Coffee is scored
Coffee is graded on the Q Coffee System, which identifies quality coffees and scores them points up to a maximum of 100. When scoring coffee the acidity, body, flavour, aftertaste and balance are all taken into account, as well as sweetness and uniformity. Speciality coffees are coffees that score over 80 points, and only the best in the world regularly score over 90. Robusta coffee and blends of coffee cannot be scored.
Speciality coffee has low defects
Speciality coffee must strictly adhere to defect grading protocols, as set out by the SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America). There can be zero Category 1 defects (black beans, sour beans), and no more than five Category 2 defects (broken, insect damage, partial black) in 350 grams of specialty green coffee. These defects can severely inhibit the taste of coffee, as one defective bean can ruin an entire cup, or more, of coffee.
Speciality coffee is more transparent
Speciality coffee typically comes with a slew of information. Processing method, harvest date, varietal… Buying speciality coffee is almost like buying wine, and the more information you get, the more you learn what you like! Being able to shop by roast type, suggested brew method, and flavour profile also allows you to be more selective when you buy.
There’s more choice
Speciality coffee has something for everyone. One of the most exciting things in coffee is tasting different processing methods, varietals and roast profiles. From light and fruity (like our Kenya Gathongo) to creamy and chocolatey (like the famous Blenheim Espresso), speciality coffee has it all!
Speciality coffee is almost always fresher than commercial coffee. Be sure to check for roasting dates on packaging and buy the freshest you can! Just remember espresso blends are generally best after a few days of roasting, after some of the carbon dioxide has degassed from the coffee.