What is Specialty Coffee?
The Specialty Coffee Association
The Specialty Coffee Association is an association that approves and disproves coffee that is considered "specialty" based grade, quality, taste, and flavor.
Everything starts with the producer. The families that grow this coffee have spent generations upon generations perfecting the art of growing coffee! With the best altitude and climate conditions, the producer is able to take watch over the coffee for harvest time. The producer makes sure to only pick coffees that are perfectly ripe and free of defects. Since it takes extra time for the farmers to supply buyers, specialty coffee tends to be more expensive than non specialty coffees; however, this does help the producers provide for their families. Everything starts with the producer, so this is why we value them so much!
The Green Coffee Buyer
The Green Coffee is then transferred to the Specialty Coffee Association and certified by the SCA as a licensed grader. They know everything about coffee. The process of coffee cupping is used to assess the coffee's score to depict if the coffee is specialty grade and which one that the buyer should go through with. Through cupping they can develop tasting notes to include on the packaging. The green coffee will and should play a huge role in telling the roaster and coffee shop this information.
The highest quality of coffee are then roasted by the coffee roaster that is certified by the SCA. Coffee roasting takes a lot of experience, knowledge, and skill to roast the perfect coffee bean. Throughout the whole coffee roasting process, the coffee is monitored very closely. This enables all of the different flavor profiles to come through in the roasted bean.
Now the specialty coffee beans have been inspected and passed through 3 levels of inspection; however, the process is not done yet. The barista who has to be certified by the SCA is what makes this process tie together. Specialty Baristas are highly skilled in their coffee skills like knowing about the equipment, the flavor profiles, and the origin of the coffee bean. If the coffee is not prepared correctly, the coffee will not taste at its best potential.