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What’s So Special About Specialty Coffee?

by Kaitlin Graham 07 Aug 2023

Hands in basket sorting through raw coffee beans

What is Specialty Coffee?

Specialty coffee refers to the highest quality green coffee beans roasted to their greatest flavor potential by true craftspeople and then properly brewed to well-established SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) developed standards. It’s typically grown at high altitudes, with much care and attention from the farmer. 

The SCA uses a 100-point scale to score coffee, and coffee must score above 80 points to be considered specialty coffee. This standardized scoring system makes sure specialty coffee is top-notch every time. 

Monkey Hanger coffee has been scored 80 and above out of 100 and is graded as Specialty Coffee according to the exacting standards of the SCA. 

Specialty Coffee Factors

The quality of the coffee is considered through every stage of production, including growing altitude, farming techniques, roasting, and trading. This approach throughout the supply chain creates coffee of a superior grade which once tasted, is hard to go back from!

  • Altitude: For a coffee to make the specialty grade, it must be grown at a high altitude to produce complex flavors. Specialty coffee is typically grown at between 900 meters and 1500 meters of elevation. 
  • Farming: Farmers of specialty coffee are true craftspeople who care about the beans they produce. Specialty coffee cherries must be handpicked when they have reached peak ripeness and they must be processed in a clean and consistent manner. 
  • Roasting: The beans must be roasted and brewed in a way that shows off their characteristics, rather than masking them. 
  • Trading: Specialty coffee is usually traded with farmers and cooperatives at a local level. It’s purchased in a way that pays respect to its quality and the personal care farmers took in producing it. 

Specialty grade coffee cares about the lifecycle of each bean. The attention that goes into each batch produces a premium brew that you can count on.

You can learn more about specialty coffee here, or shop now from our range of specialty coffees.

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