What is Specialty Coffee?

Specialty coffee is a term used to describe high-quality coffee that is sourced, roasted, and brewed with exceptional care and attention to detail. It represents the top 1-2% of coffee beans produced worldwide. The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) defines specialty coffee as coffee that has been evaluated and scored by a qualified professional taster, or “cupper,” and has received a rating of 80 or above on a scale of 100. The SCAA also identifies several other criteria that contribute to a coffee’s “specialty” status, including: The coffee must be grown in a specific geographic region or microclimate with ideal growing conditions, such as high elevation, ample rainfall, and fertile soil. The coffee must be carefully harvested and processed to ensure that only the highest-quality beans are selected. The coffee must be roasted by an experienced roaster who understands the nuances of the beans and can bring out their unique flavor profiles. The coffee must be brewed using precise methods and equipment to ensure that the flavors are fully extracted and the coffee is enjoyed at its best. Specialty coffee is typically more expensive than lower-quality coffee, but many coffee enthusiasts believe that the extra cost is worth it for the superior taste and quality. Additionally, specialty coffee is often produced by small-scale, sustainable farmers who are paid a fair price for their crops, which helps to support local communities and protect the environment.