For most people, coffee is usually part of their morning routine. It’s become a daily ritual that they can’t imagine a morning without it. However if you are an avid coffee enthusiast, then you definitely must have heard about specialty coffee. But, do you really know much about it? How much does it cost? and is it really worth the cost?
Well, these are some of the questions that are going to be answered in this article. We will talk about some of the things worth knowing about specialty coffee, especially if you are looking to buy it for the first time.
It is important to note that the price of the type of coffee you are looking to buy is determined by various factors. This article is put together for readers like you to get as much insights about specialty coffee thus saving you money and time. Without any further ado, let’s find out more about specialty coffee.
What is specialty coffee
Specialty coffee is not just a beverage; it’s an experience meticulously crafted from bean to cup. Unlike mass-produced coffee, which often prioritizes quantity over quality, specialty coffee focuses on every detail of the journey – from the soil in which the coffee plant grows to the moment the liquid gold touches your lips.
If you have been drinking other commercial coffee beverages be ready to be mesmerized when you finally taste the specialty coffee. It is a different type of coffee. It tastes different and is quite expensive. It is actually believed that specialty coffee is the best quality coffee you can find in the market as compared to other coffee blends.
Well, the blend gets its name from American Specialty Coffee Association. This is the board or organization that determines how good the coffee is on a scale of a hundred. On this scale, the specialty coffee currently boasts of a point somewhere above 80. This makes it the highest quality coffee blend.
This type of coffee is traceable and undergoes a very thorough processing point right after its been harvested. As the name suggests, the coffee itself is quite special as it is grown in a unique climate and under special conditions. The growing should be done in highly elevated places. Also, everything from growing to the processing of the coffee is usually done under a keen eye. This always boosts and ensures that the quality of the coffee is not interfered with.
The term “specialty” first appeared in the Tea and Coffee Trade journal in 1974. It was used to bring much emphasis on the quality of some type of coffee produced under specific climatic conditions.
Specialty coffee is grown under the right care. This means the right altitude and the perfect soil to enhance and maintain the quality. This is actually why the blend costs more than any other commercial blends.
For coffee lovers, you might have also come across gourmet coffee. Some people often confuse the two, specialty coffee and gourmet coffee. However, the difference is that, gourmet coffee doesn’t go through any standardization scrutiny for quality. On the other hand, testing is needed for specialty coffee and the quality must be approved by certified tasters.
Exploring the Rich World of Specialty Coffee: A Deeper Brew
In a world where coffee has become more than just a morning pick-me-up, specialty coffee has emerged as a prominent player in the caffeinated scene. No longer confined to the generic cups of joe, specialty coffee has elevated the art of coffee drinking to new heights, offering enthusiasts a sip of unique flavors, stories, and experiences.
The Journey Begins at the Farm
At the heart of specialty coffee lies the coffee farm. Farms dedicated to specialty coffee often nurture their plants with care and attention. Altitude, climate, and soil composition are key factors influencing the flavor profile of the coffee beans. It’s not uncommon to find beans sourced from specific regions, showcasing the unique characteristics of their origin – much like fine wines from distinct vineyards.
The Art of Roasting
Roasting transforms the green coffee beans into the aromatic brown gems we know and love. Specialty coffee roasters approach this step as artisans, fine-tuning the roasting process to bring out the beans’ optimal flavors. A skilled roaster understands that a few degrees or seconds can make all the difference between a well-balanced cup and one that’s lackluster.
Crafting the Perfect Brew
When it comes to brewing specialty coffee, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. From intricate pour-over methods to the bold extraction of espresso, each brewing technique accentuates different flavor nuances. Baristas and coffee lovers around the world experiment with brew times, grind sizes, and water temperatures, all in pursuit of that perfect cup.
Tasting Notes and Flavor Profiles
Imagine savoring a cup of coffee that takes you on a journey of tastes – from floral and fruity notes to hints of chocolate or caramel. Specialty coffee often comes with tasting notes that guide you through the intricate flavors locked within each bean. These notes are a testament to the skillful artistry involved in producing coffee that transcends mere caffeine consumption.
Community and Sustainability
Beyond flavor, specialty coffee also fosters a sense of community. Local coffee shops and roasters often prioritize ethical sourcing, fair trade practices, and environmental sustainability. By supporting specialty coffee, you’re not just indulging your palate; you’re also contributing to a chain of responsible practices that benefit farmers and ecosystems alike.
In a world where time is often measured in espresso shots, specialty coffee invites you to slow down and savor the journey from seed to cup. It’s a reminder that every sip carries a story – a story of dedication, expertise, and a passion for excellence. So, the next time you hold a cup of specialty coffee in your hands, take a moment to appreciate the remarkable journey it represents.
How did you get into (specialty) coffee?
