What is speciality coffee?

Mar 16, 2023 | Coffee

Most of the coffees available in the market are either Robusta or Arabica coffee beans or a mixture of the two.

The Robusta varietals of coffee beans, as the name suggests have a more robust flavour, and are grown at a lower altitude and typically have a higher caffeine content when compared to arabica coffee beans. Vietnam is the worlds largest producer of Robusta coffee and a lot of this makes its way into instant coffee.

Arabica coffee varietals on the other hand originated in Ethiopia and have spread across the coffee growing world, which is between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.

Arabica is typically grown at higher altitudes of above 1800 masl (meters above sea level) is generally considered to be of higher quality than Robusta. Arabica coffee has more sweetness and smoothness with a combination of flavour notes such as chocolate, citrus, soft spice. etc (there is a taste wheel to pinpoint these flavours.) Brazil is the largest producer of Arabica coffee.

Many Italian coffees tend to use a combination of Robusta and Arabica in the same blend to give a unique Italian coffee flavour.

Green Ocean Coffee uses only arabica coffee that is certified by the SCA (Speciality Coffee Association) as of ‘Speciality Grade’. Speciality Grade is the status given to the best of the best Arabica. If the coffee scores 80 or higher on the Speciality Grade Scale then it qualifies as speciality grade and this grading is carried out with reference to size, colour, taste and a comprehensive measure of defects which are classified as either primary or secondary.

Why is this important?

Put simply the better the coffee, the better the taste. But since taste is very individual, this also translates into improved consistency of flavour as uniform quality allows for improved roasting and brewing. For example, a coffee that is roasted to medium / light and brewed at 92 degrees centigrade will be much more consistent if the green bean coffee is of a particular quality and size at the start of the process.

The demand for speciality coffee grade is by far the fastest growing area in the spectrum of coffee consumption as consumer tastes have become increasingly more sophisticated and discerning. Our Green Ocean Dorinish Coffee is a single origin speciality coffee from Kenya and and our Green Ocean Inisheeny coffee is a speciality coffee from Brazil with some Kenyan added for extra brightness.