The production of premium coffee (specialty coffee) is the fastest growing segment of the coffee industry. While significant efforts in the coffee industry are focused on the selection of the finest beans, the specialty coffee industry places particular emphasis on transport, storage, roasting and packaging along with the selection of beans.
Since all of these factors affect the quality of the final product, specialists in this segment have developed quality assurance standards at every stage of production. We approach specialty coffee with the same attention and monitor the quality of the beans at all stages of processing.
But what exactly makes this coffee special? We have collected some interesting facts for you.
* Coffee points are awarded
Coffee is graded according to the Q grade system, which determines quality coffee beans and gives them points. The maximum score is 100 points. The qualities of the beans are taken into account: sourness, aroma, aftertaste and balance, as well as sweetness of taste and uniformity.
Coffee is considered special when it is awarded 80 points or more. The very best varieties usually receive more than 90 points. At the same time, robusta and coffee blends do not take part in the grading.
* Specialty coffee has almost no defects
Premium coffee must strictly adhere to the evaluation protocols. Beans should not have Category 1 defects (black or sour beans), but there may be up to five Category 2 defects (broken, insect damaged or partially black beans) per 350 g of specialty green coffee.
These imperfections can seriously overwhelm the taste of coffee, because even one defective bean spoils the taste of the coffee. As we said before, there will be no such disadvantages in specialty coffee.
* Special organizations control the quality of grains
Compliance with the Bean Evaluation Protocols described above is regulated by the Specialty Coffee Associations. As a rule, each coffee producing country has its own association.
Despite the fact that coffee is an ancient drink, the two largest associations (America and Europe) were established only at the end of the 20th century. The goal of these organizations is not only to unify the requirements and evaluate specialty coffee, but also to conduct trainings and championships.
* Top grade coffee is varied
Coffee made from selected beans is wonderful in that it opens up many flavor variations. Lovers of the drink prefer the highest grade grains, because different degrees of roasting, processing methods and varieties give different aromas and flavors: from light fruity to creamy and chocolate.
The possibility of such a wide choice allows you to be more selective in the purchase of coffee. You will find out your preferences, which can guide you when choosing grains.
* Specialty coffee fresher
Almost all coffee sold for mass consumption is less fresh than specialty coffee. Before buying, you need to check the roasting date on the package and choose the freshest one.
It is important to remember that espresso blends are good a few days after roasting, when the carbon dioxide has evaporated slightly from the beans.
So what's so special about specialty coffee? The most important thing is taste and quality: a variety of shades depending on the country, the way of processing and roasting; quality standards developed by special associations. This, perhaps, is what you should give preference to specialty coffee.