Decoding Specialty Coffee - 5 ‘Must Know’ Facts!
Specialty coffee is the outcome of many people dedicated towards serving excellence on their part of getting coffee from farm to table. However, taste of these coffee beans remains the final arbiter of excellence. And when you appreciate a wonderful cup of handcrafted coffee, you acknowledge the years of work that brought it to this point. We have 5 ‘must know’ facts about specialty coffee.
  1. The term ‘Specialty Coffee’ was coined in 1974 by Erna Knutsen (the Queen of specialty coffee in the US, and the first female founded green coffee trading company).
  2. Specialty coffee is the highest grade of coffee available across the world. Specialty coffee in its raw form must be free of primary defects and when roasted has to pass cupping and grading tests.
  3. Specialty coffee possesses the best flavours and aroma because it's grown in very specific microclimates. Much like wine, coffee flavor is also affected by soil, altitude and other climatic factors. In Ethiopia alone there are reportedly over 10,000 varieties.
  4. The highest scoring specialty coffee beans are cupped and scored according to the fragrance, aroma, acidity, body, sweetness, balance and aftertaste.
  5. There are currently three distinct coffee waves or trends that define the evolution of coffee. Specialty coffee forms the third wave, the term third wave was coined by Trish Rothgeb.