Written by JulieReading time 3 min
Speciality Coffee, what exactly do we mean when we talk about that? Many of you will have heard the expression, but it’s often hard to find a clear, precise and logical definition. Until now! Read on to find out all you need to know…
An introduction to speciality coffee
A speciality coffee is a gourmet coffee free of defects (also known as “fine coffee” or “premium coffee”). It has been carefully crafted by producers using methods and processes that make it entirely unique.
Speciality coffee must have traceable origins: it is sourced from a particular area or region with its own identity, meaning that each cup of coffee has a story to tell. Those origins are reflected in the taste. A speciality coffee typically offering a combination of complex flavours (acidity, bitterness, sweetness, etc.) and a wide array of aromas (fruity, gourmet, spiced, etc.).
The Speciality Coffee Association
The SCA is the Speciality Coffee Association, whose goal is to spread the knowledge of great coffee. Speciality coffees are high-end coffee-based drinks that are recognised (in a specific market and at a given time) as being of a unique quality. They offer distinct and superior taste and character compared to regular coffee-based drinks. The drink must be made from green coffee beans grown in select climates and must fulfill a series of demanding standards regarding its production, treatment, roasting, storage and preparation. You can read all about it on the SCA website.
Where does speciality coffee come from?
Historically speaking, the term “speciality coffee” first originated in the USA. In the United Kingdom, France and Scandinavia, the market for high quality coffee has been established for many years now, driven by the emergence of specialist coffee shops. It took until only a few years ago for these coffee beans to arrive in Europe as part of the “third wave”, the term coined for the elevation of coffee to the status of exceptional food product. This “third wave of coffee” started in 2002. Thanks to the work of pioneering craft roasteries and baristas who helped to change people’s perceptions of coffee. They place an emphasis on the importance of the whole process from farmer to cup.
Speciality coffee: the revolution is upon us!
Popping down to your local café to enjoy a good cup of coffee will come as second nature to many of you, fans of high quality coffee. But these days, it’s not enough just to taste the coffee. People want to know the origins of their coffee beans, including how it was produced and roasted. Tasting coffee has become a multi-sensual experience!
The speciality coffee revolution is gathering pace and we’re witnessing a widespread (and positive!) change in people’s attitudes, a movement towards coffee that is grown, roasted, prepared and tasted with RESPECT. And it’s up to us to spread the word about this new world, so that as many people as possible can become a part of it.
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