Just to be clear, this is a collection of terms as they relate to coffee makers, not a full list that would include all terms related to tasting and brewing.
Coffee has a language all its own. Here are a few of the frequently used coffee maker terms.
Auto Frother: A device that automatically froths milk for cappuccinos and lattes.
Automatic Drip Coffee Maker: A coffee maker that automatically heats water and filters it through the coffee. The coffee is then dispensed into a carafe or mug.
Automatic Espresso Machine and Coffee Maker: An espresso machine featuring controllable, programmable coffee dosing.
Bean to Cup: This is a fully automated process for making coffee. Machines with bean to cup capability do everything from grinding the beans to filling a cup with coffee.
Boiler: The steam machine inside the coffee maker. Machines with larger boilers usually are more powerful and produce more hot water for beverages.
Boiler Element: An electric element that heats water in electric espresso coffee makers.
Cappuccino: Italian espresso based beverage that uses steamed milk.This is usually topped with foam.
Cup Warmer: A metal portion at top of espresso coffee maker where cups are placed for warming.
Dosing: Refers to either the number of grams of coffee per cup or the amount of brewed coffee per cup.
Drip Tray: Part of an espresso coffee maker where a coffee cup sits for filling.
Espresso: Italian black coffee which preceded specialty coffees. This is a very rich, black coffee.
Filtered Method: The process of brewing coffee with a filter, coffee is separate from the water.
French Press Coffee Maker: A cylindrical coffee maker in which coffee grounds are steeped in hot water for four to five minutes. A filter is then plunged through to the bottom of the carafe, pushing the grounds down and leaving the coffee at the top of the pot.
Fully Automatic Espresso Machine and Coffee Maker: These are the machines which automatically manage the entire brewing process from coffee bean to fresh cup of coffee.
Grind: process of preparing coffee beans for coffee brewing.
Group: The part of an espresso coffee maker that brews coffee.
Group Handle: Part of an espresso coffee maker that holds the filter basket that ground coffee goes into.
Heat Exchanger: This heats the water for coffee without taking water from the boiler.
Hopper: The part of a coffee grinder that holds the coffee beans.
Knock-out Box: The container used to knock the used coffee grounds from the group handle.
Latte: Hot beverage made with one quarter coffee, three quarters of steamed, hot milk with a light froth. Some popular lattes are now also made with half milk and half coffee.
Mocha: A term used to describe hot beverages made from espresso, chocolate and milk.
Moka Pot: Classic Italian espresso-maker used on top of the stove.
Percolator: A coffee maker that continuously runs water through the coffee grounds to make coffee. This is usually done by boiling water. The bubbles are forced through a hollow, stem-like tube.
Pod: A self-contained, single serving unit of ready to use coffee. Keurig K-cups are the most popular type.
Pour/Pour Speed/Pour Time: The amount of time required to pour coffee from group into cup. Should be 25 to 30 seconds for espresso.
Pump: A device that moves water through the coffee maker.
Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine and Coffee Maker: A machine without a pre-set dosing capability.
Steam Arm/Wand: metal tube delivering steam to froth milk.
Super Automatic Espresso Machine and Coffee Maker: A machine which automatically manages the brewing process from coffee bean to a fresh cup of coffee. It may include other features such as a water filter.
Tamper: Tool used for tamping (see below).
Tamping: The act of pressing ground coffee into a filter basket.
Vacuum Coffee Maker: A machine that uses a vacuum process to make coffee.
Traditional Espresso Coffee Maker: A coffee maker that isn’t an automated bean-to-cup model.
Water Filter: Filters contaminants from your water for a more pleasant and consistent coffee flavor. Note that distilled water completely removes minerals which will bring out the nuances of a coffee bean so it’s never recommended to use it.
Water Font: The nozzle that’s used to dispense water from the machine boiler.
Water Softener: Softens minerals and from water, preventing build up of scales in the coffee maker. If you have hard water, softening it is absolutely critical if you ever want a decent cup of coffee.