Specialty Coffee?

Specialty Koffie?

What is Specialty Coffee?

For many, coffee is more than just a daily dose of caffeine, it is a conscious moment of rest that requires quality. For coffee lovers like myself, it is a passion, a science and a source of inspiration.

In January 2023 I discovered Specialty coffee in Bali. At Blacklist Coffee Roasters and at Bali Beans Coffee I tasted coffees with special and very tasty properties. At Bali Beans Coffee I learned everything about the Specialty coffee bean, the Specialty coffee plantations and how to analyze the quality of the coffee bean.

Coffee farmers Brazil Capricornio

What Makes Specialty Coffee So Special?

Specialty coffee is the crème de la crème of coffee. It has no flaws and is fully analyzed by at least two Q graders, who give it a cupping score of 80+ on a scale of 0 to 100. But what influences this score? Factors such as defects in the coffee beans, unripe picked beans and the price the coffee farmer receives can all influence quality.

The origin and genetics of the coffee bean also play a crucial role. Coffee beans growing at an altitude of 1,000m (and higher) and the processing method (washed, honey process or natural process) significantly influence the taste. Picking the ripe, sweet coffee berry is essential for good coffee.

Cupping coffee at home

What is Coffee Cupping?

Coffee cupping is a standardized method to assess the quality and flavor profiles of coffee beans. This method was developed by the Specialty Coffee Association and is recognized and applied worldwide by certified tasters, known as Q-graders. Here is a detailed explanation of the cupping process and the associated scores:

  1. Visual inspection of green beans: Before the cupping process begins, Q graders inspect a sample of unroasted green beans for defects. These can be primary (e.g. coffee mold) or secondary (e.g. broken beans). For a coffee to be classified as a Specialty, the sample must contain no primary defects and fewer than five secondary defects.
  2. The coffee tasting process: The coffee beans must be roasted within 24 hours before cupping and allowed to rest for at least 8 hours. The beans are ground just before cupping. The Q graders then evaluate 5 cups of the same sample and give them a coffee quality score from 0 to 10 based on the following criteria:
  • Coffee Odor and Aroma: Odor refers to the smell of ground coffee when it is still dry, while aroma is the smell the coffee gives off when it comes into contact with hot water.
  • Coffee flavor: This is the most distinctive flavor of the coffee.
  • Taste aftertaste: This is the length of the taste after the coffee has been swallowed.
  • Coffee acidity: The acidity varies depending on the coffee variety. You say sour when it has a negative sour taste in coffee and you say acide when it has a positive sour taste such as an apple-like or a grape-like sour taste.
  • Body: This refers to the mouthfeel of the coffee.
  • Balance: A coffee that creates a balance between acidity, aroma, taste and aftertaste will receive a higher score.
  • Sweetness: Coffee naturally contains sugars, so some level of sweetness is expected during cupping.
  • Clean cup: This refers to the uniformity of the taste, from the first sip to the aftertaste.
  • Flavor Uniformity: This refers to the consistency of the flavor between the five sample cups. If there is a difference in the same coffee, it may be that it contains unripe coffee beans or that there is something else wrong with the coffee.
  • General: This is where the tasters can show their personal consideration. The more the sample reflects the typical characteristics based on its origin, the higher the coffee score.
  • Defects: Similar to green bean grading, panelists may deduct points for defects during cupping.
  1. Final Score: Each of the five sample cups is given a score based on the above criteria. The final coffee quality score is the sum of the total score of each cup, minus defects.

At the bottom of this news article we mention the cupping scores of the four coffee beans of our espresso blend: “ Dark Desire ”.

Green coffee beans

Fancy Beans: Only Specialty Coffee

At Fancy Beans, quality comes first, we only purchase green coffee beans after we have reviewed the cupping report. I then roast and cup the coffee samples myself to ensure your own taste experience and to create the most beautiful blends.

Fancy Beans also focuses on the B2B market. We think it is important that quality coffee is served in offices. Unfortunately, most offices (currently over 90%) do not serve Specialty coffee. Fancy Beans wants to make the B2B market aware of quality coffee and all the benefits it offers, including its sustainable nature and fair prices for coffee farmers (Direct Trade coffee).

Ripe coffee cherries


Specialty coffee is coffee from careful cultivation, harvesting, processing and assessment. So we recommend that the next time you take a sip of your coffee, you are aware of the careful process that went into it and the passion of people who strive for perfection in every cup. Ever drank your coffee cold to taste the real taste of the coffee?

Quote: Cold Coffee doesn't lie!

Below is the Cupping report of the four specialty coffee beans of our espresso blend: Dark Desire

1. India Sirangalli Washed Robusta

Cupping report India Sirangalli Washed Robusta

2. Brazil Capricornio - São Jerônimo da Serra

Cupping Report Brazil Capricornio - São Jerônimo da Serra

3. Brazil Capricornio - Fazenda Fronteira Natural

Cupping Report Brazil Capricornio - Fazenda Fronteira Natural

4. Brazil Capricornio - Fazenda California Natural

Cupping Report Brazil Capricornio - Fazenda California Natural

Brazil Capricornio Farm

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