What is Speciality Coffee?
Speciality coffee is about exploring the flavour of coffee. The number of aromatic compounds in coffee is well over 800; increasing year on year as more are discovered. To put this into perspective, this is twice as many compounds as in wine. It is a complex drink. Complex and fragile.
Speciality coffee is in essence a quest to create and preserve those flavour compounds through the highest quality beans, quality processing and storage through to expert roasting and coffee extraction. The quest can fall apart at any stage. It is an art form requiring knowledge and skill. It isn’t an exact science either as coffee is such an organic product, exposed to all kinds of varying atmospheric conditions through its short life.
The journey the whole coffee bean takes from field to cup is essential and should be transparent; set out simply so you can just enjoy great tasting coffee that excites; whether you are making it professionally or in the comfort of your own home.
Technically speaking a speciality coffee is a coffee which is scored 80 out of 100 points or higher. Below this line it cannot be called speciality coffee. The scoring is done on the farms by the experienced coffee buyers through a process known as coffee cupping. Coffee cupping is at the essence of understanding coffee. Click here for our latest coffee cupping events. It is raw and basic and often done on open fires out in the field with bowls and coarsely ground coffee. Coffee farms don’t tend to have swish mobile coffee bars. All they need is a few simple utensils, water and heat. This is what we love about coffee. The technology is great, all the fantastic coffee machines and gizmos, but when stripped away, it is simply all about the coffee bean – the roasted seed inside the coffee cherry. It is simply all about letting nature create little wonders which we can adapt and distill.