What is specialty coffee
What is specialty coffee | Coffee grading | Producing regions
The specialty coffee sector currently accounts for close to 12% of international coffee markets. The quality characteristics attributed to these coffees depend on a wide array of factors, ranging from physical traits, origin, varieties, color, and size, to environmental and social issues, such as farming systems and working conditions for laborers.
The current price of some specialty coffees is 30% to 40% above that of conventionally grown coffee and, in come cases, may be over 100% higher. Gourmet and certified coffees can be identified by their physical and sensorial traits, such as the cup quality, which must exceed the standard quality. The main categories of specialty coffees are:Coffee with certificates of origin
This certificate pertains to the region in which the coffee was grown, since some quality attributes are inherent to specific regions.Gourmet coffee
Consists of high-quality beans of Arabica coffee with a screen size greater than 16. This product is set apart from others and is almost free of defects.Organic coffee
This type of coffee Is produced in accordance with organic agriculture standards. The coffee must be grown exclusively with organic fertilizers, and pest and disease control must be done biologically. While this type of coffee is commercially more valuable, organic coffee must have traits that add value to the product and bolster the market for it to be considered a specialty coffee.Fair trade coffee
This product is appreciated in developed countries by consumers concerned with the social-environmental conditions in which the coffee was grown. In this case, the consumer pays more for coffee produced by smallholders or grown under the shade of the forest canopy. These systems are widely used in producing specialty coffees since they promote the maintenance of native plant and animal species.