What is speciality coffee?
Most people have heard the phrase ‘speciality coffee’ (specialty if you prefer the US spelling) but what is speciality coffee exactly?
So.. there are lots of different types of coffee produced across the world – Robusta, Arabica etc- but all coffee beans are graded in the same way. Coffee is graded on a 100-point ‘Coffee Review’ scale and the people who are qualified to grade coffee are known as Q graders. They ensure that coffee can be graded in a consistent way all over the world and in all stages of its journey.
” It’s about a community of passionate people working together to deliver the best possible coffee experience”
The accepted definition of specialty coffee is coffee scoring 80 points or above. Coffee scoring from 90-100 is graded Outstanding, coffee that scores 85-89.99 is graded excellent, while coffee scoring 80-84.99 is graded ‘very good’ but all are accepted as Speciality grade coffee. Only 6% of all the coffee produced in the world is classified as speciality coffee.
It takes a lot of hard work and energy to produce speciality grade coffee which is why only a small percentage of all coffee produced is of this standard. While the farmers have to work harder to produce it they will earn a significant premium for the high quality coffee that they produce.
While the definition of what classifies a coffee as ‘Speciality’ is its grade, the term ‘Speciality Coffee’ generally refers to something wider – incorporating the entire supply chain. The roasters who buy speciality coffee will pay more attention to the roasting of it; ensuring they understand the characteristics of a specific bean and trying different roast styles to draw out the best flavours. People who supply the coffee to the consumers work hard to ensure that it delivered as fresh as possible to ensure it can be enjoyed as intended. It’s about a community of passionate people working together to deliver a superior coffee experience and we’re proud to be involved in some small way.
If you’re wondering how to know if your coffee is speciality or not there are a few key things you should look for on the bag:
1. The roasted date, very important
2. The bean origin(s)
3. The flavour, or tasting, notes
If the bag does not contain this information is safe to say that it won’t be speciality coffee.
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