Written by ChloéReading time 3 min
If you’re a coffee aficionado, then you’ve likely heard the term “specialty coffee” thrown around at some point. But what exactly is specialty coffee, and how does it differ from your average cup of joe? Specialty coffee is a high-quality coffee that is crafted with care from farm to cup, resulting in a cup that is free from defects and boasts unique flavour notes. To be classified as specialty, the coffee must score at least 80 points out of 100 according to the Specialty Coffee Association’s (SCA) strict evaluation criteria. In this blog post, we’ll dive deeper into the world of specialty coffee, exploring what it is, how it’s assessed, and how to find the perfect cup for you.
What is Specialty Coffee?
Specialty coffee, or speciality coffee, is the product of a meticulous process that involves everyone from the grower to the roaster. It is grown in specific regions with particular soil and climate conditions, harvested at just the right moment, processed with care, the green coffee beans are roasted to perfection, and expertly brewed. Every step of the way aims to preserve the unique flavour profile of the beans through to the final cup. Specialty coffee is crafted with an attention to detail that is unmatched in the industry, resulting in a premium product that is sought after worldwide.
The Role of the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA)
The SCA is a global non-profit organisation that sets the industry standards for specialty coffee. It comprises coffee professionals from around the world who work together to promote the cultivation, consumption, and knowledge of specialty coffee. The SCA’s evaluation and scoring criteria are rigorous, with a final score of at least 80 points out of 100 required to be considered specialty coffee. Coffee is assessed on a range of parameters, including aroma, flavour, balance, mouthfeel, and aftertaste. These criteria reflect the sensory quality of the coffee and are used to ensure a standardised and objective evaluation of beans.
How to Recognize Specialty Coffee
The best way to recognize specialty coffee is to look for its defining characteristics, such as its complex flavour profile, high quality, and ethical sourcing. When purchasing coffee, look for the SCA score on the packaging, which should be 80 or above, as this indicates that the coffee has met strict quality standards. Finally, be willing to experiment with different brewing methods and coffee blends to find the perfect cup to suit your taste buds.
A Selection of Specialty Coffee Products
Here are some examples of specialty coffee blends that are worth trying out:
MOKA NEKEMTE – CAFÉS LUGAT:
This Ethiopian coffee is grown at a high altitude and exhibits yellow fruits notes, with a hint of chocolate.
Coffee beans – Moka Nekemte – Cafés Lugat (250 g)
– Floral and fruity notes
– 100% Organic Arabica
– Rich & sweet and citrus aroma
THE FULL MONKEYS – TERRES DE CAFÉ:
This blend comprises coffee beans from Brazil, Guatemala and Ethiopia, and has a nutty, chocolatey flavour profile that is perfect for espresso.
Coffee beans – The Full Monkeys – Terres de Café (250 g)
– Notes : milk chocolate, caramel, cinnamon
– Origins: blend
– Packaging: 250g pack
GUATEMALA QUETZALITO – MOKXA:
This rich and full-bodied coffee boasts notes of roasted almond and sweet spices, with a smooth finish that lingers on the tongue.
Coffee beans – Guatemala Quetzalito – Mokxa (250g)
– Notes of milk chocolate
– Roasted in France
– Rich & sweet and spices aroma
Specialty coffee is more than just a buzzword; it’s a carefully crafted brew that reflects the hard work and dedication of coffee professionals worldwide. From its unique flavour profile to its ethical sourcing practices, specialty coffee is a way to indulge in the best of what coffee has to offer. By seeking out reputable specialty coffee roasters and experimenting with different blends and brewing techniques, you can enjoy a great coffee experience that is truly exceptional. So the next time you reach for a cup of coffee, consider exploring the world of specialty coffee and relishing in its many nuances and delights.
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