What is Specialty coffee?
by The Caffeine Spot
The concept of Specialty Coffee might be strange for most of the coffee drinkers out there. Usually, we just go to the supermarket and buy whatever coffee bag we see in the shelves. They are so cheap after all!
We get it! Not everyone can pay +$15 for a coffee bag, but there’s a hidden story behind that cheap coffee you get at the supermarket: unethical practices that just help to increase the farmers’ poverty.
This is a complex discussion, but one that is lived every year for the majority of coffee farmers out there. That is why we aim to support a fair trade, and an ethical production of specialty coffee for everyone involved in its process.
We recommend reading this paper from the SCAA for more information on the consequences of buying irres-
ponsibly sourced coffee bags for coffee-growers in the world. And also to learn about the proposed solutions.
“Producing specialty coffee is a collective work, a careful, and patient process. It translates to QUALITY.”
But, what is specialty coffee exactly?
So why did we start with the above? That’s simple! Specialty coffee is really special! And it’s all about quality:
From the moment the cherry is picked, to the moment you prepare it at home, or get it served at your favorite coffee place. And that moment when the cherry is picked is crucial in the process. You have to understand that this tedious work done by the hardworking coffee farmers is the one that defines the taste of your favorite drink!
SO, LET’S GET A BIT TECHNICAL
Specialty coffee translates to nothing more than to QUALITY. That’s the word we would use to summarize its meaning, but according to the SCA, here’s a better explanation:
“Specialty coffee can consistently exist through the dedication of the people who have made it their life’s work to continually make quality their highest priority. This is not the work of only one person in the lifecycle of a coffee bean; specialty can only occur when all of those involved in the coffee value chain work in harmony and maintain a keen focus on standards and excellence from start to finish. This is no easy accomplishment, and yet because of these dedicated professionals, there are numerous specialty coffees available right now, across the globe, and likely right around the corner from you.”
The production of Specialty coffee is an art, one that is taken very seriously, and one that becomes a lifestyle for us, coffee passionates.
Once you start to comprehend the meaning of specialty coffee, you realize the difference in the quality of coffee you’re getting from the supermarket shelves vs an specialty coffee bag.
Commercial coffee (the one you normally get in supermarkets) is – most of the time – mixed with sugar, “to taste better” or just to modify the flavor of the bean once roasted. It is roasted, and sold in bulk. Commercial coffee loses notes – flavor characteristics of the bean – in the roast process, and you’ll find it pretty much in any local shop.
Have you started to notice the difference between commercial, and specialty coffee yet? Producing specialty coffee is a collective work, a careful, and patient process, it’s focused on the quality rather than the quantity. It’s not produced in high numbers, but by small coffee roasters, who care more about the quality, than about the quantity.
The coffee culture is so vast, yet, many people ignore it. As coffee passionates, we should – as much as we can – support the ethical consumption of coffee, and that’s why we are here. To support, and learn as much as we can about a sustainable way of delivering responsible coffee to your homes.