As I've been researching the history of the bean varieties I offer, I've come across dozens of "descriptors" of bean flavor and texture. Many of them conflict -- some sources call a bean creamy in texture, while others describe the same variety as mealy. As far as I can tell, there's no common language for dry beans, as there are for wine, coffee and chocolate. I don't find these vague descriptors helpful, and I imagine you don't, either.
What does "creamy" mean? How about "meaty?" When is a bean "mealy" and when is it "floury?"
Are beans ever "sweet?" Don't all beans taste "beany?"
I'm developing a lexicon -- a meaningful vocabulary, if you will -- for heirloom bean flavors and textures. I'll use them consistently across the store's website, so if you know one bean that you like, you can find heirloom varieties that substitute well.
I've created a page just for this lexicon. Let's start with a few examples.
If you like kidney beans, you like a meaty bean with a mildly beany flavor that stands up well to long cooking and holds its shape. Popular in chili and bean salads, red kidney beans come in dark and light. You'll like Jacob's Trout, Calypso, Colorado River, and Anasazi.
This is a big project, so the lexicon will be updated over time. Of course, people's perceptions of flavor vary wildly, so to accommodate that, I'll try to provide the closest mainstream bean for comparison. Please bear with me as I develop this lexicon.