coffee with the power to influence

10 things I love about Specialty Coffee…

In Coffee Links on March 1, 2010 at 11:12 am
  1. The coffee…I love everything about the stuff: the look, the smell, and feel of beans roasted & green; the breadth of flavours and aromas; the “gear” (brewers, grinders, roasters, espressos)…the day I bought a TDS meter for my coffee was the beginning of the end.
  2. Collaboration & information sharing. In my experience, there’s an absence of the cloistering of “secret knowledge” often  rampant in other industries.
  3. Excellence supports the artisan: from farmer, to mill worker,  to roaster, to barista.
  4. Personalities that take what they do very seriously, but not themselves.
  5. Anyone with the inclination can be an expert…but every coffee expert I’ve met readily admits that they “have so much more to learn.”
  6. Commitment to quality, ethical sourcing, and sustainability. Whether or not there’s agreement about the “how,” there is a diversity of approaches with more-or-less the same ends: Rainforest Alliance, Direct Trade, Cup of Excellence, UTZ Certified, Smithsonian Bird Friendly, FLO-Cert Fair Trade, national & international Organic standards, and 4C association.
  7. An almost collective rejection of over-roasting as a way of masking bean defects; letting coffee origins stand on the merits of their quality.
  8. Specialty coffee is a “culture”…a slow-food approach of sitting down with people and making connections over a cup of the world’s most complexly glorious beverage. This ain’t no “double-double to go.”
  9. Education of the reseller and consumer thanks to institutions like SCAA and SCAE, “the world’s largest coffee trade association with members representing more than 40 countries and every segment of the specialty coffee industry,” with a commitment to creating opportunities for success in specialty coffee.
  10. Great coffee doesn’t just happen by accident – it’s with the energies of people personally invested in improving quality through better growing & processing practices; strict roasting and cupping protocols, renewed attention to “one-cup-at-a-time” brewing, and a better understanding of coffee science.

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  1. Great, great post. Whole heartedly agree with all of that!

  2. Well done – I agree, and stand by each one of your points. They are all part of what makes me feel humble to be in this business.

  3. I like #5. I agree there is always more to learn.

  4. Totally agree with you. To me the best quality of coffee is that it brings people together, any given place, any given time….only the smell of it makes people sparkle!

  5. The coffee biz is a blast.

    I’m going back into it.

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