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What is specialty coffee?

Date: 05 Jul 2017

If you are a person who goes to a coffee shop and says just coffee, this article is for you.

So what is there so special about coffee? It is just coffee… You can’t get through the day without it, but you still say it’s just coffee. Well, luckily there are people, who actually got deeper into the field, and introduced a whole new dimension to the world. This dimension created a never-tiring, innovative and immensely diverse industry, which is making coffee lovers love coffee every time more and more.



The pursuit of greatness is what makes the coffee industry as exciting and addictive as it really is. Once you enjoy the good cup of coffee, you will never want to go back to instant coffee and even more you will start exploring the world in the pursuit of greatness.

So, there are some characteristics that define specialty coffee and you should bear them in mind once you get intrigued into third wave coffee. May be the first thing that comes in mind while explaining to someone what they are drinking is the origin of the coffee, i.e. the country or even the region it comes from. Therefore, planting the coffee in the appropriate microclimate is essential.

Furthermore, unlike the common perception that the taste of the coffee depends only on its quality, there are many other factors worth taking in consideration. Each and every step and person involved from the planting, through the method of processing the beans itself and roasting them, right until the brewing by the barista is extremely important. One should truly appreciate all the effort and heart that have been poured into the cup.



Something else that makes it easy to recognize specialty coffee is looking at its score assigned by the Specialty Coffee Association. The professionals there value the coffee’s taste and quality as objectively as possible. Overall, for a coffee to be named specialty coffee, it needs to score above 80 points (out of 100).

Furthermore, when we asked our head barista Kiril, he confirmed everything mentioned above, but he also added that the taste and the aroma are essential. In contrast with commercial coffee, specialty coffee is packed in smaller quantities and in smaller roasteries, the beans are never grinded and the variety one can discover is wider than the commercial’s one.

A newbie to the specialty coffee world should first open his mind and understand that bitterness is not what coffee should taste like. Once, you have understood this, only by experimenting over and over again, you will discover more and more flavours. Just have a quick look at this wheel:



Actually, these are all flavours that professional coffee lovers have discovered while tasting coffees from all over the world, roasted using different methods and beans.

Overall, may be the most frequently used analogy for newbies to understand what specialty coffee is is wine. There are wines from different regions, different sorts of grapes, different methods used during the production process, sommeliers to taste it and grade it, but the thing one should not forget is that specialty coffee might also be compared to cooking. This is so, because if a specialty coffee is not brewed by a skillful barista, then a package from the best coffee in the world could easily be ruined!








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