What is Specialty Coffee?
I congratulate you for chasing information and wanting to get to know the world of coffee.
The world of coffee provides depth and width in every step of the coffee production process, meaning there is more to coffee than the drinking phase of it. It is built on the hard work and effort of the people who their highest priority is quality.
Specialty coffee as a definition refers to coffee beans, of the best flavor, which are produced in special micro-climates (Erna Knutsen, 1974). It definitely takes, what we know about coffee, to the next level.
Specialty coffee related to "The Third Wave of Coffee"- a movement to produce high-quality coffee and consider coffee as an artisanal foodstuff. It aspires to the highest form of culinary appreciation of coffee, in a way that one may appreciate subtleties of flavor, varietal, and growing region – similar to other products such as wine, tea, and chocolate.
This information is important. Now you know that coffee could actually be treated and produced in a special way. I believe that only that understanding can lead you to the beautiful exploration journey in the world of specialty coffee.
What will you gain from consuming specialty coffee? The high quality of the coffee beans translated directly into better-tasting coffee and might even help you to avoid some known side effects caused by consuming lower quality coffee. By consuming or buying coffee at specialty roasters or a specialty coffee shop that sources coffee in a traceable and a responsible way, you will contribute directly to the coffee community, and support the work done and the relationship between to coffee-producing families, the roasteries and you, the consumers. Whether we produce, or roast or selling or consuming coffee we are all part of this beautiful coffee-circle.
The role of the specialty coffee shops
The decision to work with specialty graded coffee has more to it besides the fact that you're working much higher-quality raw product that tastes better and has higher health benefits. On the shops' shoulders lays the responsibility to educate, teach and explain its customers on what specialty coffee is and how to consume and buy coffee in a sustainable way, and this way ensuring the continuing of the cycle of the specialty coffee production and consumption. Think about it as the shops are like the mediator between the production phase and the customers. You won't be able to consume such coffee without the specialty roasters and shops who are acting as the face of the coffee-community and thus have a big role in the game. The education, of course, works also inwards. I hardly see a functioning specialty coffee place delivering a well-extracted coffee without any professional discussion or a learning process going on inside the working place between the staff and team and that is a key factor in the industry.
How to find a specialty coffee shop?
I found that searching online is a good way to see where you can find a specialty coffee shop near you. It's an easy way to see which cafes consider themselves a specialty coffee shop before you head out to town. You can also try the traditional way and ask for recommendations from your family or friends or following blogs recommendations.
You can look for the SCA (specialty coffee association) sticker or certification hanged somewhere at the shop that will help you to distinguish between a specialty coffee shop and a non-specialty coffee, but bear in mind that it's not an absolute truth so if not you could just ask the staff.
Enjoy your explorations and thanks again for stopping by!