Chances are, you've come across the term "specialty coffee" a few times, but what exactly does it mean? Whether you're new to the coffee scene or a longtime coffee lover, let's dive into the beautiful world of specialty coffee together.
The Magic of Specialty Coffee
1. Quality Takes Center Stage
A coffee earns the title “Specialty coffee” when it is scored between 80 and 100 points on the Specialty Coffee Association's (SCA) rating scale. The journey begins with testing the green coffee bean and continues through the brewing process, where a certified Q Grader tests it through a process known as "cupping."
To claim a score above 80, the green coffee bean must be free of primary defects like mold or sourness. The brewed coffee must have distinctive attributes in fragrance, aroma, acidity, body, balance and sweetness.
2. From Origins to Tasting Notes: A Flavorful Journey
The story of specialty coffee unfolds from its origin. Honoring the coffee's journey from its homeland to your cup is key – beyond the country, it's about tracing the path to the specific farm or cooperative responsible for the distinct experience.
Tasting notes, part of the grading and cupping process, cast light on the essence of specialty coffee. However, keep in mind that taste can be subjective. It's okay if a coffee promises notes of jasmine, even if you can't quite catch it. Check out the Coffee Tasters flavor wheel for reference.
3. Relationships and Values: Ethical Sourcing in Action
For specialty coffee roasters, coffee isn't just a product—it's a connection. Roasters often foster direct relationships with coffee producers or partner with importers who share their values. This connection embodies ethical sourcing, creating a cycle of premium compensation for farmers and a sustainable chain.
4. Sustainability and Caring for the Earth
The pursuit of coffee excellence goes hand in hand with responsible farming practices. Farmers take great care in handpicking, safeguarding crops from harmful chemicals, managing water wisely, and nurturing shade-grown plants, just to name a few. These practices result in beans with minimal defects and healthy farm land.
Here's an interesting coffee fact: Many farmers embrace sustainable and organic practices, however are unable to obtain official certification due to the high fees.
Another fascinating coffee fact: Coffee farms led by women often produce coffee of exceptional quality.
Photo of the Peixoto Family Farm in Minas Gerais, Brazil
Specialty coffee is more than just a beverage; it's a blend of quality, flavor, and values. Join us on this journey at Sueños Coffee Co., where each sip embodies the dedication of farmers and female roasters. Experience the beauty that sets specialty coffee apart—an experience that's genuine, unfiltered, and irresistible.
At Sueños Coffee Co., receive a new specialty coffee from a women-owned roaster right at your doorstep on your schedule! It’s an easy and convenient way to enjoy quality and ethically sourced coffee. Receive 10% off your first order by signing up here.