The Speciality Coffee term was started to be wider used since 1994 and was first done by the raw coffee producers. The speciality coffee term contains two important parameters. Traceability and Quality. To understand it better we need to take two examples. The wine and the olive oil. In good wines we want to know the grape variety and the exact area of origin. We also know that the extra-virgin olive oil (top quality) is produced from the best and best matured olives. These best olives should be separated during harvesting in order to prepare the best oil. These two examples are very representative and similar with coffee.
The best coffee must be also separated during harvesting. The best coffee comes from the best mature cherries, the heaviest, the ones that having the bigger and denser coffee bean. For this batch of coffee (coffee-lot) we have to also know the variety and the exact area it was cultivated. While cupping a speciality coffee, the beverage must achieve more than 74 rating points, in the CoE scoring form. The coffee must have personality, individuality and combining or highlighting primary flavor characteristics such as sweetness, acidity, body, finish, balance, smell. It should broad it’s range of flavors characteristics towards the secondary ones like, Chocolate, Vanilla, Caramel , almonds, baked almonds, sugar cane, blue-berries, lemon, tropical fruits, spices, earthy, etc.).
The coffee is the tastiest product among food and beverages. Over 700 chemical elements are associated with coffee aroma and flavor. Almost twice of those we find in wine and well above the second, in the standings, vanilla. To highlight these rich taste characteristics all the stages, coffee follows (from the coffee tree till the end cup) should be perfect. Coffee follows the following stages: The land, plant, rain, flowering, fruiting, harvesting, separating, drying, processing, storage, sorting, transportation, storage, blending, roasting, packaging, brewing or boiling.
If any of the above stage is not done perfectly, then the result will not be perfect. The raw Specialty Coffees represent about 10% of world production and the demand for them is growing since the consumer is getting more familiar and appreciating good coffee quality. The value of a Speciality Coffee is 30% or 40% higher than common coffees and sometimes exceeds 100%. In recent years, except the large growers-producers that can produce Speciality Coffees we can find smaller farms with small processing plants (micro-mills) who may produce and separate micro-quantities (micro-lots) of specialty coffee with rich flavor characteristics. Consider that the best batches with the highest scores in the Cup of Excellence are starting from just 10 bags.
According to the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe SCAE, Speciality coffee is defined as: “Speciality coffee is defined as a crafted quality coffee-based beverage, which is judged by the consumer (in a limited marketplace at a given time) to have a unique quality, a distinct taste and personality different from, and superior to, the common coffee beverages offered. The beverage is based on beans that have been grown in an accurately defined area, and which meet the highest standards for green coffee and for its roasting, storage and brewing.” For us in Mokka, coffee is a culture and a lifestyle. We want to fully enjoy the most tasteful beverage, completely natural, top quality, without any impurity preservative at any stage of processing.