What is specialty coffee?

We always talk about specialty coffee, but what does that actually mean? How is our coffee special and why is it worth waiting a month for that coffee bean subscription to come through your letterbox?

Technically, coffee can be classed as ‘specialty’ when it scores above 79/100 points using the grading system of the SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America). This looks at the main characteristics of the coffee including acidity, body, aftertaste, balance, flavour, aroma, fragrance. If we look at all of the coffee produced in the world, coffee scoring above 79 points is already in the top percentile, but there is a lot of debate these days about what ‘specialty coffee’ actually means, as the term usually refers to the world’s top-quality coffees. The best coffees sit between 84 and 90, and it is very rare that a coffee would score above 90. So our coffee subscription products are what you could call ‘top specialty’ or ‘gourmet specialty’. We go above and beyond specialty and buy coffee of at least 84 points, so a full 5 points above the minimum grade for what can be considered ‘specialty’.

These kind of coffees are the result of true dedication and extensive quality control, from the experts at origin to our 3 in-house Q Graders (the certification required to score coffee using the SCAA system). Every step of the coffee journey matters: it needs to be perfectly ripe when the cherry is picked, it has to be processed and dried correctly, shipped without any deterioration of quality, it has to be stored correctly and finally, it needs to be roasted to perfection, to bring out the best notes and flavours. We carefully make sure all of these steps are met so that the coffee that makes it into your cup is the best it can be.

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