To simplify, Specialty Coffee is a term used to describe a grade of coffee quality from single origin coffee.
Coffee comes in many different qualities and coffee production can vary depending which market it is aimed for ( Big franchise, instant coffee and so on)
Specialty coffee is defined by the quality of beans and how good one coffee taste. With the care and attention to grow such produce comes with higher maintenance and difficulty. In different parts of the world where ideal micro climate gives growers the potential to grow great coffee together with great dedication comes beautifully diverse flavour experience just like an experience you have when enjoying fine wines.
Those in the specialty coffee industry wether you’re a green bean buyer, roaster, barista etc we all work together to aim for bringing our customers that optimum taste and experience.
The biggest thing that is unique to specialty coffees is that there is traceability from grower to consumer and everything in between with sustainability, growth, mutual benefits and positive impact throughout the supply chain.
On the other hand, coffees which get processed for mass production like commodity/commercial coffee ( lot of stuff you find in supermarket at a much lower price) comes with other priorities therefore, though it is “coffee” the process in which the coffee gets into consumers hands is completely different not to mention the more unpleasant balance of taste.
So what kind of coffee is classed as Specialty Coffee?
According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America, Arabica coffees which are scored 80 points and above is graded “Specialty” through a coffee tasting process called ‘Cupping’ Usually graded by a certified Q Grader.
Cupping is what can be described as the language in which we communicate the qualities of the coffee. With this tool we can identify different level of qualities within the coffee such as clarity, mouthfeel, acidity, balance and sweetness.
Working in the specialty coffee industry one must understand this basic knowledge in order to understand and identify both good and not so good qualities.
So, to sum it up it basically means it’s better quality coffee and you as a consumer is able to receive more information about the coffee you’re drinking such as where it has come from, who grew it, how it’s been processed etc along with a better tasting cup.
Also, if you’re buying directly from a specialty coffee roastery additional information about how and when it’s been roasted will be provided too which is great because no coffee taste better than fresh ones.
Once you develop your palette with these tasty coffees there’s no turning back! 😉