What’s so special about speciality coffee?
Our second guest blog is written by Luke Underdown who is the owner and head roaster at Garage Coffee in Canterbury, Kent.
If you visited your local independent coffee shop or deli, you may have come across the term speciality coffee, but what does it mean? Quite simply put, it’s some of the best coffee you can get your hands on from bean to cup.
What we do at Garage Coffee
At Garage Coffee we only roast speciality grade coffee, and work with some of the best food and drink businesses in the UK who want to showcase it to its full potential, like the wonderful Sulston’s Kitchen! The reason we only roast speciality is because of the quality and impact it makes. Not only is the flavour far superior to your usual commercial coffees (naming no names!) but the ethics behind sourcing and roasting are usually top notch. For example, we can pretty much pin point the exact location we get all of our coffee from, usually being able to name the farmer who has grown it. So, whether a micro-lot in Colombia or smallholder in Tanzania, we know all about our coffee before it’s even landed in the roastery. The benefit of this is full traceability of the coffee and, becausewe pay a decent rate for the beans we get in, we know the farmers at origin are getting paid around 25% more than the fair-trade rate.
When it comes to roasting, we put a lot of time and attention into getting it right. We profile each of our coffees, to get the best flavour out of it. This basically means we’ll keep tweaking factors in the roasting process, such as temperature and time, to make sure we get it just right. Every coffee will roast in a different way, so this process is repeated for every new one we get in. Finally, by roasting in small batches, we can ensure optimum quality, meaning by the time is reaches your local shop it is good to go.
The final process is your local barista turning it into your favourite drink. Now we know everyone likes coffee in a different way, from a flat white to filter and everything in between. But, no matter how good the coffee, it is incredibly important that the person making it knows what they are doing. That is why we invest time and effort into discussing coffee needs with all our customers, and making sure they do it justice! So, at Sulston’s Kitchen, we have worked with Ben to select some beans that will make amazing filter coffee.
So, add all those components together, and you get a snapshot of what speciality coffee is. But as with all speciality products, knowledge is just the first step, and speciality coffee still only makes up about 10% of the coffee industry. At Garage Coffee we continue to promote the benefits and advantages of choosing speciality, to ultimately get Kent (and the rest of the UK) drinking great coffee!
Want to make great coffee at home? Check out our online brew guides and begin your journey today. Visit www.garageroasted.co.uk/howyoubrewing