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Towards a Definition of Specialty Coffee


One of the nagging questions facing the specialty coffee industry lies in the basics: how is definition of ‘Specialty Coffee’? Since the term ‘specialty coffee’ was born, it has been difficult to define its specific meaning.

Specialty Coffee is a product with high technical requirements. The mandatory evaluation sample contains no defects of type 1 and no more than five defects of type 2, scoring above 80 out of a scale of 100. This definition has generally caused difficulties in understanding and is widely applied in practice because it is too vague or specific. A concise and comprehensive definition of coffee specialty has never been published by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), although these are the most frequently asked questions.

In coming up with a general concept of Specialty Coffee, let us look at the background information surrounding this vital concept.


Orientation of the term ‘Specialty Coffee’


Specialty coffee can survive consistently through those who dedicate their lives to prioritizing success in continuously improving coffee quality. There is not a one-person job for the coffee bean life cycle. Specialty coffee can only be valid when all participants in the coffee supply chain work sustainably and maintain a strong focus on standards and accuracy from start to finish. This goal is not easy achievement to achieve. However, thanks to the dedication of a sustainable supply chain, we have seen the growth of the specialty coffee industry year by year. That is a positive sign for the industry overview.


Evaluation of specialty coffee properties (Specialty Coffee)

This issue includes diversity because coffee attributes have their unique value. How specific attributes can be honored in many different respects. It is essential as specialty coffee becomes a global phenomenon. Different cultures value coffee aspects in very different ways.

A coffee buyer in Korea might rate the fruit flavor attribute much higher than the German coffee attribute. That can be true of any attribute of any particular coffee. The value here is not only international, as well-developed coffee markets such as Europe and the United States have become more diverse in their coffee lines.

The services and standards surrounding specialty coffee must be expanded to thrive further. In small coffee cultures, even within a country like the United States, one will find value in various attributes. This framework provides an easy way to understand and take these differences into the specialty coffee movement and grow.

The services and standards surrounding specialty coffee must be expanded to thrive further. In small coffee cultures, even within a country like the United States, one will find value in various attributes. This framework provides an easy way to understand and take these differences, placing us in the specialty coffee movement and growing together.

Many organizations and activists are working to incorporate rigorous environmental and social indicators into the definition and classification of specialty coffee. Biologist Giorgio Piracci, president of the Peruvian NGO 7 Elements, argues: “There is a need to redefine the concept of quality and include in it both environmental and socio-economic components of quality. at the production and distribution level”. In his view, it makes no sense for a specialty coffee if it is produced using harmful pesticides, fertilizers or environmental impacts in farming techniques.

The supply chain affects the quality of Specialty Coffee

A delicious coffee bean begins with producers whose generations in their family have worked continuously to perfect the right approach to cultivating the highest quality coffee: growing at high altitudes and in selective climate, care for many years before the first harvest. The producers who create specialty coffees have dedicated themselves to refining and perfecting the coffee with the best flavor quality. For them, the most important thing is quality, not quantity. Only coffees not defective and selected at the highest ripeness are allowed to proceed to the next step. Farmers want to connect with buyers who care about quality, and steep traceability, ensuring a more profitable option to support individuals, families and communities worldwide.

Next, the source of green coffee, after being transported to the buyer, will be evaluated and treated accordingly. Distributors and importers have enough skills to distinguish and identify coffee quality sensitively. This step will be assessed through systematic and standardized tastings. Through tasting, coffee drinkers can assess the coffee’s score and determine if it is of a specialty quality. From there make decisions about the type of coffee they will use for their business. Buyers of green coffee beans play a large role in conveying information about coffee to roasters, and baristas, and sustainable supply chain helps improve the quality and cost of specialty coffee beans. Thus, maintaining stability in the coffee industry. Producers do not reduce production quality because of lack of costs, causing the unsafety of agricultural products.


In general, the concept of specialty coffee is the core, including the value of specialty coffee cultures worldwide and how to communicate and increase the value of the coffee they produce. Although each coffee line has different attributes, defining a specialty coffee requires more than other common definitions. Although up to now, there is no complete definition of Specialty Coffee, the old rules are still in vogue, along with new ones that are updated from time to time.

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