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What is Specialty Coffee?

Specialty Coffee Cosmic Brews Coffee Cup presented in front of a silver shiny backdrop


You might have heard of the term ‘specialty coffee’ or have been in your favorite cafe and noticed some really beautifully designed packaged coffee. The coffee bags might have some cool and detailed labels on them like which country they’re from, the altitude which the coffee was grown, maybe a label of ‘arabica’ or ‘robusta’, the flavors that are extracted, whether the coffee is roasted to espresso or filter coffee, and maybe even the story of the roaster. It might also seem to be fairly expensive for ‘a bag of coffee’.

This bag of coffee might just be a specialty coffee. 

We’re here to break it down for you.

Let’s make it simple: Similar to higher quality products, luxury goods, a fine wine, or an ‘aged’ cheese, coffee has a similar niche. That would be specialty coffee. Specialty coffee basically means that the coffee beans are literally ‘curated’ and graded in a specific process, resulting in a higher quality bag of coffee. There are a lot of factors that contribute to that, but the most relevant (in this case for you, as a consumer) is the final ‘taste profile’ that comes out in your cup of coffee.

Specialty coffee, when brewed properly, will have a more fragrant, unique, colorful taste than an ordinary ‘coffee’. We LOVE all coffees and absolutely respect anyone working in, or related to the industry, however, the reality is that these little beans have a little more of a magic touch to them, which makes them, well… special!

There is an entire supply chain connecting your specialty coffee to you - this typically includes the coffee farmer, the buyer or connector to the place it’s roasted (typically done locally), the coffee roaster, the barista (or in some cases, you!), and the consumer. Each process is very delicate and the efforts are very deliberate in sourcing that special brew into your mug.

So now you know just a little more about the term, ‘specialty coffee’. Next time you’re in a local cafe or roastery, check out their coffee and try to read a little more into the labeling of it. Maybe it’s also a specialty coffee! In trying that coffee, see if you can pick up on different dimensions of taste in it. We’ll cover tasting coffee in another blog post, here at Cosmic Brews.


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