FAQs About Specialty Coffee

Specialty coffee FAQ

Specialty coffee , the counterpart of commercial coffee, which you normally find in the supermarket. You've probably already heard of this term? Or is it completely new to you? In the latter case, this is the article for you. Here I answer the most frequently asked questions about specialty coffee. Maybe you already knew the term, but you still have questions. No worries, I got you!

How does specialty coffee differ from regular coffee?

Regular coffee, which we often find in supermarkets and average coffee houses, is an everyday companion that is pleasant and familiar. Specialty coffee, on the other hand, comes from a specific variety or blend of coffee beans with an exceptional flavor profile. These beans are carefully selected for their quality and origin, with craftsmanship and attention to detail central to the production process. Because special coffee beans require more care and often manual labor, it rewards your cup of coffee with a premium taste experience.

What qualifies as a specialty coffee? According to the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), a coffee bean must score at least 80 points on a scale of 100 to be classified as specialty coffee.

Also read: Specialty coffee vs. commercial coffee. The biggest differences.

What factors contribute to the quality of specialty coffee?

specialty coffee

The quality of specialty coffee is influenced by a complex mix of factors, starting with cultivation. First of all, the growing conditions of the coffee plants are of great importance; consider the region, the altitude, the soil type and the climate.

The time of harvest then plays a crucial role: when the coffee cherries are picked, the quality of the beans can change significantly. The roasting process, freshness and even the way the coffee is brewed also influence the quality and final aroma.

Where can I buy specialty coffee?

The path to specialty coffee often starts with selected coffee roasters and specialized coffee bars. More and more local roasters and online stores are offering a plethora of choices, with beans sourced from the most remote coffee-producing regions.

It is important to look for terms such as 'Direct Trade' or 'Specialty Coffee Association' to ensure quality and fair trade.

How should I store specialty coffee to maintain freshness?

Maintaining the freshness of specialty coffee is a crucial step in preserving flavor and aroma. It is advisable to store the beans in an airtight container in a cool, dry environment.

Avoid exposure to light and heat, and only grind the coffee just before brewing the cup. This will preserve the taste until the moment of consumption.

Why is specialty coffee more expensive?

The higher price of specialty coffee reflects the quality of the production process, the coffee beans themselves, and the often more sustainable nature of production. Selecting the best beans, often harvested by hand, careful roasting, and the coffee farmer's greater commitment to sustainable production entail higher costs.

Specialty coffee is not just a cup of coffee, but an experience; a combination of art and science that does full justice to the coffee bean.


Specialty coffee is therefore not just any coffee. It's a journey that brings the coffee lover not only closer to the heart of what good coffee can be, but also a deep appreciation of the effort and dedication that goes into every stage of coffee production, from berry to barista.

The appreciation for specialty coffee transcends the higher price, rewarding the consumer with every sip of this carefully cultivated experience. The adventure in specialty coffee is not just a journey to better taste, but a step towards more sustainable and ethical consumption.