to increase disease resistance and production. Many experts contend that the modern varieties of Coffea arabica produce coffee that is inferior in cup quality and interest to the coffee produced by the more traditional old arabica varieties.

    Old Crop.  Coffee that has been held in warehouses before shipping. Old crop differs from aged or vintage and mature coffees in two ways: First, it has not been held for as long a period, and second, it may not have been handled with as much deliberateness. Depending on the characteristics of the original coffee and the quality of the handling, old crop may or may not be considered superior in cup characteristics to a new crop version of the same coffee. See also New Crop.

    Old Java, Old Government, Old Brown.  Arabica coffee from Java that, like mature coffee, has been deliberately held in warehouses in port cities to reduce acidity and increase body. The purpose is to mimic the flavor characteristics of the original Java coffee, which was inadvertently aged in the holds of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century sailing ships during their passage to Europe.

    Old Tavern Coffee Estate.  A small, highly regarded producer of certified Jamaica Blue Mountain™ coffee using traditional wet processing methods.

    Open-Pot Method.  Brewing method in which the ground coffee is steeped (not boiled) in an open pot, and separated from the brewed coffee by settling or straining.

    Organic Coffee, Certified Organic Coffee.  Coffee that has been certified by a third-party agency as having been grown and processed without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or similar chemicals.

    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.