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Unveiling the World of Craft and Specialty Coffee

Craft and Specialty Coffee: What You Need to Know

Coffee enthusiasts all over the world have been raving about craft and specialty coffee for a while now. But what does it mean to be a “craft” or “specialty” coffee?

In this article, well explore the definitions of these coffee terms, the process of making craft coffee, and where you can find it.

The Definition of Craft and Specialty Coffee

Craft coffee is coffee that has been created by hand, using precise manual methods. The primary goal of craft coffee is to bring out the natural flavors and qualities of coffee beans.

It emphasizes the growing and preparing process, using professional skill and manual efforts to obtain the best results. On the other hand, specialty coffee refers to coffee that is of the highest grade, sourced from optimal growing conditions, and produced in accordance with established quality standards.

Specialty coffee is roasted to perfection, creating a unique and flavorful brew that coffee enthusiasts can appreciate.

Overview of Craft Coffee

Craft coffee is all about the love, passion, and effort that goes into making a truly exceptional cup of coffee. This coffee-making process involves a lot of manual efforts, as well as professional skill.

The goal is to get the best flavor profile from the beans and bring out the unique qualities of each harvesting region. The first step in crafting coffee is to source the highest quality beans.

Next, the beans are roasted to perfection, taking into consideration the level of roast, the time, and temperature needed to bring out the best flavor. Finally, the beans are ground and brewed, with great care to extract the most flavor with the perfect brew timing and grinding level.

Availability of Craft Coffee

The good news is that you don’t have to travel far to enjoy craft coffee. Many grocery stores now carry craft coffee beans and pre-ground coffee that has been produced using craft techniques.

The availability of craft coffee is in high demand with shops popping up for their in-shop roasts and brews. Craft coffee is easily distinguishable from mass-produced coffee by its unique and flavorful taste.

Coffee enthusiasts usually know what they are looking for, and with the expanding local roasters in the market, there’s a strong emphasis on the traceability of coffees origin, passion in roasting, and brewing skills.

Benefits of Drinking Craft and Specialty Coffee

There are many reasons to choose craft and specialty coffee over mass-produced coffee. Firstly, the quality of the beans used in crafting coffee is generally far superior to those used in mass-produced coffee.

Coffee enthusiasts prefer the rich aroma and unique taste of coffees made using quality beans. Crafting coffee also requires meticulous attention to detail in roasting and brewing.

This means that craft coffee is usually stronger, smoother, and richer than mass-produced coffee with only a small amount capable of providing a full flavor pint-sized cup. Lastly, choosing craft coffee is a vote of support for smaller, local businesses.

By choosing craft coffee, youre supporting small businesses and individuals who have invested time and effort into producing a quality product. You are also contributing to the industrys growth and path for discovery, preservation, and innovation.


In summary, craft and specialty coffee are two terms that refer to coffee that has been consciously crafted to be the best it can be. Craft coffee is made through manual efforts, professional skill, and precise brewing techniques, while specialty coffee is sourced from top-notch beans and processed to perfection.

The good news is that these coffees are accessible nationwide, and theres no reason to settle for bland or average coffee with the right information. So, go ahead, pick up a bag of craft or specialty coffee today, and discover the flavors that await you.

Specialty Coffee: Traits, Grading, Availability, and Differences from Craft Coffee

Specialty coffee is a type of coffee that not only offers a rich and flavorful taste but also has a vibrant aroma and distinct color. This coffee variety is not a passing fad, it has become a strong contender in the coffee market, and coffee aficionados all over the world are enjoying this coffee for reasons beyond the caffeine boost it provides.

Specialty Coffee Traits

Specialty coffee is identified by its unique and strong traits. The aroma, flavor, and color profile in specialty coffee are top quality, and they stand out from the rest.

This quality is largely due to the environment in which the coffee is grown, including the altitude, soil composition, and climate in which the coffee is harvested. Another factor that separates specialty coffee from other types of coffee is the way it is roasted.

Roasting can be seen as both an art and a science which can vary greatly from one bean to another. The roasting can produce a unique flavor profile, making specialty coffee a complex and delicious experience.

Specialty Coffee Grading Process

While it is easy to identify specialty coffee through its unique taste profile, there’s an additional layer of certification to differentiate it. The grading process is a thorough and objective evaluation of green coffee beans by an expert Q grader, an individual who has undergone a comprehensive certification program on coffee quality.

A Q grader uses a cupping score to evaluate specialty coffee beans. This score is an aggregate of factors such as fragrance, aroma, flavor, aftertaste, acidity, sweetness, body, and more, rated on a scale of 1 to 100.

In addition, defects in the coffee bean are also evaluated to determine its quality and grade. Typically, Specialty coffee must score over 80 points and must have a minimum of defects ranging from zero to two.

The score cannot be compromised as this certification process is a guarantee set in global coffee standards to ensure quality and preserve the coffee industry.

Availability of Specialty Coffee

If you want to enjoy a cup of specialty coffee, look no further than specialty coffee shops. Unlike craft coffee, specialty coffee is only available at dedicated shops like Starbucks reserve, Blue Bottle, and Intelligentsia, among many others.

