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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Don't Sound Like a Tool: How to Pronounce Coffee Regions

Posted By on Tue, Jun 1, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Don't Sound Like a Tool is SFoodie's series of audio

pronunciation guides to sort-of-common-but-not-obvious words we

keep encountering on wine lists and menus. No more shame, no more


no more godawful imitations of a language you don't speak.

Five years ago, when buying coffee all you had to remember was whether you preferred Kenyan beans or the Major Dickason's Blend. But Blue Bottle, Ritual, Four Barrel, and their ilk have brought to market smaller coffee-growing regions named in languages most of us have never heard.


For those of you claiming coffee geekdom, it isn't enough to fill your house with Hario brewing devices and analyze the crema on your espresso. You have to properly cite where your coffee comes from (advanced geekdom: memorizing elevation, varietal, and dry versus wet processed). Ryan Brown, coffee buyer at Ritual Roasters, helped SFoodie record a list of the more common ― and commonly mispronounced ― coffee-growing regions that Third Wave roasters are bringing in, as well as a few of the varietals that counterpeople mention when describing the beans. Listen. Repeat. Then practice on a barista near you.


Boquete (Panama)


Cerrado (Brazil)

Gajah Aceh (Indonesia)

Harar (Ethiopia)

Huehuetenango (Guatemala)

Nyeri (Kenya)

Sidamo Sidama* (Ethiopia)

Sul de Minas (Brazil)

Sulawesi (Indonesia)

Yirgacheffe (Ethiopia)







* Since publication of this post, SFoodie has learned that "Sidama" is now the correct spelling of this region. Read our correction post for more information.

Follow us on Twitter: @SFoodie. Follow me at @JonKauffman.

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Jonathan Kauffman


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