Why is it important that we support the Speciality Coffee industry?
When buying coffee, there's a few variables to take into account. Now, all coffee is different, from price, processing, roast, packaging etc. One thing we may not take into account as often as we should, is the environmental footprint and how buying a bag of coffee makes an incredible impact on the producers life.
Speciality Coffee in the past 10 years has elevated and grown to become the go-to. The holy grail of coffee. Gone are the days of people accepting whatever is given to them. People love the element of choice, understanding what's happening in their cup, how it even got to their cup in the first place. As the market continues to push boundaries of what Speciality Coffee is, we need to understand why it's so important to support your local coffee shop/roastery and how this impact goes down the supply chain to provide a better outcome for all those involved.
To keep this simple and short, the beginning of the supply chain starts at the farm.
All coffee begins with a Coffea tree being planted in the ground, being cared and nurtured for years until wonderful cherries begin to sprout from the stems of the farmers hard work. Once perfectly ripe, these cherries are hand-picked and processed in multiple ways, which we will cover in a separate post.
From picking, processing, drying, packing, resting, all these variables ultimately take an effect on what you get in your lovely cup of coffee on Sunday morning, or when you pop to your favourite cafe for a flat white.
So I can hear you asking, why does it matter if I buy just any bag of coffee? The process is the same surely?
The ethical practises of speciality farms, to the quality and selectivity of the green coffee is what separates why you should be supporting your local speciality cafe/roaster.
Green coffee must conform with certain specifications as set out by the SCA (Speciality Coffee Association) in order to be classified as speciality. These define attributes such as, colour, odour and moisture content, as well as the number of defects per sample. All of which are a direct result of the expertise and careful farming practices of coffee producers.
This means that speciality farms have much higher quality crop, which results in a much higher quality coffee for you to enjoy.
Due to the nature of these practises, the products quality, the way the product is treated, and the product value is much higher, resulting in a better wage for everyone involved. This means that buying speciality grade coffee will actually result in better economical practises than your usual certifications.
One great positive from Speciality Coffee is that most involved in the supply chain of green coffee will help with the funding of the country of origin. Helping to continue the growth and build resources within the area. This could be from installing a fresh water tap for the village to have clean drinking water, to helping build a brand new school for children to gain education.
In summary, buying speciality coffee not only means a great cup of coffee, but a step in the right direction, for economical and environmental practises, a cleaner more tasteful future in this beautiful world.
Thanks for reading,