The term “Speciality Coffee” is not new and was first used in 1974 by Erna Knutsen in an issue of Tea & Coffee Trade Journal. Knutsen used this term to describe beans of the best flavour which are produced in special microclimates.

Speciality coffees are grown in special and ideal climates, and are distinctive because of their full cup taste and little to no defects. The unique flavours and tastes are a result of the special characteristics and composition of the soils in which they are produced.

But there is more to it. Not only where coffee grows but also all involved in the lifecycle of a coffee bean. When all involved in the value chain work in harmony with a keen focus on standards and excellence from start to finish.

Great coffee starts with the farmer, and then the green coffee is transferred to the green coffee buyer who determines whether it is speciality grade quality. High quality coffees are next transferred to the Coffee Roaster who will through a high degree of knowledge and experience produce speciality level roast profiles to ensure the highest standard of quality and flavour in the final roasted bean.

By the time the speciality coffee beans reach the retail environment, they have already passed 3 levels of inspection to ensure an extremely high level of quality control. Barista’s have the responsibility to brew the coffee properly to bring out every coffee bean’s true flavour potential. This obviously must also be true to the coffee lover who brews coffee at home.

This is no easy accomplishment, and yet because of these dedicated professionals, there are numerous speciality coffees available right now, and likely right around the corner from you.

Next time we will be focusing on how to brew that perfect cup.