Coffee Spanish

Coffee Spanish for Coffee Buyers is a field guide for English speaking green coffee buyers and Spanish speaking coffee sellers. This book contains essential technical Spanish, plus advice needed by coffee buyers and roasters to communicate clearly. This is not a “Learn to speak Spanish book”, but is written for anyone who is in coffee and wants to learn more about the language, lingo, slang and phrases we all use and confuse in the green coffee buying business. Our goal is improved relationships and communication between coffee professionals on both sides of the buyer/seller connection.

Focused on the key phrases, technical terms, jargon and slang for the most important coffee terms used at origin in Latin America and giving coffee buyers a start on learning and speaking them as well as understanding how they are used, how they change and what they actually mean in a unique country-by-country format.  


One of the primary challenges for the vast majority of coffee professionals is a lack of clear communication and language understanding. It is more than a simple lack of Spanish or English fluency, it comes down to understanding the coffee centric technical language used in both English and Spanish. All too often doing a Google translate of a technical coffee word or phrase from Spanish to English results not only in terrible grammar, but in a nonsense string of words. That’s why we wrote this field guide. 

Who Cares:

Geared towards green coffee buyers and roasters who want to communicate more clearly with green coffee sellers in order to more effectively convey their desires and requirements for relationship, process and quality coffee and in order to get the coffee they want to their roastery.

Spanish speaking coffee sellers benefit as well since each country has a dedicated Coffee Spanish to Coffee English word widget that provides simple and clear translations of coffee technical terms and slang. Not a lowest common demoninatoresque high level approximation but a country by country breakdown of key terms in Spanish and English.

It should prove highly useful for anyone who is in coffee and wants to learn more about the origin side and learn the language, lingo, slang and phrases we all use and confuse whether you buy coffee or not. It is focused on improving relationships between coffee professionals on both sides of the buyer/seller connection.


What we have done is work closely with in-country contributors in each country in Latin America to create a list of the most important coffee words in English and the Spanish (or Portuguese) word in each specific country. We also cover some relationship tips and advice for working in each country to improve your experience when traveling.



Compiling the information contained within has been the labor of love of Andy Newbom and Andrew Russo. Aiding in the project is a score of local subject matter experts from each country in Latin America who each contributed to the knowledge and accuracy of this work. Where a simple translation could not suffice, these knowledgeable contributors were able to provide insight into local dialects, traditions, and terminology unique to their culture and society that would have otherwise escaped or confounded the visiting coffee buyer.

Andy Newbom

It ain’t easy being a greenie, but that’s where Andy’s 14 years of striving for coffee perfection have lead him. He has spent much of those last 14 years working with producers, millers, exporters and importers at origin to improve the quality and profitability of Specialty Coffee throughout the supply chain. As Director of Coffee for IPCoffees Specialty Imports he is building a new market for Mexican Specialty Coffee. Andy was the co-founder of Barefoot Coffee Roasters, Finca Coffees & Brew Revolution Craft Brewery along with his equally coffee obsessed wife Nanelle Newbom & one of the six founders of the BGA. He knows that every coffee has a home but that not every home has a coffee yet. He is also a Craft Coffee and Craft Beer Viking.

The beers to buy him when you see him:

“Anything craft beer that is complex, layered, nuanced and completes the flavor circle wheel. Especially well made hoppy IPAs, floral Belgians or Powerful Stouts.”


Andrew Russo

Andrew enjoys pouring over old roasting manuals and manuscripts. He also loves travel and adventure and finds plenty of both everywhere from Afghanistan to Nepal. When coffee and travel take a spot on the back burner, he ties up his running shoes and goes somewhere. Thus far he has not needed to use bear spray.

Since embarking upon this journey called coffee, he has earned his Q Grading License and has taught for the Specialty Coffee Association of America. He is the founder of the Save Lekali Fund, dedicated to helping the coffee producing region of Bhirkune, Nepal, and the consultancy Russo Roasts Coffee.

The beers to buy him when you see him:

“Imperial Russians, Porters, and Dunkels top my list but Belgians and any beer made by monks will suffice. If none of that is available follow my one rule for selecting an unknown beer. If the label has a person wielding a weapon or engaged in combat, it is a good beer and I will drink it.”



Without these coffee professionals help this field guide would be thinner, less precise and less flavorful. If you see any of them in their countries on your coffee journeys buy them a beer and thank them heartily.


  1. Edwin Martinez - Onyx Coffee & Finca Vista Hermosa - Guatemala
  2. Luis Rodriguez - Strictly Altura Coffee - El Salvador
  3. Fred Lullfitz - Sightglass Coffee, formerly of Caravela - Colombia
  4. Rodrigo Quiros - Finca El Estribo - México
  5. Ena Galletti - Galletti Coffee - Ecuador
  6. Grace Mena - Delicafe - Costa Rica
  7. Francisco Garcia - Nicaragua
  8. Bernardo Ornilla, COCAFCAL Café Capucas - Honduras
  9. Juan Atkins - Peru Global Imports - Peru
  10. Bruno Tavares - Ally Coffee - Brasil
  11. Moyses Salomao Neto - Independent Coffee Consultant - Brasil
  12. Rachel Peterson - Hacienda Esmeralda - Panama