What is the Specialty Coffee

Specialty coffee is a type of drink that is prepared according to high standards. It should be made by a certified coffee expert and must meet certain criteria to be considered special.

There are four main factors that make coffee specialty. These factors include: Origin, Beans, Brewing method, and Taste.


Specialty coffee begins with the farmers who plant and grow their beans with the utmost care. Their unique climates and soil composition produce unqiue flavours that are enhanced even further during the rest of the supply chain process.

The Speciality Coffee Association has a series of standards that coffee must achieve at each stage of the process to be called specialty. The minimum requirement is a score of 80 points or higher (a coffee must pass a taste test where 350g of coffee and water are assessed by an expert slurping and sniffing the cups).

There are also other criteria such as the fact that a coffee must be single origin, have a specific terroir and be shade grown. The experts in the coffee world spend hours of their lives assessing and training in the art of preparing good quality specialty coffee. This shows their passion for the product and a moral compulsion to ensure the supply chain is fair and sustainable.


Unlike the commodity coffee market, roasters often make deals directly with the farms. This cuts out some middlemen, which helps both sides. In the case of specialty, roasters are looking to pay a fair price that allows them to buy beans at their maximum potential and brew them in such a way that they can reveal their full flavour profile. This means that the beans must be grown in the right soil and microclimate.

The beans must also pass rigorous grading and cupping tests to be considered speciality. This includes having zero primary defects, being appropriately dried and sized, and exhibiting distinctive characteristics. This is done by a certified coffee taster, called a Q Grader. These professionals are the coffee equivalent of a sommelier.

To ensure that the roaster is buying the highest quality beans, look for “roasted on” dates. If the date is months in the future, that roaster may be trying to sell you older beans.

Brewing method

Specialty coffee is roasted and brewed to reveal the full potential of its unique flavors. It is usually served by trained baristas who have a deep understanding of the beans’ origin, farmer’s techniques and tasting notes.

Speciality coffee is a higher quality than what you find at most large coffee chains and is often sourced directly from the farms. During harvest, the farmers carefully select only the ripe fruits and check for defects or damages. Commercial coffee farms, on the other hand, pay little attention to removing any unripe or defective beans, which then end up being roasted with the good ones.

Specialty coffee is also brewed with a high focus on extraction. The right water temperature and grind size can help bring out the best flavor characteristics of the beans. The ideal ratio is 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground coffee to 6 ounces of water. Try different brewing methods such as pour over, French press and AeroPress to experience the diverse range of flavors that specialty coffee can offer.


Many coffee lovers have moved away from seeing their morning brew as just a stimulant, used to get them through the day. Instead, they want it to be a delicious product, bursting with flavour and sustainably sourced.

Specialty coffee is made of beans grown at high altitudes in carefully managed climates to produce unqiue flavours. These high quality beans are then enhanced and perfected by expert roasters, which is where the real magic happens.

These roasters value sustainability, quality and cooperation, and are committed to helping coffee farmers improve their livelihoods. They also aim to connect you with your coffee, so you can meet the people who grow it. They may even use a gooseneck kettle or timer to brew their beans at the most accurate settings, resulting in a cup that’s full of complex flavours. A cup of this quality is likely to rekindle your passion for the bean, and will make you wonder why you ever settled for store-bought coffee before.

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