The flavour of speciality coffee is influenced by a variety of factors, one of the most crucial being the roasting process. Depending on the coffee roaster, the same beans might display different flavour characteristics when roasted by different people.
At the Coffee Tasting Club we aim to help you discover these subtle differences by bringing you the widest range of speciality coffee available in the UK. What’s more, it’s all freshly roasted by the UK’s top independent coffee roasters. You can choose from whole bean coffee or ground coffee beans, either way we think you’ll agree there’s a whole world of special coffee to experience.
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What Is Speciality Coffee?
To understand speciality coffee we also need to appreciate what commodity coffee is. You’ve probably had commodity coffee before. It’s the type that’s generally sold and consumed in high volumes so it covers most big brands and supermarket stock. The alternative is speciality coffee. Speciality coffee is the top 20% of coffee produce so it offers the best quality available. It’s a regulated term so coffees are graded as such. All the coffees available at the Coffee Tasting Club are speciality coffee.
Coffee beans are divided into two types, Arabica and Robusta. Robusta beans are hardy and relatively easy to grow so they are generally used for commodity coffee. Arabica beans are more difficult to grow. Premium Arabica beans are usually used for speciality coffee.
Another term you may be familiar with is gourmet coffee. Although this suggests quality, there are no official standards that determine a gourmet coffee. If you really want the best quality it’s important to look for speciality coffee.
How Does Roasting Influence The Taste?
When coffee beans are produced they develop their own flavour based on the varietal, growing conditions and processing methods used. Roasting is one of the last steps in the chain before the coffee is brewed.
Coffee roasting is a cross between a science and an art. The time and temperature can be used to develop the flavour of the beans. A roast can be light, medium, medium-dark or dark. As a general rule, the lighter the roast the more the original flavours of the bean come through.
Why Is Freshness So Important?
Once coffee beans have been roasted, they actually begin to lose their taste and aroma. Generally speciality coffee is best consumed within a month of the roast date to make the most of the flavours the roast brings out. That’s why we roast to order and don’t keep stock on the shelves.