Based on Hunam’s Research, the phrase Specialty Coffee was first used by Erna Knutsen in an issue of Tea & Coffee Trade Journal, in 1974. Knutsen used this term to describe beans of the best flavor which are produced in special microclimates.
What is Specialty Coffee?
“Humag, Coffee News Magazine”
“Special microclimate” means that these coffee beans are cultivated in special regions in very unique geographical conditions. These climate conditions give individual character to flavor and fragrance of the coffee beans based on where they grow. One of the major reasons of this flavor is the variety of soil types that these plants are cultivated in.
The production of specialty coffee follows such a strict and expertise process that in the year 1982 a group of American specialists established the Specialty Coffee Association of America. 6 years later, a European group of individuals established the Specialist Coffee Association of Europe which is known as SCA.
Production of Specialty Coffee
What makes the process of producing this coffee different from other coffees is that in addition to special cultivation conditions. This coffee is produced by highly specialized individuals throughout all of the production stages. SCA provides hours of training and education for these individuals. Through these courses they gain the specialized knowledge necessary for the production process. additionally, they obtain knowledge of other related stages of coffee where they learn their expertise responsibilities. The uniqueness and specialty of this product occurs when all individuals in the production chain are working harmoniously while following all standards.
These high quality products are harvested by experts in very particular geographical regions. Specialty coffee contains a spectacular fragrance and aroma and by tasting this product, one recognizes the difference in quality which is much higher. A ripe coffee fruit, on a healthy plant, which has grown in appropriate soil and climate, must be harvested at a proper time in order to retain the characteristics known for specialty coffee. The coffee beans must be perfect and without any impurities such as abnormally colored beans. The size of the beans must be uniform in comparison to the rest of the beans. Additionally, the beans must be of the same color, without discoloration or excessive yellowness. These beans must also be free of pests. Learn more at: Third Wave of Coffee
Furthermore, the coffee beans of specialty coffee are roasted when they are at their freshest, which are usually light or medium roasts as darker roasts decrease acidity while increasing bitterness. Specialty coffee is brewed in a special way as the quality of water and brewing temperature, impacts the outcome. These coffee beans lose their fragrance and aroma relatively fast. After all the above mentioned stages are completed, the SCA will score the product. Products that score in the 80 or higher out of 100 points will be categorized as specialty coffee. Learn more at: What is Espresso Coffee?
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