What the heck is Specialty Coffee?

So I’ve been asked way too many times by friends, family or anyone else wanting to learn about coffee, what the heck is Specialty Coffee and how is it different than traditional coffees. The questions I get asked the most are: Is it the same as Starbucks? Is Illy considered Specialty Coffee? What is so “special” about Specialty Coffee? What are Arabica Coffee beans? What is the difference between Arabica and Robusta coffee beans? And much more.

In today’s blog, I am going to focus mainly on what the heck Speciality Coffee is and what standards we as coffee professionals set for ourselves. However, before getting into it, I’d like to point out that my explanation of what specialty coffee is in this blog, is an oversimplification of what we do as coffee people. I am merely trying to give you a glimpse into our world of coffee. I want to make sure I don’t offend any of my coffee colleagues 🙂

In a nutshell, specialty coffee is coffee treated with deference. What that means is that we as coffee professionals focus on all channels in the coffee chain. In other words, everyone in the chain has responsibilities, and we all rely on one another to get the perfect cup of coffee.

Firstly we focus the way farmers grow their beans, to how they pick their coffee, to how they process and dry the green coffee (Natural, Washed, Hulled, etc. – potentially a future blog that we can delve into).

Secondly, how the coffee has been stored (in what temperature, humidity, environment), to how it is shipped, roasted and all the way to how baristas brew it, before ending in your cup.

Every one of us has responsibilities as coffee professionals, and we all expect that everyone’s due diligence is in the efforts of perfecting the quality of your coffee. It is the journey from bean to cup is what makes Specialty Coffee stand out, and it all is apparent in the cup of coffee you have at the end of this journey.

Let us know what other questions you have about coffee on our Social Media platforms and if there is anything specific you guys want to learn about coffee. The most asked question would be our next blog for you 🙂

Thanks for reading.

All the love,
Founder of Social Specialty Coffee Roasters

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