So what is specialty coffee?
Simply put...specialty coffee is the best of the best when it comes to coffee. These are the coffees we roast to perfection at The Immortal Coffee roasting facility.
The term "Specialty Coffee" was first coined by Erna Knutsen in a 1974 issue of Tea & Coffee Trade Journal.
Specialty coffee undergoes a stringent screening process when the beans are still green (unroasted) and then evaluated during a tasting process after they are roasted called "cupping". Cupping is the tasting process by which a highly skilled taster (much like a sommelier) evaluates and assigns scores to each of the coffee’s attributes, such as acidity, body, flavor and aroma. Specialty coffee must possess at least one distinctive attribute in the body, flavor, aroma, or acidity; and must be free of faults and taints.
Don't confuse "specialty coffee" with "gourmet" or "premium" coffee.
According to the SCAA-Specialty Coffee Association of America, specialty coffee is used to refer to coffee that is graded 80 points or above on a 100 point scale by a certified coffee taster (SCAA) or by a licensed Q Grader (CQI).
Specialty Coffee undergoes a rigorous visual inspection of a 350 gram sample searching for primary and secondary defects. Specialty grade coffee must have zero primary defects. Premium or Gourmet coffee allows primary and secondary defects
When is it best to grind the coffee?
It is best to grind your coffee just before brewing. As soon as you grind the coffee it begins the aging process and oxidizes.
"Dialing it in"?
In the coffee world the phrase "dialing it in" is used to describe the perfect cup of coffee. To "dial it in" we must understand how to get the perfect extraction of coffee by way of coffee-to-water ratio, grind size, brew time, and water temperature.
For pour over coffee the optimal water to coffee ratio is usually between 15-17 to 1. Meaning for every 1 gram of coffee you should use between 15 grams to 17 grams of water. If you're having a hard time converting just keep in mind 1 gram is equal to 1 millileter (ml). We suggest using a 13-14 to 1 ratio for using a french press.
We understand most people don't geek out on coffee as much as we do, so use these ratios as general rule. Depending on the brewing methodology and personal tastes the coffee-to-water ratio will vary.
In general the time of Coffee-to-water contact recomendation by the SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) is 1-4 minutes Fine, 4-6 minutes Drip/Pour Over, 6-8 minutes Coarse. This will depend on the brewing methodology of choice. More details to come on this or visit YouTube as there are a plethora of how to videos for your method of choice.
The optimal water temperature for brewing coffee is between 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit (90.55-96.11 degrees Celsius).
This will vary depending on the brewing method of choice. For an explanation of grind sizes and suggested brewing methodology please see the photos below.
Photo credits/sourced from 'I Need Coffee' and the following article: https://ineedcoffee.com/coffee-grind-chart/ via the Creative Common License.
Coarse Grind (see below photo):
Best for Brewing with French Press or Plunger Pots.
Medium Coarse Grind (see below photo):
Best for Brewing with Chemex, Clever Dripper, or Automatic Machines with cone shaped filters.
Medium Grind (see below photo):
Best for brewing with automatic drip coffee makers with flat bottom filters.
Medium Fine (see below photo):
Best for brewing with an Aeropress, Siphon, Vacuum Pots, Hario V60, Bonmac, or single cup pour over coffee makers.
Fine Grind (finer than granulated sugar - see below photo):
Best for brewing with Moka Pots, EspressoMakers and Espresso Machines Pump or Steam.
Turkish Grind (looks like flour, powdered with no grains - see below photo):
Best for brewing Ibik & Turkish Coffee