G

  • Gabah – In Sumatra, the term in Bahasa Indonesian for coffee that is barely dried after pulping and fermenting (or not), and ready to sell to a collector. This coffee is usually 40-50% moisture content.
  • Garungan – Garungan is a coffee variety I encountered in the Lintong area of Sumatra. It has the form of a Typica, but the new leaf is green, not bronze. It has upright branch structure like Bourbon, and long narrow leaves like Typica
  • George Howell – George Howell is a founder of the Cup of Excellence, devised the CoE cupping form, and is one who argues passionately for clean cup quality, free of flavors derived from processing. He currently owns Terroir coffee, and founded The Coffee Connection in the Boston area.
  • Gerstel-Twister – The Gerstel-Twister allows analysis of organic compounds from aqueous matrices by Stir Bar Sorptive Extraction (SBSE): Faster than with conventional techniques, omitting time-costly preparation steps and solvents and up to 1000´ more sensitive than SPME. The GERSTEL-Twister looks like a conventional magnetic stirring rod, and works the same – except for one small difference: While it is stirring, it adsorbs and concentrates the organic contents onto its coating of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS).
  • Gesha – Gesha (often wishfully misspelled as Geisha) is a long-bean Ethiopia cultivar selection with unique cup character. It is most famously grown on the Jaramillo plot at Hacienda Esmeralda in Panama by the Peterson family. It has now been broadly planted in other Central America countries and beyond to capitalize on the high price it has fetched. It was distributed from the garden at CATIE in Costa Rica, and displayed some rust-resistant properties. Gesha is a town in Western Ethiopia.
  • Gneiss – a geology term
  • Golden Beans – Golden beans are found in Yemen and Ethiopia dry-process coffees, and sometimes in other origins. They are pale yellow and slightly translucent. While not an outright defect, they are caused by iron deficiency in the plant, and/or high soil PH. They are sometimes separated and sold at a premium, with the false belief that they have better cup quality.
  • Grade – Nearly every county of origin has its own grading scale. It can be incredibly confusing. Sometimes the coffee earns a higher grade than it deserves, sometimes the grade is actually lowered to avoid tariffs! Central and South Americans tend to follow the SHB and SHG model (Strictly Hard Bean and Strictly High Grown indicates altitudes above 1000m). So hard beans grow at higher altitude and that’s good, right? Well, in Brazil’s grading, Strictly Soft is a top grade. Many countries use a simple numeric scale. But a Grade 4 Ethiopian is the top Dry-Processed grade you’ll see (Gr.2 in washed Ethiopians), and a Grade 1 Sumatra DP allows 8% defects (in fact Sumatra Grading is based on cup quality)! In essence, all should conform to the Green Coffee Classification System, but they don’t. Refer to the SCAA Green Coffee Classification Poster or the Green Coffee Association charts available on the internet.
  • Grady – Grady is a rarely-used defect coffee term for muddled, unclean coffee flavor.
  • GrainPro Super – Grain Bag A multi-layer plastic bag with a gas barrier enabling coffee”to build up a modified atmosphere, similar to the principle of the Cocoon” (quoted from the GrainPro literature). The bags can be used with any kind of commodity, and in tests using coffee, the bags have been shown to extend the flavor life of the coffee. We started using them extensively in 2008 to store delicate coffees and have found them to work very well. It means that we can buy more coffee at the peak of the season, when the best coffee is available, and then hold it in GrainPro for a few months with no flavor loss. In our coffee reviews, when we indicate GrainPro arrivals we are saying that, independent of the arrival month, the coffee is being stored to optimize freshness. For example, ordering a Costa Rica in December that arrived in jute bags in June formerly meant the coffee was on it’s last legs, and might be showing some age in the cup flavors. Last year, tapped GrainPro shipments that arrived in June the following February and they were spectacular, with no indication of age in the cup flavor! These bags are for resealable safe storage of dry commodities. The bags act as a gas and moisture-proof barrier which guards against the ingress of water vapor, while retaining low Oxygen and Carbon-Dioxide levels created by the respiration of the commodity. They are made of tough, multi-layer plastic with gas barrier between layers of PE 0.078mm thick material. They are sealed using tie-wraps and placed inside the large jute bags of coffee in our warehouse.
  • Grainy – A roast-related flavor, sometimes used negatively, but it can also be a positive flavor attribute. Usually grain flavors indicate a too-light roast, stopped before 1st crack concluded, like under-developed grain flavor. It can also result from baking the coffee, long roasts at low temperatures. Grain sweetness in some coffees is desirable, like malted barley, wheat, toast, brown bread, malt-o-meal, graham cracker, etc.
