People are unaware of the actual story behind specialty coffee. I mean you, me and us. In fact, most of the people can’t distinguish that either it is a brand name or the whole process of manufacturing a superior variety of coffee. I am sure you have accepted my 2nd choice by changing your mind now. Let me explain it in a more detail to help you figure out how this flavor is made superior in quality and what type of backing process actually support it.
What Does It Mean?
This is the whole process from farmer to a cup in your favorite coffee shop. As the name indicates, specialty coffee is a superior quality of coffee that is manufactured using single origin coffee. Single origin means that the coffee is grown within a single and known geographic origin. Single origin coffee is obtained from a single farm or through a specific collection of beans from a particular country or area.
The whole process involves roasting and extracting the coffee in such a way that match specialty grade and standards. Supremacy of specialty coffee is guaranteed through all those production stages from seeding to your cup. On the other hand, its counterpart, the regular coffee, lack sustainability and transparency in production. It results in a bad quality of the final product and consumers usually experience that bad taste and unpleasant feeling.
Difference between regular and specialty coffee
I would like to point out some of the core differences between a regular and specialty coffee on my own preference. Individuals who are well-versed in everything always get what they pay for. They always prioritize to enjoy this single origin coffee only to experience one and only a particular taste. While it’s regular colleague always bring multiple yet different flavors together. As a result, the resulting taste it offers does not meet the required harmony.
Over the last eight years, the word specialty is too much increased in frequency. For coffee, the word specialty makes it truly special. This term makes it exceptional, unique and distinctive as compared to a regular coffee. This flavor does not occur through a competition or based on a trend. This is not even a catchy name used for promotion. In fact, this is something that we can objectively measure. It reflects its cautious manufacturing process through the final evaluation where specialty coffee achieves a score of 80 out of 100.
The Production Process
A range of stages is involved in the actual manufacturing process that results in making this specific flavor qualify the specialty title. A set standard is followed during every stage from plantation to preparation for serving table. Specialty coffee involves the following stages during production before barista serve it you in your preferred coffee-shop.
A good yet unprocessed quality coffee or bean seed are planted. Two of the coffee species known as Arabica and Robusta are the ideal choices for
It takes 3-4 years when the planted coffee tree produces its first fruits. Strip picked and selectively picked are the two methods for harvesting coffee beans. Strip picking takes less time but the whole tree is picked at once. By hand or selective picking takes more time but only ripped beans are picked while raw beans are left for collecting them later. Once coffee beans are obtained, they have to be processed as soon as possible to avoid spoilage.
Coffee is processed either using the dry or wet method. While processing coffee using dry method, the beans are spread on a wide surface to make them dry under the sun. Unlike the wet method, this is a safest processing technique for obtaining the best quality of coffee without any loss. Wet method involves the fermentation of beans in a tank that are washed latter with water. Wet processing technique is applied under close observation to prevent impurities in coffee as it will result in a bad taste of the final product.
After the processing is completed, the coffee is dehydrated. Once done, it is then sorted by size and weight. During this stage, the impaired and wrongly colored beans are removed. Beans which are separated during this stage are sold for producing cheap coffee. This is the most crucial part of the whole production process because even a single damaged or over-ripe coffee bean can devastate the whole cup of coffee. After sorting coffee, they are stored in bags for shipment.
A professional taster or “the cupper” checks the quality of beans before roasting. The cupper first approves it visually and then tests it by roasting, brewing, smelling and tasting. After his valid approval, the remaining beans are roasted at around 230-260 degrees centigrade. During the whole roasting process, beans are kept moving. Once the inner temperature of beans reaches 230 degrees centigrade, the oil begins to emerge and its color is changed from green to brown.
The right grinding option for specialty coffee can make a huge difference. One must give it a thought if he doesn’t opt to buy his coffee as beans. The best grinding option is crucial for extracting the real flavor quickly for a perfect cup. Both finer and coarser are the primary options for espresso and filtered coffee respectively. Coffee normally starts losing its natural flavor after grinding. By consuming it soon after grinding, you can acquire its natural aroma.
Coffee brewing is the final stage in which the actual cup is prepared and served. This is the most complicated part of the whole journey that someone may spend his whole life in studying it. This is because innovative brewing methods appear rapidly with every single evolution of the coffee industry. There are numerous brewing techniques which can help you prepare your cup to your satisfaction, however, one must cover the basics which are enough for preparing a perfect cup of specialty coffee.
Tips For Making Specialty Coffee More Special
To actually prepare this flavor for the serving table, Dripping, Pour-over, and French press are the three common ways for brewing it at home. Classic drip coffee machine is although amazing; however pour-over coffee is becoming more popular these days. French press is also interesting and the easiest way to prepare coffee at home. Apart from choosing your brewing option, the following tips are helpful for adding more taste to your coffee cup.
- Buy fresh beans. Avoid buying bulk coffee from your superstore’s display bins. Also, ensure the package is properly sealed because oxygen and bright light are the worst flavor busters.
- Keep the beans fresh by storing it in an airtight container. Do not refrigerate roasted beans as they can easily take up moisture and food odors. Always buy a 5 to 7-day supply of fresh beans.
- To acquire lifetime testing experience, look for the country, region, and origin of specialty coffee on the package. Also, ensure that the package contains 100% pure Arabica beans.
- Coffee starts losing its natural taste and quality immediately after grinding. The best approach is to grind your own coffee at home so that you can acquire the most amazing taste.
- Avoid using tap water in brewing your coffee. Unless you have activated charcoal or carbon filters in your taps, do not use it. Distilled water is also not a good option. Filtered water contains minerals which are essential for brewing coffee to your satisfaction.
- Use quality filters such as Filtropa or Melitta. These filters are oxygen-bleached and dioxin-free filters. You may also give choose alternative options such as long-lived gold-plated filters.