Specialty coffee

Most of us are familiar with the terms ‘coffee’ and ‘specialty coffee’. The difference may not seem that big, but it definitely is. We tell you all the ins and outs.

Most of the coffee varieties are the ones we all know. But some of them are known for their high quality. The Specialty Coffee Association, a nonprofit organization, created this term.

Specialty coffee

Although some people think it refers to coffee with a special flavor, like adding some syrup, this is not the case. Only the SCA can define this quality classification. They differentiate two grades of coffee: Specialty Grade and Premium Grade. You define the other grades as „Not classified by SCA GACCS“.

SCA classification

Currently, the SCA made quality standards for water, green coffee, and cupping coffee. The Standards Committee recommends the SCA standards and this is a reliable measurement.

The final score of quality classification contains different ranges. If the score is beneath a total of 80.0, the coffee is known as ‘Below Specialty Quality’. It cannot be considered a higher segment of coffee. After that, very good, excellent and, eventually, outstanding coffee follows. In order to achieve the highest grade, the total score should be between 90 and 100.

Want to learn more about the SCA? Check their website here. Learn more about coffee? Check our blog with five facts about coffee

Specialty coffee
Photo: Rodolfo 

Updated on 02-12-2020