Since its apparent birth in the 10th century, the coffee bean has quickly gained a responsibility for masses of hot drinks. The Espresso gives you the lift you need, a Latte offers you a chance to relax, and there’s even a Cafe Mocha to now mix the two elements together through coffee and hot chocolate.
In such a diverse range of ‘regular’ coffees, though, there’s also a wide range of speciality coffees that do enough to send many people into a frenzy. But what actually is a speciality coffee, how does it differ to regular one, and ultimately, why should you care?
It’s worth noting that speciality coffee is not to be confused with ‘gourmet’ or ‘premium’ coffee, two terms that don’t actually have any defined standards, though speciality coffee is often described using such positive, classy adjectives. You see, the journey of the coffee bean is a long and tricky one before it finally reaches your cup, and only speciality coffee tends to be met with the finest standards to ensure of the very best quality every time.
It is usually crafted using the top 10% of Arabica seeds, regarded as the more premium alternative to Robusta seeds. When the coffee beans are ready to be picked and harvested, they can be done so in one of two ways; strip-picked or selectively-picked. While strip picking the beans tends to be the quicker option, doing so means you won’t always be able to guarantee the quality, so selectively picking is always the order of the day for speciality coffee, ensuring the beans are always chosen when they are perfectly ripe.
After the beans have been dried out, they are carefully monitored for any signs of damage. The ones that aren’t at the required level for speciality coffee are quickly discarded of, unlike that of regular coffee beans which are sometimes kept as so to produce cheap coffee blends. Rest assured, though, that the word ‘cheap’ is rarely relevant in the production of speciality coffee.
At the roasting stage, the ‘cupper’, otherwise known as the taster, identifies the condition of all the beans in taste and smell, and actual roasting can only begin upon approval. The beans are roasted at 230-260 degrees, at which time the aroma we all know and love is released, and the colouring goes from a murky green to the more familiar brown.
Once the beans are cooled down, it’s important that they get to the cup as soon as possible, as the aroma can fade rapidly. This is more apparent with regular coffee, though, and you have little chance of maintaining the delightful smell after 30 days, unlike that of speciality coffee that can extend a little longer. Regular coffee also receives little love at the grinding stage, and up to 60% of the aroma can be stolen in the first 15 minutes. While much of regular coffee can still taste fantastic, only speciality coffee assures you of a sumptuous hot drink on a consistent level.
And a consistently gorgeous beverage is what you’ll get, providing you choose a hot drinks machine from Coinadrink. We have a range of stylish dispensers in either floor standing or tabletop varieties, all of which can vend stunning coffee quickly and easily. We have never once skimped on quality in our 55 years of trading, and such a strong emphasis on a customer-centric approach has been key for the success we are enjoying today.