Specialty Coffee Bean Roasters in the UK
In a given day around the world, people consume about 2 billion cups of coffee. This makes it a popular beverage for people around the world. As a matter of fact, it is the second most valuable traded commodity in the world after oil.
Coffee is a dark and bitter beverage with a great and slightly acidic taste that is enjoyable to drink. It is good for human health as it is a source of antioxidants. It contains nutrients such as manganese, riboflavin, potassium, magnesium, pantothenic acid, and niacin.
It also contains caffeine which is a stimulant that helps to keep a person alert and focused. Studies show that it can lower the risk of diseases such as Parkinson’s diseases, Alzheimer’s diseases, dementia, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. You can find some of its health benefits here.
There are a variety of ways of preparing coffee. These include café latte, espresso, double espresso, cappuccino, Frappuccino, and French press. After it is brewed and ready to drink, most people add sweeteners as well as cream or milk to taste. Some people prefer to drink it black meaning without cream or milk.
Coffee is grown in what is referred to as the coffee belt. This transverses over 70 countries on different continents including Africa, Asia, Arabia, as well as South, Central and North America. There are several species of it with C. Arabica and C. Robusta the most popular. Some other species are C. Barraco, C. Liberia, C. Excelsa and many more.
How is it Produced?
Producing coffee involves various processes and steps before it can be available for consumption. This starts with planting and cultivating by growers. From here the cherries are harvested when ripe. This is done either by stripping or what is called selective picking. Stripping involves removing all the beans from the plant regardless of its maturation. For selective picking, only the red cherries are harvested leaving the green ones behind.
After harvesting, the cherries undergo the process of separation, drying, hulling as well as polishing. They are also sorted, cleaned and are then graded.
Grading is an important step in the coffee-making process. It is what is used to determine its quality. The grading ranges from number 1 to 5.
· Grade 1 means it is of the highest quality without any blemish, faults, or defects. This is typically referred to as specialty coffee.
· Grade 2 is called premium and contains a maximum of 8 defects.
· Grade 3 which is typically called exchange grade has a defect range of between 9 -23.
· Grade 4 is called standard grade with a permissible defect of 24-86.
· Grade 5 is the lowest grade and it is referred to as off grade. This type of beans can typically have more than 86 defects.
The next step after grading is the all-important step of roasting the beans. This is a crucial step as it determines how enjoyable the beverage will be. Roasting is what gives the beans their final appearance as well as their taste and flavor. The more it is roasted, the stronger its flavor will be. This could mean trading part of the caffeine content though as more heat depletes its chemical composition. You can read more about roasting here https://www.ncausa.org/about-coffee/coffee-roasts-guide.
Specialty is the term used in describing the highest grade of available coffee beans. This quality is initiated right from when it is grown and goes through all the stages of production till it is ready for final consumption. Along these chain of production, various experts who are skillful in their trade help to maintain this standard to ensure that that the beans keep their quality.
Specialty beans have no defects and they are processed under the strictest quality control measures. This makes them perfect in size as well as density. They also have attributes that makes them stand out in the areas of taste, aroma and acidity.
According to the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), a specialty is only possible when everyone involved in producing it works in tandem and maintains a focus on its standard. This means that good beans must be matched by good roasting as well as great brewing.
The roasting is especially important as it determines the flavor of the coffee. It is usually done in small factories and stores and not produced on a large scale, unlike regular coffee. This is what makes it all the more special, harder to come by and pricier.
In all of these, the consumers are equally important. By researching, seeking out and consuming the specialty grade, they are showing their appreciation for good coffee. It also shows that they appreciate the work and resources that the different people along the chain of production have put into getting the best quality.
Getting Specialty Coffee
Specialty coffee is typically packaged and provided fresh and they mostly are marketed to connoisseurs and enthusiasts. They are usually not available in retail stores but sold in specialty shops.
They may be distributed in a variety of ways. Roasters may distribute through franchises or supply to restaurants, hotels and airlines. Some providers of specialty coffee beans distribute it via a subscription service.
As a lover of high-quality coffee, you can subscribe to this to get yours on a recurring schedule. This can be weekly or monthly and can either be done directly with the roasters or via a third party. Subscription through third parties means that roasters partner with distributors and retailers to send to their customers.
There are different levels and grades of coffee and specialty is the best of the lot. It involves having the highest quality from start to finish. That is, from farm to cup. Only die-hard fans, enthusiasts and people in the know go for this.
If you are one of these sets of people who value and appreciate high-quality coffee, you can get yours from some of the best specialty roasters in the UK. You will be glad you did.