Specialty coffee

Specialty coffee

Sure, you’ve heard the term specialty coffee, but perhaps don’t know what it means or its differentiation with commercial coffee. The term Specialty coffee is used to refer to coffee that is graded 80 points or above on a 100-point scale by a certified coffee taster (SCA) or by a licensed Q Grader (CQI).

Specialty coffees are coffees at their peak and are different to other coffees because specialty coffee has been grown at the perfect altitude, at the correct time of year, in the best soil, and then picked at just the right time. All this translates into some of the most exciting and tasty coffee in the world
Specialty coffee

Specialty coffee

Let’s get into a bit of history

Firstly, according to the Cambridge Dictionary, specialty means: a product that is extremely good in a particular place. Meaning that this term gives a coffee an added value and flavor because once you try a specialty coffee, you’ll never go back to the commercial one. Because this type of experience is like no other, its indescribable what a coffee can bring to your senses.

Moreover, speciality coffee has existed for a long time, in one form or another. We tend to think of speciality coffee as being a new trend, yet even as far back as the early 1900s, discerning customers like the Hotel du Crillon in Paris specified that their coffee was to be bought from select micro-lots on specific origin farms.

Grading coffee

Green coffee is graded via visual inspection and cupping. Visual inspection involves taking a 350g sample of green coffee beans and counting defective beans. Defects can be Primary (e.g. black beans, sour beans) or Secondary (e.g. broken beans). Therefore, for a coffee to qualify as “speciality”, it must have zero Primary defects and less than five Secondary defects.

Moreover, cupping involves roasting the coffee and brewing simply with hot water and relies on the skill of the taster to assign scores to each of the coffee’s attributes, such the acidity, body, flavor, and aroma.

The following are the scores than a specialty coffee can get:

SCORE 90-10

Outstanding coffee

SCORE 85-89.99

Excellent coffee

SCORE 80-84.99

Very good coffee


Below specialty quality, it is not considered a specialty coffee

Where is specialty coffee grown?

Most commercial coffee growing countries also produce a small amount of speciality coffee, with some exceptions. Countries like Ethiopia, Kenya and Colombia are synonymous with speciality coffee; however, many lesser known countries are pushing to produce some of the best coffee in the world.

Unquestionably, Colombia is known for its landscapes and beautiful coffee farms. That’s why their coffee is rich in flavors and aromas.

Café de especialidad

Specialty coffee

Now let’s talk what you can do with your Colombian specialty coffee

  • Espresso

The espresso, also known as a short black, is approximately 1 oz. of highly concentrated coffee. Although simple in appearance, it can be difficult to master.

  • Double Espresso

A double espresso may also be listed as doppio, which is the Italian word for double. This drink is highly concentrated and strong.

  • Red Eye

The red eye’s purpose is to add a boost of caffeine to your standard cup of coffee.

  • Black Eye

The black eye is just the doubled version of the red eye and is very high in caffeine.

  • Americano

Americanos are popular breakfast drinks and thought to have originated during World War II. Soldiers would add water to their coffee to extend their rations farther. The water dilutes the espresso while still maintaining a high level of caffeine.

  • Long Black

The long black is a similar coffee drink to the americano, but it originated in New Zealand and Australia. It generally has more cream than an americano.

  • Macchiato

The word “macchiato” means mark or stain. This is in reference to the mark that steamed milk leaves on the surface of the espresso as it is dashed into the drink.

  • Cortado

The cortado takes the macchiato one step further by evenly balancing the espresso with warm milk to reduce the acidity.

  • Breve

The breve provides a decadent twist on the average espresso, adding steamed half-and-half to create a rich and creamy texture.

  • Cappuccino

This creamy coffee drink is usually consumed at breakfast time in Italy and is loved in the United States as well. It is usually associated with indulgence and comfort because of its thick foam layer and additional flavorings that can be added to it.

  • Flat White

A flat white also originates from New Zealand and Australia and is very similar to a cappuccino but lacks the foam layer and chocolate powder. To keep the drink creamy rather than frothy, steamed milk from the bottom of the jug is used instead of from the top.

  • Cafe Latte

Cafe lattes are considered an introductory coffee drink since the acidity and bitterness of coffee is cut by the amount of milk in the beverage. Flavoring syrups are often added to the latte for those who enjoy sweeter drinks.

  • Mocha

The mocha is considered a coffee and hot chocolate hybrid. The chocolate powder or syrup gives it a rich and creamy flavor and cuts the acidity of the espresso.

  • Vienna

There are a few variations on the Vienna, but one of the most common is made with two ingredients: espresso and whipped cream. The whipped cream takes the place of milk and sugar to provide a creamy texture.

  • Affogato

Affogatos are more for a dessert coffee than a drink you would find at a cafe, but they can add a fun twist to your menu. They are made by pouring a shot of espresso over a scoop of vanilla ice cream to create a sweet after-meal treat.

  • Cafe au Lait

The cafe au lait is typically made with French press coffee instead of an espresso shot to bring out the different flavors in the coffee. It is then paired with scalded milk instead of steamed milk and poured at a 50/50 ratio.

  • Iced Coffee

Iced coffees become very popular in the summertime in the United States. The recipes do have some variance, with some locations choosing to interchange milk with water in the recipe. But in a few words, its coffee with ice.

Wait no more and let yourself be pampered with a delicious Deer Hug Coffee specialty coffee… our varietals are handcrafted by Colombian coffee-growing families with the desire to show their art around the world.

If you enjoyed this article we recommend you to read What Is a Great Coffee? 

If you found the information useful, like it and share it with your friends, don’t forget to follow us on our social media and if you want to know more about our specialty coffees, contact us:

Website: www.deerhugcoffee.com – Email:  contacto@deerhug.com – WhatsApp: +57 314 8531000

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