When most people think of specialty coffee, they probably imagine bearded hipsters drinking second wave pour-overs or natural process Ethiopia micro-lots. You know, that stuff that’s so good it costs $16 a cup. This article will break down the specialty coffee market and help you understand all its different sub-segments. We’ll explore what factors qualify something as “specialty” and how those standards differ in different parts of the world. It also gives an overview of the different specialty markets and what kind of impact each one has on the industry as a whole. So, if you want to become a caffeinated expert on this topic, read on!
What Is Specialty Coffee?
In order to understand what specialty coffee is, we first have to understand what it’s not. Specialty coffee isn’t instant coffee. It’s also different than coffee that is just “freshly roasted.” And, while specialty coffee doesn’t have a set definition, it can be generalized as coffee that is grown and processed specifically for flavor. As opposed to coffee that is grown and processed for maximum yield. Specialty coffee also isn’t a specific type of coffee bean. It’s used to describe beans that are grown and processed in a certain way. Depending on the type of process, it can either be a single-origin coffee or a blend of different beans from the same region.
Why is specialty coffee so expensive?
The coffee market is broken down into three different parts: the commodity market, the specialty market, and the specialty-premium market. The commodity market is where low-quality coffee is traded to buy and sell coffee in bulk. Specialty coffee is grown, roasted, and sold as high-quality goods. Specialty-premium coffee is grown, roasted, and sold as high-quality goods with a higher price tag. It’s important to note that the price you see in a coffee shop isn’t just the cost of the beans. It’s also the cost of the shop, the cost of the equipment, rent, and other expenses they have to pay.
What is “quality” coffee?
You may have heard people say that the best coffees are picked when the coffee cherry is “ripe.” But what does that mean, exactly? The coffee cherry is the fruit that grows on the coffee tree. It’s what produces the coffee bean. The cherry is red when it’s picked, but as it dries, it turns a dark color. Most people think that the darker the cherry, the better the coffee. But that’s not entirely true. The cherry is ripe when two things happen: the skin turns a yellowish-green color and the flesh inside turns dark brown. When the cherry is ripe, the beans inside the fruit are fully developed. This allows the coffee to have optimal levels of acidity and sugars. Beans that are still green in the cherry are sour and bitter.
Dark Roast Coffees: For the roan and Darker
Dark roast coffees are so popular, they have their own sub-segment. But why are they roasted so dark? The darker the roast, the more the coffee will taste like its smoky-roasty flavor. This can be great for certain types of coffee, but not so great for others. Well-balanced coffees with low acidity levels are often roasted darker than other coffees. Dark roast coffees will taste very smoky because cocoa is full of smoky flavors – think dark chocolate.
Light Roast Coffees: For the light and Lighter still
Coffees that are roasted lighter are more likely to taste fruity. Light roast coffees can taste grassy and floral, often with a bit of sweetness. Coffees that are roasted lighter are great for people who are new to coffee. They won’t be overwhelmed by the bitterness of coffee. Coffees that are roasted lighter are great for people who are new to coffee. They won’t be overwhelmed by the bitterness of coffee. For example, a coffee roasted with a light roast will retain its fruity notes. Those are flavors that are often lost in darker roasts. But there are some coffees that are just better roasted darker.
Decaf coffee is a pretty common question that gets thrown around. The short answer to the question is: decaf coffee is roasted the same way as caffeinated coffee. The long answer is that decaf coffee doesn’t actually remove caffeine from the beans. Instead, it removes caffeine from the beans by treating the beans with water, chemicals, and enzymes to break down the caffeine molecules so that they cannot be absorbed into the coffee.
Staying Responsible with Dark-Roasted Coffees
All this information about light and dark roast coffees is great. But, it’s important to remember that different types of roasts go well with different types of beans. So, if you’re trying a darker roast, make sure it’s a darker roast coffee bean. But don’t worry, there are plenty of dark-roast coffees that are responsibly sourced. Read bags for phrases like “help farmers thrive,” “sustainably sourced,” or “fair-trade.” These phrases indicate that the brand is responsible and they pay a fair price for their beans. Remember, it’s better to drink one amazing cup of coffee each day than five bad cups. So, don’t feel bad if you decide to roast your beans a little lighter.
Specialty coffee can be a confusing topic, especially for beginners. There are many different types of specialty coffees, and each type has its own sub-segments and nuances. While specialty coffee isn’t a specific type of bean, it’s grown and processed specifically for flavor. While the commodity market is where low-quality coffee is traded, specialty coffee is traded as high-quality goods. Dark-roasted coffees are often roasted darker because they’re better suited for those types of beans. There are many different types of specialty coffees, and each type has its own sub-segments and nuances. While specialty coffee isn’t a specific type of bean, it’s grown and processed specifically for flavor.