What is specialty coffee?

What’s this fancy specialty coffee all about?

Specialty coffee has become increasingly popular in recent years, with more and more people seeking out high-quality coffee beans and brewing methods. But what exactly is specialty coffee, and why is it so special? In this blog, we’ll explore the world of specialty coffee and what sets it apart from your average cup of joe.

First of all, let’s define what we mean by “specialty coffee.” According to the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), specialty coffee is coffee that scores 80 points or above on a 100-point scale in a professional coffee cupping. Cupping is a formal tasting process used by coffee professionals to evaluate the aroma, flavor, and body of different coffees.

So what does it take for a coffee to score 80 points or above? It starts with the beans themselves. Specialty coffee is made from high-quality Arabica beans, which are grown at high altitudes in specific regions around the world. These beans are typically hand-picked and processed using methods that preserve the flavor and quality of the beans.

Once the beans are harvested and processed, they go through a rigorous quality control process to ensure that they meet the standards for specialty coffee. This includes testing for defects and inconsistencies in the beans, as well as evaluating their flavor profile through cupping.

So why is specialty coffee so special? For one thing, it simply tastes better. Because specialty coffee is made from high-quality beans that are carefully grown, harvested, and processed, it has a more complex and nuanced flavor profile than your average cup of coffee. You might taste notes of fruit, chocolate, or even floral aromas in a good cup of specialty coffee.

But it’s not just about the taste. Specialty coffee also has a positive impact on the environment and the people who grow and harvest the beans. Many specialty coffee producers use sustainable farming practices, which help to protect the soil and preserve local ecosystems. Additionally, specialty coffee can provide a more stable and equitable income for farmers, since they are able to command higher prices for their high-quality beans.

Of course, all of this comes at a cost. Specialty coffee is more expensive than your average cup of coffee, since it requires more time, care, and resources to produce. But for many coffee lovers, the extra cost is worth it for the superior flavor and positive impact on the environment and communities where the beans are grown.

So if you’re a coffee drinker who hasn’t yet ventured into the world of specialty coffee, now is the time to give it a try. Seek out a local specialty coffee roaster (Ahem, Arroo Coffee of course!) or shop, and ask for their recommendations on beans and brewing methods. You might be surprised at the difference in flavor and quality that you’ll experience, and you’ll be supporting a more sustainable and equitable coffee industry in the process.