If you are a true coffee fan, it’s only natural that you would always be out there looking to try out something different. Specialty coffee is always different in many aspects compared to other regular commercial coffee. From the type of bean, the tasting notes and the intensity, you can always tell the difference from the very first sip you take.
However, if you don’t know so much about coffee, you will definitely have some problems trying to notice the difference between specialty coffee and regular coffee. But, if you finally manage to get your sip of specialty coffee, the following reasons might just be what will get you hooked up on specialty coffee.
- It’s delicious
As you know, there are two types of coffee, Robusta and Arabica. Specialty coffee belongs to the Arabica type. This type of coffee is known to contain 44 chromosomes while its counterpart, Robusta, only has 22. This suggests that Arabica coffee has more complex flavors and therefore a better taste. Arabica is also considered a high quality coffee type because of being grown under excellent conditions with excellent care. This is why the specialty coffee will always taste better and cost a bit more.
- The craftsmanship
If you are still reading up to this point, you may have noticed the emphasis on the quality of specialty coffee. This shows that it’s a product that is quality focused. Well, if you are all about quality, then you should really give some respect to your coffee. This means taking your time at each and every step involved to make your coffee. Each stage of the process, from growing, to harvesting to brewing, has a significance when it comes to improving the quality of the blend. This transforms into a cup of great taste at the end.
There are many reasons why you might like coffee, but for specialty coffee, these two are the main reasons
How to Make a Pour Over Coffee Using Chemex
If you are not a fan of instant coffee, you can make your own DIY specialty coffee and enjoy it from the comfort of your home. Without any further ado, let’s find out how you can make a pour over coffee using chemex in a few simple steps.
- You need a filter and a brewer. Carefully, place the filter gently on the brewer then proceed by rinsing it using hot water. This helps in preheating and creating a good seal between the brewer and the filter. You will then pour out the rinsing water while keeping the seal intact.
- Add the coffee grounds. For every 8 ounces of water add about 2 tablespoons of the ground coffee. This will depend on how strong you want your coffee.
- Add hot water. Prepare some hot water and leave it to cool to a temperature of about 190 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. If the water used is too hot, the coffee will taste bitter. Make sure you continue pouring the hot water until all the grounds become wet.
- Allow the coffee to bloom for about 30 seconds.
- Continue pouring the hot water on the coffee until you reach the desired amount of coffee. It’s advisable that you use gooseneck kettle as this will encourage precise pouring.
- Remove the filter and pour the coffee in your mug. Enjoy it while it’s hot.
This is how you make a pour over coffee using chemex.
Making Coffee Using a French Press
At home, you can always make coffee in several different ways. We’ve seen how to use a Chemex machine and now we are going to see how to use a French Press. Below are the simple steps you need to follow.
- Grind the coffee. Use your coffee grinder to grind your already roasted beans. Make sure you make a coarse grind since fine grind might block the holes in your filter.
- Boil water using a small pot, a sauce pan or a kettle. Leave the water to cool down for about 2 minutes.
- Add the coffee grounds to the machine and pour the hot water over it. You can then stir the mix using a plastic spoon and cover it at the top. Remember not to press the plunger at this stage.
- Leave your coffee to brew for about 5 minutes. The duration your coffee takes to brew will depend on how strong or light you want your coffee to be. For a medium strength, 5 minutes would do.
- After everything is ready, you need to press down the plunger carefully as you pour your coffee into your mug.
Following the above simple steps will help you make some nice coffee using the French Press machine.
Comparison between Chemex and French Press.
Well, when you are facing a tough decision like this, you will just need to choose according to your personal preferences. There are a few things you might like about the Chemex and there are some you may like about the French Press.
Both the Chemex and the French Press are said to have been invented in the 20th century and are among the popular coffee makers in most homes today. Both the machines need a little bit of work as you will need to boil water separately then add to it.
If you are really worried about the cost, you can always find a cheap French Press machine online. Also, with the French Press, you won’t have to worry about any filters.
If you don’t like your coffee bitter, then you can go for a Chemex. With it, you will use a filter that will help in removing acids and oils. This will also be easy on your stomach.
However, if you are looking for something that’s easier to use, go for the French Press. You will only need to add your coffee grounds in it, pour some hot water and wait for it to brew for a few minutes before you can pour it in your mug by pressing down the plunger.
With the Chemex, you will need to use a filter and pour the hot water over it with your brew on it. You can also choose to swirl your flask for the water to be distributed properly. However, when everything is ready, you might have some difficulties pouring it into your mug.
As mentioned before, each of these machines can make you a good coffee beverage. It all depends on what you are looking for and the machine that will best suit you.
These are some of the things people always compare about the two machines. But, in the end, the decision is for you to make.
There are many things that you might want to know about specialty coffee. However, this simple guide will only show you where to start and give you a few pointers on the coffee making machines you can use to brew at home. If you were a novice, after reading this, now you know where to start.