Our love for coffee runs deep and with it our search to produce top quality coffee began, but to understand what makes a truly good cup of coffee you must first understand the difference between commercial and speciality coffee. Hint: the 2nd being what we specialize in!
To the average joe speciality coffee could seem like a glorified way to push overpriced fancy coffee but this is far from the truth. The main difference between the two is that speciality coffee is of a much higher quality than regular coffee, but what does this actually mean? The journey from bean to cup is a long and gruelling process and where regular coffee has been optimized for mass and economically produced coffee, speciality coffee prioritizes quality above all else in every stage of the process.
Great coffee starts with the bean that is planted in farms for the optimum quality based on location and environment. Arabica is the bean of choice and despite being harder to produce, provides a much better flavour as opposed to the more bitter Robusta beans used in regular coffee. Quality control is key in speciality farms from picking the beans at their ripest red colour to hand picking out defected beans before and after they’re dried or washed at the perfect humidity. It only takes one defected beans to ruin a roast batch which is why it’s so important and can make or break any coffee.
Roasting is a crucial part needed to bring out all the best flavours within the beans. Similar to a science experiment it is culmination of a variety of factors including heat, air, time & motion to retain all of the goodness within the beans, which is a combination of sense, instinct and roast profile logging. Speciality coffee tends to be roasted light-medium to bring out the unique flavours of the bean and even after the roast they continue to develop for up to a week. Quality control remains strict during and after the roast, reviewing the bean colour, smell, shape, taste through cupping, which are all needed to identify the best roast profiles for a particular bean.
Brewing is the final piece of the puzzle which we advise starts with a freshly ground bean as they can lose up to 40% of their aromas and flavours within 15 mins of grinding. Brewing is an art in itself which whether brewed by a barista or at home is all about technique and preference. Technique is a skill particularly amongst Espresso makers but the type of brew methods can also bring out different flavour notes, such as more full body taste through a french press or more clarity through drip method, but ultimately the brew is only as good as the bean used, which makes speciality beans the obvious choice for the best coffee.