Coffee Glossary : P
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.
Parchment Coffee, In Parchment, En Pergamino. Describes wet-processed coffee shipped with the dried parchment skin still adhering to the bean. The parchment is removed prior to roasting, a step called milling.
Patio Drying. Drying coffee directly after picking (in the dry-processed method) or after fruit removal (in the wet-processed method) by exposing it to the heat of the sun by spreading and raking it in thin layers on open patios. A more traditional alternative to machine drying.
Peaberry, Caracol. A small, round bean formed when only one seed, rather than the usual two, develops at the heart of the coffee fruit. Peaberry beans are often separated from normal beans and sold as a distinct grade of a given coffee. Typically, but not always, they produce a brighter, more acidy, but lighter-bodied cup than normal beans from the same crop.
Percolation. Technically, any method of coffee brewing in which hot water percolates, or filters down through, a bed of ground coffee. The pumping percolator utilizes the power of boiling water to force water up a tube and over a bed of ground coffee.
Peru. The best Peru coffee is flavorful, aromatic, gentle, and mildly acidy. Chanchamayo from south-central Peru, and Urubamba, from a growing district farther south near Machu Picchu, are the best-known market names.
Polishing. An optional procedure at the end of coffee processing and milling in which the dried, shipment-ready beans are subjected to polishing by friction to remove the innermost, or silverskin, and improve their appearance. Polishing does nothing to help flavor and may even hurt it by heating the beans, hence most specialty coffee buyers do not encourage the practice.
Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico Yauco. Yauco coffees from Puerto Rico are a revived specialty origin that, at best, display the qualities that made Jamaica Blue Mountain famous: A deep, vibrant, yet restrained acidity and balanced, gently rich flavor. However, this potentially finest of Caribbean coffees is often marred by inconsistency.
Adapted from Coffee: A Guide to Buying, Brewing & Enjoying; Espresso: Ultimate Coffee; and Home Coffee Roasting: Romance & Revival. St. Martin's Press.
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