First of all, what is speciality coffee? Well, there are actually many ways of defining speciality coffee. For example, The SCAA (Speciality Coffee Association of America) defines it as coffee that’s graded 80 or above on their 100 point scale. But generally speaking, when most people refer to speciality coffee, we’re referring to coffee that has been grown in specific regions of the world that offer the finest conditions for growing.
You may have heard of the coffee belt – an imaginary strip that stretches horizontally across the equator – containing within it the most prolific coffee growing countries. The reason coffee grows so well here comes down what coffee plants often require in order to flourish:
1 – Year round warmth
2 – Correct levels of moisture in the soil
3 – Elevation
Click here to find out more about how the type of bean, region and roast can change the flavour of your coffee.
Now let’s take a look at 3 of the world’s most sought after speciality blends:
Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee
Grown in the prestigious plantations high up in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica, this exquisite blend is often described as being the ‘champagne’ of coffees. Its supreme, consistent quality is the result of painstaking attention to detail in the way it’s nurtured from the moment it’s planted to the moment it’s harvested.
Once harvested, the beans are sorted by hand to ensure only the finest beans are selected for roast. Enjoying unusually volcanic soil, these delicate Arabica beans prove there really is complexity in simplicity, and the warm, welcoming aroma is reinforced with a flavour that’s beyond smooth.
The whole drinking experience is characterised by a unique subtleness that’s simply perfect.
Hawaiian Kona Coffee
This variety of Arabica beans, grown along the slopes of the Hualalai and Mauna Lo volcanoes, is regarded by some as the best coffee in the world. The ideal microclimate can claim much of the responsibility for this coffee’s sweet, full-bodied delivery that leaves you gasping for more. This humble, understated bean hides a plethora of subtleties that enjoy announcing themselves after each sip.
Depending on how it’s roasted, the aroma is can be characterised as nutty, spicy, fruity and even chocolatey.
St Helena Coffee
The island of St Helena lies within the distant reaches of the Atlantic Ocean, and is perhaps best known as Napoleon’s home following his permanent exile in 1815. There’s no prize for guessing what else this island is famous for...
Napoleon was once quoted as saying ‘The only good thing about St Helena is the coffee’. That certainly seems a rather unfair judgement of this picturesque island, however, considering the worldwide reputation of its coffee; it seems he was right about one thing.
Much like Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee, St Helena coffee is famed for its rigorous quality control. Due to the relatively small amount of coffee produced on this tiny island, each bean is cared for with an almost maternalistic degree of love and attention. In green bean form, this coffee exhibits an alluring, semi translucent sheen. It’s renowned for its high, lively acidity, matched with superb balance and body. This delicate bean emanates consistent, floral aromas with hints of citrus. Many people are even able to pick up on fleeting scents of caramel, which dates back to its Yemeni origins.
Looking to try any of these blends?
Here at Clumsy Goat, we’re always looking to expand our range of coffees. We’ve currently got our eyes on all of the above, meaning sometime in the near future you’ll be able to purchase some of the world’s most sought after speciality blends at great prices, delivered direct to your door.Be sure to join our newsletter below to keep updated on new blends, offers and more of our coffee related musings.