Features

With the popularity of coffee rising, it helps to become familiar with some of the features that appear on the label or in the cup. Here are some of the coffee features to consider.

AA
Denotes the second-largest beans on a Kenyan grading scale; usually sold at a higher price than any other grade.

C.A.F.E.
A Starbucks term, standing for Coffee and Farmer Equity. According to the company’s website, those guidelines, developed with Conservation International, “help our farmers grow coffee in a way that’s better for both people and the planet.”

Caffeine
The amount of caffeine in a cup can vary greatly, depending on factors such as blend, method of brewing, and type of bean.

Decaffeinated
Caffeine is removed from green coffee beans before roasting. The green coffee beans are steamed and then the outer layers containing the caffeine are scraped off. The decaffeinated coffee beans are then returned to their normal moisture content levels, ready for roasting. The processing almost always affects the flavor and decaffeinated brews may taste flat or dull.

Fair trade certified
Part of a nonprofit, international program that advocates sustainable production and fair prices for small farmers. TransFair USA, the certifying organization, also works for safe working conditions (and no forced child labor), limits the use of harmful pesticides, and supports credit plans and training for farm workers.

Flavored
Brews with the taste and aroma of Hazelnut, Vanilla, Irish cream, and others are made by adding flavoring agents to the roasted beans.

Growing region
Coffee is grown throughout the tropics worldwide. Regional influences have created a wide variety of coffees with unique tastes and smells. Coffee connoisseurs tend to favor one region over another.

Organic
Means that the coffee was grown without synthetic fertilizers and most industrial pesticides.

Rainforest Alliance certified
This nonprofit group has determined that chemical pesticide use was limited, water and soil were conserved, and workers were treated fairly.