Let us share with you what we know about specialty coffee and why it has gained such popularity.
Specialty coffee is not just about a type of coffee, a coffee farmer, a roaster, or a barista. It is a complete supply chain that places quality as its top priority. Each link in the chain must work together flawlessly, as if one link fails, the entire chain could break, leading to the loss of all the hard work done.
To achieve a special coffee, there are three crucial factors that must be taken into account: preservation, transformation, and revelation of quality.
A roaster must preserve the quality of the green coffee they receive and turn it into the best version of roasted coffee. Similarly, a barista must preserve the quality of the roasted coffee and prepare the best possible cup of coffee, ensuring a great customer experience.
However, achieving a special coffee is not just about the process or the cup of coffee. Sustainability and the dignity, value, and well-being of all the people involved in the process are also essential factors to be considered. This is what makes us truly special coffee.
The definition of specialty coffee has evolved over time. Originally, it was believed that specialty coffee was solely produced in a unique geographic microclimate that produced beans with distinctive profiles. However, this definition did not consider the entire supply chain, which is critical. Many people are involved in the specialty coffee process, and all of them should be taken into account.
Unlike the wine industry, where one person or brand has access to the entire process, from growing grapes to bottling and selling the wine, coffee is entirely different. The process of producing coffee from planting to enjoying a cup can be summarized as follows:
- Analyzing the soil and climate to determine where to plant the seeds is critical to producing great coffee.
- Harvesting the coffee beans must be carried out when the cherries are ripe and handled by skilled laborers.
- The processing process varies depending on what the coffee grower wants, and the drying and threshing typically take place outside the farm, involving more people in the process.
- The selection and packaging of green coffee can be manual or automatic, and it plays a significant role in preserving the coffee's quality and extending its shelf life.
- The roaster and their team are responsible for revealing the best possible quality of green coffee they receive and turning it into the best possible version of roasted coffee.
- Finally, the experience in the cup is what coffee lovers are after, and it depends on the preparation by a barista or oneself.
All of these steps highlight the hard work and dedication of all the people involved in producing the diversity of Colombian coffee that we can enjoy in each cup.