So... what is Specialty exactly?
The term Speciality coffee is used by many, but what does it truly mean? In very simple terms, it means "The best of the best!"
The other, lesser quality option is commercial, or commodity-grade coffee, from which you can often be left with a bad aftertaste and a less than satisfying experience. On the other hand, with speciality coffee, you’re guaranteed quality. The coffee has been lovingly cared for through all stages of the coffee production, which helps make it so special and taste so good!
SPECIALITY COFFEE IS A TERM FOR THE HIGHEST GRADE OF COFFEE AVAILABLE, RELATING TO THE ENTIRE SUPPLY CHAIN, FROM FARMER TO CUP, USING SINGLE-ORIGIN COFFEE.
The widely accepted definition of ‘Speciality coffee’, is a coffee that scores 80 points or higher on the 100-point coffee review scale. Coffee scoring between 90-100 points is graded outstanding, coffee that scores between 85-89.99 is graded Excellent. Coffee scoring between 80-84.99 is graded Very Good. The coffee is given its score by certified coffee tasters known as ‘Q graders’. It is scored firstly on its defects. It can have zero primary defects such as black or sour beans; and less than 5 secondary defects, like insect damage or chipping per 100 beans.
Speciality coffee has the opportunity to be sweeter, smoother and more delicate than a lower grade of coffee. Its natural flavours have been preserved through gentle care throughout its growing and roasting process. Because the quality of the coffee is superior, it does not need to be roasted dark to hide impurities like most commercial coffees. This means that when roasting beans, we can keep the natural flavours within the coffee and highlight these in the roasting process, rather than having to hide behind a darker roast style.