Coffee Glossary : H

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.

Haiti.  The best Haiti coffees are low-acid, medium-bodied, and pleasantly soft and rich. At this writing, virtually all Haiti coffees entering the United States are produced by a large group of cooperatives and marketed under the name Haitian Bleu.

Hard.  Trade term for low-quality coffee, in contrast to mild coffee. In Brazil, Hard is a grade name for coffee that has been tainted by micro-organisms during drying and displays harsh, nuance-dampening flavor notes.

Hard Bean.  Term often used to describe coffees grown at relatively high altitudes; in the same context, coffees grown at lower altitudes are often designated Soft Bean. The higher altitudes and lower temperatures produce a slower maturing fruit and a harder, less porous bean. Hard bean coffees usually make a more acidy and more flavorful cup than do soft bean coffees, although there are many exceptions to this generalization. The hard bean/soft bean distinction is used most frequently in evaluating coffees of Central America, where it figures in grade descriptions.

Harrar, Harar, Harer, Mocha Harrar, Moka Harar, Mocca Harar.  The best of the dry-processed, or natural, coffees of Ethiopia. Grown in eastern Ethiopia near the city of Harrar. Usually rather light-bodied but fragrant with complex wine-, fruit-, or floral-toned acidity. Often substituted for Yemen in Mocha-Java blends.

Hawaii.  The traditional and classic coffee of Hawaii is Kona, grown on the west coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. On the other Hawaiian islands, however, sugar-cane and pineapple plantations have been converted to premium coffee farms. Kauai (Kauai Coffee), Molokai (Malulani Estate) and Oahu all now produce interesting and improving coffees.

Heavy Roast.  Also known as French Roast and Spanish Roast. Terms for coffee brought to degrees of roast considerably darker than the American norm; may range in color from dark brown (see Espresso Roast) to nearly black (see Dark French Roast) and in flavor from rich and bittersweet to thin-bodied and burned.

Heredia.  Market name for a respected coffee of Costa Rica.

High Roast, Full-City Roast, Light French Roast, Viennese Roast, Light Espresso Roast, City Roast.  Terms for coffee brought to degrees of roast somewhat darker than the traditional American norm, but lighter than the classic dark roast variously called espresso, French, or Italian. In the cup, full-city and associated roast styles are less acidy and smoother than the traditional American “medium” roast, but may display fewer of the distinctive taste characteristics of the original coffee. Among many newer American specialty roasters, roast styles once called full-city, Viennese, etc. may constitute the typical, “regular” roast of coffee.

High-Grown.  Arabica coffees grown at altitudes over 3,000 feet, usually higher. Such coffees are generally superior to coffees grown at lower altitudes. The term high-grown is also used in many Latin American grade descriptions.

Huehuetenango.  One of the better coffees of Guatemala.

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.