Definition: "Coffee" generally refers to a beverage made by the infusion, decoction or percolation of the roasted, ground seeds of the coffee plant* (genus Coffea, and usually C. arabica or C. canephora / C. robusta). Coffee is prized for its aroma and flavor, and is noted for the fact that it naturally contains varying levels of caffeine. In coffee cupping, traits of coffee like acidity and mouthfeel are also noted.
In business or culinary terminology, "coffee" may also refer to coffee seeds (commonly called "coffee beans") in their wet, dry, raw, roasted, whole, ground / crushed, or dehydrated state. (Used or unused ground coffee is typically referred to as "coffee grounds." Dehydrated coffee is used to prepare instant coffee.)
In coffeehouses, cafes and restaurants, the word "coffee" may also refer to a single cup of coffee, as in, "I'd like a coffee with milk, please."
In social situations, "coffee" may refer to a casual gathering or meeting, as in, "Let's grab a coffee [and chat]."
In design and the arts, "coffee" may refer to a dark brown color. Similarly, "espresso" may be used to refer to an even darker brown color.
* The coffee plant is a species of flowering plant in the Rubiaceae family. It is a tropical shrub or tree that originated in Africa and is currently produced in many of the world's hotter climates, including South America, Central America, Mexico, Hawaii and parts of Asia. While the C. arabica species produces better coffee, the C. canephora species (which is frequently referred to as "Robusta coffee") is more common. The coffee seed, or "coffee bean," comes from the coffee berry, or "coffee cherry."
For more information on terms related to "coffee", see the following definitions:
- Arabica Coffee Definition
- Caffeine Definition
- Caffé Americano Definition
- Decaf Definition
- Kona Coffee Definition
- Peaberry Coffee Definition
- Red Eye Coffee Definition
- Robusta Coffee Definition
- What's the Difference Between Robusta and Arabica Coffee Beans?
- How Do I Store Coffee?
- Can I Compost Coffee Grounds?
- Coffee Grinding Guide
- What are the Main Types of Coffee Roasts?
- Do All Coffee Roasts Have the Same Amount of Caffeine?
- Why Do Coffee Beans Crack When Roasted?
- How Do I Roast Coffee at Home?
- How to Brew Coffee
- How to Pull Espresso Shots
- Easy Coffee Recipes
- Hot Coffee Recipes
- Iced Coffee Recipes
- Coffee Cocktail Recipes
- The Origin of Coffee
- The Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony
- Ethiopian Coffee Culture
- The History of Coffee Making
- The History of the Coffee House
- Words for Coffee Around the World
Pronunciation: ˈkȯ-fē, ˈkä-fē (rhymes with "toffee")
Common Misspellings: coffe, cofee, coffey