  • Grassy – Greenish flavor in the cup, usually indicating early crop, unrested coffee. This is a fresh cut grass flavor, chlorophyll-like, not a dried grass or hay flavor that would indicate old, past crop coffee.
  • Green Coffee – Green coffee is a dense, raw green-to-yellow colored seed. In it’s essence, coffee is the dried seed from the fruit of a flowering tree – each fruit having 2 seeds facing each other (the flat side of the coffee “bean”) or in the case of the peaberry, a single rounded seed. Coffee is imported from coffee-producing origins in this form, then either roasted at home in small machines, on the stove or a host of other methods … or roasted at a small, local shop in a batch roaster ranging from 5 kilos to 50 kilos … or roasted at a large commercial roaster, either batch or continuous. Green coffee can be stored for months, up to a year or more in vacuum packs, with little to no flavor loss (whereas roasted coffee starts to stale within 10 days from roasting. Coffee is not really a bean, it is the seed from the fruit of a flowering tropical shrub.
  • Green Coffee Appearance – Appearance: This is an informal scoring of the Number of Defects per 300 gram sample (2d/300g = 2 defects) and is scored by the Specialty Coffee Association of Americas Green Coffee Classification System in most cases. It should communicate the quality of the preparation and sorting of the coffee, but doesn’t directly indicate the “cup quality,” which is the most important rating of coffee. A zero defect score doesn’t mean that your 5 lbs. will have no defective beans either! The second number is Screen Size, expressed as 14/16 scr, or 18 scr. Once again, bigger isn’t better, and small beans of varied screen size can make for a great cup too (i.e.: Yemeni coffee).
  • Green Coffee Storage – Green coffee in general can be stored up to one year from the date of processing with no noticeable changes in flavor. Bright, delicate coffees can fade faster; earthy coffees can last a bit longer. Very often the type and quality of the processing methods used on the coffee will determine how long a coffee will hold up. For example, “Miel” or pulped natural processing very often shortens the storage life of a coffee – you will see changes in flavor sooner and in a more pronounced way than with other processing methods. Green, unroasted coffee ought to be stored in a cool dry place, ideally in a breathable container like burlap, or cotton. Coffee that is stored too long can absorb the flavor of whatever it is stored in, and so is called “baggy”. This means you have an exceptional coffee ruined by storing it for too long. The refrigerator is too humid, and the freezer too dry for green coffee storage. For a hundred years or more coffee has been transported the same way, in large burlap or jute bags. More recently, producers have experimented with vacuum packaging and storage in special multi-layer poly bags to extend the life of the coffee.
  • Greenish – A smell or flavor of fresh-cut green plants, vegetable leaves or grass, usually indicating fresh new-crop coffees that have not fully rested in parchment. Part of the expertise of cupping lots at origin before export is to see the potential cup quality despite the greenish flavors of young, unrested coffee.
  • Guanabana – A tropical fruit with distinct sweet flavor of strawberry-pineapple as well as a tart citrus accent, found in some coffees (Colombia Huila and Cauca comes to mind)
  • Guardiola – Guardiola is a term for a drum type coffee dryer, that brings down the moisture level over a period of 3 days or so. It is used as an alternative to patio drying in the sun for wet-process coffees still in parchment. It is considered better than the vertical dryers. Input heat temperature should be around 50 centigrade.
  • Guatemala – Guatemalan coffee is revered as one of the most flavorful and nuanced cups in the world. Due to our proximity to Guatemala, some of the finest coffees from this origin come to the United States. Guatemalan growing regions vary in their potential cup quality: many have sufficient altitude, soil and climate conditions. Antiguas are well-known and highly rated. Huehuetenango from the north highland can be exceptional and have distinct fruit flavors. Coban, Fraijanes and Quiche can be nice, but they need to be cupped carefully: they can have a nice cup but sometimes less complexity and depth. Atitlan has produced some very fine coffees in the past few years. But remember, you can’t count on any origin to necessarily produce a great coffee: the quality cup is still hard to find among even the most celebrated and recognized regions …in this case Antigua.
  • Guava – In coffee, the very aromatic tropical fruit note of Guava. (Guayaba in Spanish)
  • Guayaba – The Spanish term for Guava, a tropical fruit flavor found in some coffees, fruited Colombia types for example. Goiabada is the sweet Guava candy paste, and this is found in some Cauca coffees as well as other origins.