A is for...

Acidity: Experts measure a coffee’s acidity to determine the overall tasting experience of any given variety of coffee. A variety of different acids can be found in coffees, including citric, phosphoric and malic. These acidic tones usually provide the fruity taste that we associate with some coffees and are determined by the conditions that in which it the bean was grown. Be aware, however, that acidity is not always a good thing, and can be a sign of coffee that has been improperly processed.

Affogato: A coffee-based dessert hailing from Italy, where ice cream –traditionally vanilla – is smothered by an espresso shot. Will you have one scoop or two?

Africa: Africa is one of the major global growers of coffee beans. Most familiar on the British high-street are East African coffees, coming from Kenya and Ethiopia. Other leading African coffee-producing nations are Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. African coffees are incredibly versatile, and have a rich depth of flavour unlike no other. In recent years, there has been an incredible effort by organisations to ensure Fair Trade practices are applied to our coffee drinking and buying, ensuring farmers from the African continent receive a good price for their work, and helping to invest in local communities. 

Amaretti Biscuits: Infused with amaretto liqueur, these crunchy Italian biscuits are a perfect accompaniment to an after-dinner espresso.

Americano: A caffè Americano is a staple of coffee shops around the UK. It is created by diluting a double espresso shot with hot water, which creates a marvellously light crema on the surface. Americanos are normally served black or with hot or cold milk. Legend has it that the Americano was born during World War Two, when G.I.s mixed the Italian espresso with water because they found it too strong.

Arabica: The best quality of coffee is Arabica, which makes up the majority of the coffee cultivated and consumed globally. Arabica is lower in in caffeine that its counterpart, Robusta, and its beans are recognisable for being oval in shape. Originating in Ethiopia, Arabica coffee has a sweet flavour, balanced by a whole host of other notes, such as overtones of chocolate.

Aroma: Have you ever used the words ‘strong’, ‘rich’ or ‘delicate’ to describe the taste of your coffee? Such terms relate to what is known as the aroma of the coffee: the fragrance that is released when coffee is brewed. Aroma is an important – but often overlooked – part of experiencing coffee, and can often tell you a lot about the characteristics of any given coffee variety before you have even tasted it.