Specialty Coffee: What Makes it So Special?

If you’re an avid coffee drinker, chances are that you’ve come across the term specialty coffee at least once in the hunt for that perfect cup of coffee. Passionate baristas, latte art, manual coffee brewing, and tiny espresso drinks make up just a portion of the specialty coffee movement; the foundations run much deeper.

The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) defines specialty coffee as coffee that has been graded above 80. This means that the quality of the coffee is beyond the final product served on your cup. Specialty coffee is a novel approach to coffee that is driven by morally conscious ethics, an appreciation for quality and variety, and a thriving community that spans the globe.

Let’s dwell deeper into what makes specialty coffee special and different from your run-of-the-mill freshly ground coffee.

3 Reasons Why Specialty Coffee is Special

Quality of the Coffee

    The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about specialty coffee is its advanced quality. The flavors hidden in a cup of coffee are rich and crisp, and this comes not just from the quality of the specialty coffee beans, but from the work ethic and dedication put into it by the farmer. 

    Countries like Ethiopia, Kenya and Colombia are known for producing some of the best specialty coffees in the world. Specialty coffee can only be grown in ideal conditions; if the seed is planted in the wrong spot, in the wrong soil, or even at the wrong altitude, then the coffee will lose its special certification. Farmers have to take special care to ensure that the beans are harvested at the right time to get maximum flavor from them. 

    The beans should then be delivered swiftly to the mill to preserve the freshness and potential of the coffee beans. The beans should then be carefully processed and special attention should be given to ensure that the bean is not dried unevenly, insufficiently, too slowly, or too quickly, as this will reduce its chances of being graded special. The barista will also need to pay heed to the fact that utmost precision is needed to bring out the best from these carefully harvested and processed beans.

    Globally Conscious Coffee

      An increasing inclination toward global ethic consciousness can be witnessed in the coffee industry of today and spearheading this movement are specialty coffees. The history of coffee is a bleak one. Farmer oppression, widespread poverty and slavery are just a few of the dark marks that have riddled the history of coffee with holes. While the worst is behind us, the effects of that desolate past can still be felt. Specialty coffee is aiming to change this.

      Specialty coffee is sourced differently. Roasters that are part of this industry participate in direct trade sourcing. By going to the farms, themselves and making direct deals, they are able to secure better wages for the farmers and can build long-term relationships. The direct trade model will go a long way in raising the bar for coffee quality, encouraging greater sustainability, and enhancing the overall prosperity of the farmers and traders.

      Differently Roasted Coffee

          Roasters in the world of specialty coffee do not adhere to the age-old formulas that have been used for centuries. The role of a roaster in developing a balanced and rich flavor profile of a coffee in the specialty coffee world cannot be understated.

          Specialty coffee roasters are known to roast the beans lighter, enabling them to maintain and bring out diverse flavors that speak about the coffee’s origin. This way of roasting lets you enjoy subtle flavors such as blueberries, milk chocolate, honey, star anise, cane sugar, and more in your everyday cup of joe. 

          There is more to the world of specialty coffee than meets the eye. The various types of specialty coffee are redefining what coffee as a whole signifies and in the process are creating an industry that is more connected and passionate than ever before. Armed with morals such as transparency while selling coffee and overall upliftment of the coffee community, specialty coffees could very much be the standard going forward into the future.

          We at Third Wave Coffee, take pride in being one of the best coffee brands in India and have always strived to surpass our limits and deliver the highest quality of ethically sourced coffee to our customers. The Karyakadan Estate coffee beans are a prime example of our continuous push towards perfection. The medium-roast coffee beans ooze flavors of decadent milk chocolate balanced against bright, sweet cherries, canopied by a slight caramel undertone. Make sure to try this and more exquisite flavors available on our website or at a Third Wave Coffee Café near you.