Coffee is like wine. There’s the gas-station kind that taste like sludge, the critically-acclaimed kind that experts and hipsters alike hail as tasting like bouquets of flowers — and everything in between.
Similar to wine, coffee is made from fermented fruit (technically fermented seeds, in the case of coffee) that produce different flavors and aromas depending on the plant variety, how and where it is grown, and other factors. Professional tasters have their rubrics and definitions for what makes a delicious drink — and we’ll share some of their insights — but the only thing that really matters is finding a coffee you love. Here is some coffee vocabulary to help you identify what you’re tasting, so you can order coffee you like.