For some people, their day just does not start properly unless they have had a nice, hot cup of coffee. Coffee enthusiasts say that the smell of coffee is enough to inspire productivity, which is part of the reason they can work in cafes and coffee shops. They can also identify the nuances between beans from various parts of the world, or whether the cup they are having is commercial grade or a speciality coffee.
If you are new to speciality coffee and have just recently started to appreciate good quality, superior caffeine, you may not fully know the differences between the two. However, there are several significant and distinctive variations.
Commercial grade coffee, is what you tend to find in most coffee shops and at your local supermarket. These are roasted and sold in bulk and most will have a generic flavour profile and may have been roasted anywhere between 6 months to 2+ years before finding itself on the shelf . Speciality coffee is usually sold as whole beans and need to be ground before brewing, although, The Proper Coffee Co can also freshly grind your beans to suit your preference. As such, it yields a fresher taste to the pre-ground, commercial coffee readily available. Some groceries may stock some speciality coffee, but most don't. This is generally due to the unit price of this type of coffee.
A cup of speciality coffee costs more due to a number of reasons.
The main reason for the difference in cost is the type of bean! it is afterall speciality grade.
Here's a more indepth article on what makes some coffee speciality grade and why it matters. Speciality coffee makers consider their more discerning selection processes as a point of pride.
Another reason is that prepring and brewing speciality coffee beans requires additional equipment. You cannot just put a bean in a cup of hot water and let it steep; you need appliances that can grind the beans to the required and suitable grade and in some cases, other equipment to brew your coffee for you.
Speciality coffee is more expensive because of the type of beans used, it's origin and the way they are selected. These beans are usually handpicked by skilled workers who know the difference between quality coffee cherries and subpar ones. They are also expected to select the most blemish-free cherries and the ones that are perfectly ripe. Overly ripe, or black cherries, and unripe or green ones, do not yield the same flavour as the red kind.
After they gather the best fruits, these are sent to expert coffee roasters, who have to monitor the roasting process closely. It is quite easy to burn or under roast a bean, which will reflect in the taste of the coffee. A good, master roaster knows exactly how much heat to apply and for how long to guarantee a superior coffee experience.
THE ALL IMPORTANT
Aside from the painstaking harvesting and roasting processes, it is really the flavour that makes speciality coffee what it is. With around 75 types of beans and more than a hundred variants, there are various coffee flavours for different preferences. Fruity coffee, for example, can be further divided into beans that taste like berries, dried fruit, or citrus. These can further be subdivided into 'taste' sub-categories. ‘Citrus’ can be like orange or lime or lemon - each with theor own unique flavour profile and tasting notes.
Conversely, instead of a fruity flavour, your cup may have a spicy tone. ‘Spice’ can mean anything from pepper to nutmeg to cloves. Some coffees are more exotic and have hints of flowers like rose, chamomile, and jasmine. If you purchase one of our subscription coffees online, you will be exposed to a wealth of flavour profiles and varieties of coffee on a regular basis.
The World Coffee Research Sensory Lexicon gives coffee enthusiasts the vocabulary to describe the slight differences and nuances they detect in each cup of speciality coffee they have.
For those that us that know, coffee is much more than a breakfast drink or something to keep you awake. It is possible to enjoy more flavours and tones in your cup than just bitter, milky, or sweet.
Buying coffee online from a subscription service will introduce you to more coffee flavours and qualities than you know - let us know which is your favourite!