Test Your Coffee IQ

Sam Sveen of Uel Zing, a Bloomington cold brew, teaches an intro coffee class at Ivy Tech. Could you pass the final?

This article is part of Indianapolis Monthly’s February 2016 Cool Beans coffee package. For more coffee coverage, click here

1. According to legend, which animal first discovered the energizing power of coffee?

A. A wolf
B. A goat
C. A meerkat
D. A bear

2. A light roast …

A. Contains less caffeine than a dark roast
B. Masks the bean’s unique flavor
C. Allows the bean’s origin and process to shine through
D. Must come from a specific breed of bean

3. The term “first crack” refers to …

A. The first time a barista breaks a mug
B. The first time you taste a new coffee
C. A transitional moment during the roasting process
D. The release of aroma during a cupping

4. Latte art demonstrates …

A. Proper milk temperature and texture
B. An individual artist’s ability
C. A steady hand and practiced technique
D. All of the above

5. A coffee plant is …Bean

A. A bush
B. A tree
C. A root vegetable
D. A flower

6. A coffee bean is actually a seed, found inside …

A. A pomegranate
B. A cherry
C. A cacao bean
D. A sunflower

7. There are several techniques by which the coffee bean can be separated from the fruit. Which of the following is not a real method?

A. Molasses process
B. Natural process
C. Honey process
D. Wet process

8. Finish the analogy:

Cupping : coffee :: ___ : wine

A. Pouring
B. Tasting
C. Serving
D. Drinking

9. What is this piece of equipment called?


A. A vac pot
B. An Erlenmeyer flask
C. A siphon
D. A crystal ball

10. True or false: Cold-brew coffee can be served hot.

A. True—isn’t it just a method of brewing?
B. False—wouldn’t that defeat the purpose?

11. Which contains the most caffeine?

A. A shot of espresso
B. A cappuccino
C. A latte
D. A mocha

12. What makes a latte “wet” or “dry”?

A. The amount of foam
B. The amount of milk
C. The amount of espresso
D. The temperature

13. What’s this?


A. A kettle
B. A gooseneck kettle
C. A V-60 coffee pot
D. A watering can

14. Which are pour-over methods of brewing coffee?

A. V-60
B. Chemex
C. French press
D. Your Mr. Coffee machine

15. Which country is part of the coffee belt?

A. United States
B. Sumatra
C. Vietnam
D. All of the above

Answers:  1. B. Legend has it that a goatherd in the Ethiopian highlands realized something was afoot when his herd began to prance more than usual after eating the fruit; 2. C. Light roasts are becoming increasingly popular; 3. C. This characteristic sound is created when all the water leaves the bean; 4. D. It’s also a competitive sport, represented by the U.S. Latte Art Championship as well as Indy’s own League of Lattes competition; 5. B. These little evergreens make perfect houseplants, too; 6. B. The cherries are dried and used as a tea, called casara; 7. A. Beans are left partially unwashed in the honey process, which deepens their flavor. In the wet process, bad beans float to the top and are discarded; in the natural (or dry) process, beans are sun-dried, resulting in a less-acidic taste. 8. B. A tasting class is called a cupping. See page 76 for local offerings; 9. A & C. Siphons, also known as vac pots, brew a smooth cup using vacuum and vapor pressure in separate chambers; 10. True. Cold brew packs a punch in its native form, but it can also be reheated, diluted, or used in cocktails and baked goods; 11. All of the above. They contain a shot of espresso, which clocks in at about 75 milligrams of caffeine; 12. A & B. A wet latte has less foam and more milk, while a dry one is almost all foam; 13. B. The namesake spout allows for more control of the water pour, which helps saturate all of the coffee grinds evenly; 14. A & B. Pour-overs extract more flavor from the coffee by saturating all of the grinds. 15. All of the above. Coffee-producing territories, including Hawaii, lie between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.