The term specialty coffee has been popping up everywhere. If you had a choice between commercial grade versus specialty grade beans, what would you choose?
Without a doubt, specialty coffee is a better choice and experience for the drinker.
Specialty coffee comes from farms with better conditions - the water, soil and the equipment used. Without such conditions, it's almost impossible to produce crops with delicate and clean flavours.
A better farm condition means better quality, and less harmful substances in the beans.
People in the specialty coffee industry invest into training programs that improve the social, environmental and economic issues within the whole production chain.
Local communities have benefited or even been protected by these programs. For example, The 3 African Sisters Coffee Company had the vision of improving the economic status of female farmers from Rwanda by making sure they are treated ethically throughout the whole trading process.
There are also programs that help farmers take care of the environment. I once purchased an Indonesian coffee from a company that provided training programs to protect the Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park’s forest, the home of the endangered Sumatra Tiger.
According to the SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America), a coffee needs to score higher than 80 out of 100 in order to qualify as specialty coffee. The judging and scoring process is very strict.
The better quality of the beans also means coffee roasters can now roast their coffee lighter. The drinker can now truly indulge into the coffee profile without the unpleasant rubbery bitterness and burnt aftertaste.
The most expensive coffee beans in the world still costs almost AUD$1000 per pound (0.45 kg).
As the industry matures, we now have more specialty coffee options with a better price point (supply goes up, price decreases).
There are hundreds or even thousands of cafes selling specialty coffee in Sydney. The coffee culture is so rich that people can start making it at home. This is one of the main reasons why Maven’s Brew was born, we wanted to help create an accessible specialty coffee product that everyone can enjoy.