What’s all the fuss about specialty coffee?

Have you noticed lately that your favourite cafe seems to be adding more coffee options to the menu?

You may be asking yourself, what’s all the fuss about specialty coffee? Or saying that you like your regular cup of coffee just fine. While there’s nothing wrong with your traditional brew, specialty coffees are here to stay, and with good reason.

The specialty coffee industry is continuing to expand with no immediate signs of slowing down. For the past few years, the third wave of coffee continues to boom. The third wave is a movement that focuses on the quality, origin, and overall appreciation of coffee, not just the caffeine buzz. It’s the rising trend for transparency on what consumers are drinking and where it comes from.

How does specialty coffee differ from regular coffee?

Specialty coffee is of higher quality that’s measured with a grading system. It uses ethical and sustainable practices for both harvesting and production. Coffee merchants often work with the growers by paying higher prices for beans and assisting in the increased education of sustainable farming practices. Like a chef’s relationship with food, artisan roasters want to see where their product is coming from and guarantee its high quality.

Specialty coffee also differs from its single origin vs. blends. Similar to wine, single origin coffee comes from one source, while a blend is a combination of multiple sources. Single origin coffees tend to be lightly roasted and brew best with a Chemex or pour over method for maximum flavour. If you have a great single type of bean, then why not enjoy it while it’s at its seasonal peak? You can taste the distinctive flavour profiles of new coffee regions, and explore your palette.

Blends are typically used for espressos. Different ratios of coffees are mixed to create a balanced beverage. By adjusting the amounts of grounds, roasters can create different blends like a house of breakfast blend, while maintaining consistency in a routine cup of coffee.

How can you enjoy your specialty coffee?

The beans should be freshly roasted and ground. There are many different and new methods of brewing, including pour over, cold drip, Aero Press, espresso, and the Moka pot. Browse the menu of your favourite café or seek out new locations where you can sample specialty coffees. You can also research more about the difference between brewing styles or try them to see which is the best fit for you.

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