coffee glossaryCoffee has a language all its own. Here are a few of the frequently used coffee maker terms.  If you know of more that might help fellow coffee fans, please let us know and we will add them to the list.


Coffee Glossary

Auto Frother:

  • device that automatically froths milk for cappuccinos and lattes.

Automatic Drip Coffee Maker:

  • machine that automatically heats water and filters it through the coffee.

Automatic Espresso Machine and Coffee Maker:

  • an espresso machine featuring controllable, programmable coffee dosing.

Bean to Cup:

  • fully automated coffee making process. Machines with bean to cup capability do everything from grinding the beans to filling a cup with coffee.


  • steam machine inside coffee maker. Machines with larger boilers usually are more powerful and produce more hot water for beverages.

Boiler Element:

  • electric element that heats boiler in electric espresso coffee makers.


  • Italian espresso based beverage.

Cup Warmer:

  • metal portion at top of espresso coffee maker where cups are placed for warming.


  • refers to either the number of grams of coffee per cup or the amount of brewed coffee per cup.

Drip Tray:

  • Part of espresso coffee maker where coffee cup sits for filling.


  • Italian black coffee which preceded specialty coffees. Rich black coffee.

Filter Basket:

  • Metal filter where grounds are placed for brewing.

Filtered Method:

  • process of brewing coffee with a filter, coffee is separate from the water.

French Press:

  • aka plunger pot. A cylindrical coffee maker in which ground coffee is steeped then filtered. Coffee grounds are pushed to the bottom of the pot with the plunger. Coffee stays in the top of the pot.

Fully Automatic Espresso Machine and Coffee Maker:

  • machines which automatically manage the brewing process from coffee bean to fresh cup of coffee.


  • process of preparing coffee beans for coffee brewing.


  • Portion of espresso coffee maker that brews coffee.

Group Handle:

  • Portion of espresso coffee maker that holds the filter basket that ground coffee goes into.

Heat Exchanger:

  • heats water for coffee without taking water from the boiler.


  • portion of grinder that holds coffee beans.

Knock-out Box:

  • container used to knock the used coffee grounds from group handle.


  • Hot beverage made with one quarter coffee, three quarters of steamed, hot milk with little froth.


  • term used to describe hot beverage made from espresso, chocolate and milk.

Moka Pot:

  • Classic Italian espresso-maker used on top of the stove.


  • coffee maker that continuously runs water through the coffee grounds to make coffee.


  • a self-contained, single serving unit of ready to use coffee.

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.


  • device that moves water through the coffee maker.

Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine and Coffee Maker:

  • machine without pre-set dosing capability.

Steam Arm/Wand:

  • metal tube delivering steam to froth milk.

Super Automatic Espresso Machine and Coffee Maker:

  • machine which automatically manages brewing process from coffee bean to fresh cup of coffee in addition to other features such as a water filter.


  • act of pressing ground coffee into filter basket.

Vacuum coffee maker:

  • machine using vacuum process to make coffee.

Traditional espresso coffee maker:

  • machine that is not a bean to cup automated model.

Water Filter:

  • filters contaminants from water for better coffee taste.

Water Font:

  • nozzle used to dispense water from machine boiler.

Water Softener:

  • filters lime and minerals from water, preventing build up of scales in the coffee maker. This is a must have for anyone using hard water.