Specialized shops have an excellent curation of coffee producers and often display information on the origin of the coffee beans and the brewing techniques used.

Differences Between Craft and Specialty Coffee

Craft and specialty coffee are often erroneously used interchangeably. However, there is a significant difference between the two types of coffee.

While specialty coffee emphasizes grading and quality, craft coffee is more of a process, which emphasizes precise manual methods to produce coffee that brings out the unique qualities of the coffee beans. In the debates and opinions of many coffee experts, craft coffee is differentiated from specialty coffee by the way it’s crafted.

Craft coffee’s primary focus is on the preparation method and the manual efforts put into the brewing process. It is usually roasted and developed by individuals or micro-roasters and is available for purchase at grocery stores, cafes or farmer’s markets.

On the other hand, specialty coffee is differentiated from craft coffee by the high grade of beans it uses, often bringing attention to the origin and processing, and best growth practices, grading, and certification is issued to ensure that the coffee meets the criterion of not only taste but also quality standards during the production process. The main difference between the two is the focus on grading-based quality specifications rather than only on the production process itself.


In summary, specialty coffee is a type of coffee with rich, aromatic, and flavorful taste, with certification on coffee grading and quality, sourced from the best coffee bean growers worldwide. It is roasted to perfection, and only found in dedicated specialty shops.

Craft coffee, on the other hand, is an expressive way of brewing coffee. It is often produced in a manual process but may not share the same high-quality standardisation ethos as specialty coffee, instead, craft coffee can be sold in grocery stores as readily-made coffee or by individual roasters, found at famers markets and micro cafe shops.

Knowing the difference between the two can help you make more informed decisions on which type of coffee to consume. Craft vs.

Specialty Coffee: Debates and


Coffee has come a long way from just being a morning pick-me-up, there’s a specific distinction between craft coffee and specialty coffee. As weve previously discussed, craft coffee is all about the careful preparation process, while specialty coffee emphasizes the grading and quality of beans used.

Though both coffees offer unique taste profiles, there are still debates and confusion around the differences between the two.

Overview of Both Coffees

Craft coffee and specialty coffee share one commonality– the importance of careful growing and preparation. Specialty coffee emphasizes quality and processing by focusing on the grading system, while craft coffee places its focus on the brewing process, the passion, and the uniqueness that comes with the manual process.

Craft and specialty coffee roasting and brewing methods can vary depending on the roaster and coffee’s origin. However, manual processes and compliance with quality standards set each coffee type apart.

Beyond perfecting the art of making coffee, many coffee roasters have taken their commitment to quality a step further, by creating strong and beneficial relationships with their communities of farmers. In this vein, specialty coffee often carries the ideology of promoting sustainability, ethical sourcing, and fair trade, making a positive impact on the world.

Debate Over Differences

Whether it’s craft coffee or specialty coffee, every coffee aficionado has an opinion on what makes coffee great. For some, the defining factor lies in specialty coffee’s grading process.

Where quality coffee is tested for defects and rated according to the overall quality of the bean, flavor, aroma, and cup score. Others suggest that the focus should be on the brewing techniques of craft coffee.

They argue, that the manual process is what makes craft coffee special, as it requires special skills and perfect timing to achieve a perfect cup of coffee. Those who side with this argument believe that the uniqueness stemming from manual brewing processes is of more importance than solely the grading of coffee beans, which at times can take away from the value of the natural origin of coffee.

At times, the debate over the difference between craft coffee and specialty coffee can boil down to a personal preference. It may depend on your taste buds and the intensity of the flavors that you desire from your coffee beans.

What is important, however, is to be informed of the differences between the two types of coffee and to know what youre getting when you pay for it.


In conclusion, coffee is a beverage that is enjoyed all over the world, and the differences between craft coffee and specialty coffee show that coffee is much more complex than meets the eye. Specialty coffee has a rigorous grading and selection process that aims to meet strict quality standards, while craft coffee emphasizes manual brewing techniques as a way to bring out the unique qualities of the beans.

Knowing the differences between the two types of coffee helps coffee consumers make more informed decisions about the coffee they want to drink. Ultimately, what makes coffee great is a personal preference, and there isn’t a “right” or “wrong” way to enjoy coffee.

Whether your preference is for craft coffee or specialty coffee, what matters most is that you enjoy it and that it’s made to your satisfaction. With both being known, it makes coffee a bit more interesting and beneficial to evaluate and explore the variety modern advancements have brought to a simple cup of coffee.

In conclusion, craft coffee and specialty coffee offer distinct approaches to achieving a high-quality cup of coffee. Craft coffee focuses on the manual brewing process, while specialty coffee emphasizes rigorous grading and quality standards.

While experts and coffee drinkers may debate the importance of one aspect over the other, what ultimately matters is the enjoyment and satisfaction of the coffee consumer. Understanding the differences between the two types of coffee empowers individuals to make informed choices and explore the diverse world of coffee.

So, whether you prefer the artistry of craft coffee or the precision of specialty coffee, indulge in the unique flavors and aromas that each has to offer. Cheers to finding the perfect cup of coffee that suits your taste and satisfies your coffee cravings!

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