The ultimate beginner's guide to specialty coffee  - Univers du Thé

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The ultimate beginner’s guide to specialty coffee 

Coffee is second only to water as the most consumed beverage in the world, so it makes sense that there are so many choices when it comes to drinking coffee. Most people get their coffee from industrial sources, however, because of its popularity new and better options like specialty beans are becoming more available. 

What is specialty coffee? 

Specialty coffee refers to non-mass-produced coffee that comes from smaller farmers and is of high quality. It usually has a special distinction in flavor, coffee strength, and bean attributes. 

The specialty coffee scene has always existed and it was a world reserved for true coffee fanatics and people who would make the effort to find these beans. Recently, thanks to online sales and increasing interest in this type of brew, coffee is one of the fastest-growing markets. 

What makes specialty coffee better? 

Coffee has moved from just being a drink for energy to becoming a part of gastronomy as a whole. You can enjoy it just as much as any drink and invest in it too. So, what makes the difference when it comes to specialty coffee vs traditional ones. 

  1. Higher quality beans, this is the most important difference since these beans are more carefully selected and cared for than the mass-produced coffee fields
  2. Uniqueness, you can taste the difference in specialty coffees from notes of hazelnut to strong chocolate
  3. Variety, being able to add new flavors to your coffee rotation 
  4. More eco-friendly, smaller farmers tend to have a smaller impact on the environment 
  5. Help smaller businesses and communities, specialty coffee is usually tied deeply with its local community and can benefit small business 
How to choose your specialty coffee? We’ll give you 3 ways taste, origin, and eco/social footprint

How to choose the right specialty coffee for you?

Now that you know you want to give specialty coffee a try we need to get you ready to choose, you can use any of these characteristics to choose your next cup from. 

Taste 

This is a personal one and the most important in our opinion. Using your taste preferences is the best way to choose your next java beans, 

Choose what you know you like sweet and chocolaty or strong and energizing, or if you are feeling adventurous go for the complete opposite of what you usually drink. 

Origin 

Another factor to help you determine what type of specialty coffee is right or you can be the origin of the beans. 

Where coffee comes from can help determine the quality and some taste characteristics. 

Coffee Quality Institute here are the top ten countries with the best coffee: 

  1. Ethiopia 
  2. Kenya
  3. Uganda
  4. Colombia
  5. El Salvador 
  6. Costa Rica 
  7. Thailand
  8. Indonesia 
  9. Brazil
  10. Tanzania

You can find a lot of these at our coffee shop here! 

Eco and social footprint 

If you want to have a cup of coffee and help out communities or the environment then all you need to do is some research. You can buy sustainably sourced beans or support many accusations through your next cup of joe. 

Look for brands with social commitments or those founded by locals. 

Choosing your coffee-making methods 

The best thing about specialty coffee is that it is not a hassle to make! 

You can keep using classic coffee brewing methods like your Moka or french press, plus try new and exciting preparation techniques to get the most from your gourmet coffee beans

Espresso 

Best for strong-bodied coffee beans, good for small quantities of coffee. Expect a bitter, powerful taste and a lot of energy to be delivered. 

Espresso machines can be expensive but are definitely worth it for coffee lovers. 

Good to have after a meal and as a pick-me-up cup. 

French Press

Used for both coffee and tea, making the french press is a great addition to your kitchen accessories. 

Good for coffees with a lot of flavor notes and softer taste, plus you can make a lot of cups with the right french press. Perfect for sharing with others. 

Great to have for breakfast and big meals. 

Moka 

A must-have for any coffee aficionado, this simple coffee maker is straight to the point and wonderful. 

Better for simple but strong coffees, quantity depends on size but usually makes smaller but robust cups of brew. 

Easy to find and affordable equipment. Good for any occasion. 

V60 

Simple drip and filter coffee maker method. Its innovative design makes it an interesting try. 

Good for a clean and fresh cup of coffee. 

You can discover more coffee-making methods here!

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