What is specialty coffee – Interesting facts about specialty coffee

What is specialty coffee – Interesting facts about specialty coffee

Cập nhật lần cuối: 28/03/2023

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Speciality coffee accounts for the majority of coffee consumed worldwide. Not only that, but this type of coffee also brings economic value to many businesses. However, not many people exactly understand “What is speciality coffee”, so let’s learn more about Specialty coffee in the following article.

What is specialty coffee?

For a long time, many people believed coffee to be a normal drink. When coffee becomes a culture, coffee addicts must adopt a new mindset. People also question themselves, “What is specialty coffee?” at this time. 

This subject has sparked a lot of discussion in coffee forums all around the world. According to the National Coffee Association of America (2015), coffee drinkers in the United States estimate that specialty coffee accounts for 48 percent of their coffee consumption. 


What is specialty coffee?

The answer to the question “What is specialty coffee?”

Erna Knutsen, a member of Knutsen Coffee Ltd., coined the word in a speech given at an international coffee conference in Montreuil, France, in 1978. Coffee beans cultivated in certain geographic microclimates with distinct qualities are referred to as “specialty coffee,” according to her.

Definition of SCAA about specialty coffee

The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) created the concept of the coffee title in 2009, based on the essential principle. SCAA defines specialty coffee as “the process of artisans roasting the best quality green coffee beans to the maximum fragrance and brewing them to SCAA standards.” As a result, coffee that scores 80 or above on the SCAA’s 100-point scale will be classified as “specialty.”


Definition of SCAA about specialty coffee

General definition of specialty coffee

Specialty coffee comes from a growing region with suitable natural conditions, as well as unique farming, harvesting, and processing process, and has a distinct taste and aroma, scoring 80 or higher on the World Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) and World Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) scale of standards.


See more: Vietnamese Coffee – Differences of the international market

Things to know about specialty coffee

Everyone is particularly interested in learning how to make specialty coffee and how to grade specialized coffee.

What creates specialty coffee?

The quality and distinctiveness of specialty coffee beans are affected at every stage of the production process.

  • Growing

The proper confluence of microclimate, soil chemistry, and culture at the ground level is obviously critical since these factors determine the quality of specialty coffee beans. Specialty coffee cannot be developed if they are cultivated at the incorrect altitude, soil, or climate, and the potential for quality is lost.


Growing specialty coffee

  • Harvesting

Coffee cherries on a healthy plant must be hand-picked when they are completely mature. Selective hand-harvesting takes longer but produces better results since the pickers can sense the freshness of the cherries, ensuring the quality of specialty coffee beans for the next stages.


Harvesting specialty coffee

  • Processing

Taste and scent are used to assess specialty coffee. They are derived from the pulp rather than the seed. Processors must figure out how to get them into the bean, which is why it is such a difficult and time-consuming procedure. There have been various new ways of coffee processing in recent years, in addition to traditional processes such as natural, honey, or washed coffee processing.


Processing specialty coffee

Specialty coffee beans grading

The Specialty Coffee Association’s (SCA) approach is the most reliable technique for categorizing specialty coffee beans.


In the Green Coffee Grading process, the SCA Green Arabica Coffee Classification System (GACCS) version from Spring 2000 and the SCA Defect Handbook from April 2004 are employed. A 350g bag of green coffee beans is gathered for visual inspection and fault counting.

Cupping is a standardized procedure for testing the quality, properties, and flavor of a coffee sample. The overall score is calculated using individual component evaluations such as aroma, aftertaste, and sweetness. Specialty coffee beans will receive an overall score of 80 or higher out of 100.


Specialty coffee beans grading

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