Coffee is a drink that is loved by many around the world. However, not all coffees are the same. Specialty coffee is a category of coffee that is quickly becoming a favorite among coffee lovers around the world. But what exactly is specialty coffee?
Specialty coffee is a category of coffee that refers to high-quality coffee beans that are grown under ideal conditions and handled with care at all stages of production . These coffee beans are evaluated through a process known as “cupping,” where cuppers taste and rate the coffee based on factors such as flavor, aroma, body, acidity, and overall balance in the cup.
These cuppers , known as Q Graders , must be certified by the SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) . This association regulates coffee evaluations, and determines that, to be considered specialty coffee, the coffee bean must obtain a rating of at least 80 points on a scale of 100 . The qualification process is rigorous and defined step by step. Only beans that meet the highest standards can be considered specialty.
Now, we are going to analyze how each part of this specialty coffee production process influences both the cultivation and its preparation, which will be decisive in obtaining our delicious cup of coffee.
How is specialty coffee grown?
Specialty coffee is grown using careful agricultural practices that ensure the quality and long-term sustainability of the coffee. These are some of the most important aspects for its cultivation:
- Soil Selection: Nutrient-rich soils, suitable climate and altitude are some of the important factors to consider when growing specialty coffee.
- Coffee variety selection: Specialty coffee farmers carefully select varieties that fit the climatic and soil conditions of their region.
- Planting: Specialty coffee beans are planted in evenly spaced rows to allow for proper growth of each plant.
- Plant Care: Specialty coffee plants require regular care, such as pruning, weeding, and fertilizing.
- Harvesting: Coffee beans are harvested by hand when they are ripe and ready for picking. This ensures that only high-quality coffee beans are harvested.
- Processing: After harvesting, coffee beans are processed to preserve their unique quality and flavor.
- Selection and grading: Specialty coffee beans are carefully selected and graded based on size and quality. Those that do not meet the standards are discarded.
Every step of the specialty coffee growing process is important to producing exceptional coffee. Additionally, farmers often use sustainable agricultural practices to maintain soil health and reduce environmental impact.
How is specialty coffee prepared?
Specialty coffee deserves special attention not only in its cultivation, but also in its preparation. Here are some important steps to prepare a delicious cup of coffee:
- Select beans: Look for fresh, high-quality beans, preferably from a reliable source that indicate the region they come from and the specific variety of coffee.
- Grind the beans: Proper grinding of coffee beans is essential for the quality of the brewed coffee. The grind size varies depending on the brewing method, and can affect the flavor and texture of the coffee.
- Prepare the water: The water used must be fresh, clean and without chlorine taste. It is recommended to use filtered or bottled water.
- Preparation method : Each method has its own technique and specific preparation time. Some common methods include brewing coffee with drip, French press, Aeropress, Italian coffee maker, among others.
- Proper Proportions: It is important to keep in mind the proper ratio of coffee to water when brewing a cup of specialty coffee.
- Tasting: After brewing a cup of specialty coffee, take a moment to taste it and appreciate its unique flavor and aroma.
In short, preparing specialty coffee requires attention and technique to achieve a delicious, well-brewed cup of coffee. All of these factors are important to consider when brewing an exceptional cup of coffee.
There are many reasons why specialty coffee is so valued among coffee lovers. The unique taste and aroma, superior quality and care at all stages of production are just some of the reasons why it is quickly becoming a favorite coffee drink around the world.
If you are a coffee lover, you may want to try specialty coffee to experience this unique flavor and aroma . Additionally, if you are in the coffee industry, it is important to understand and appreciate the importance of coffee in order to offer your customers the best quality coffee possible. In addition to appreciating its entire value chain, from cultivation to cup.
In short, specialty coffee is a category of high-quality coffee that is grown and handled with care at all stages of production. Its availability is increasing exponentially around the world, if you have the opportunity to try it, it is definitely worth it .