What is special coffee?
A speciality coffee must score over 80 points on the SCA scale to be called special. Behind the abbreviation SCA hides the Specialty Coffee Association, which is a global coffee organization that, in its own words, fights to make specialty coffee a “flourishing, fair and sustainable activity for the entire value chain”.
The SCA scale is a way of determining the quality of coffee beans. Through tastings, the beans are awarded a score of up to 100 points. It is a way to ensure that the coffee lives up to a standard where it can be described as specialty coffee.
Specialty coffee stands in contrast to commercial coffee – the coffee you find down in the supermarket. But it is certainly not all coffee that is judged. In fact, few coffee beans undergo the official Q-grading, as most are using for quality coffees.
Some also use the term third wave coffee for special coffee. Third wave is the third wave of coffee. It happens in the 00s, when coffee drinkers become coffee connoisseurs. And coffee becomes a product to be enjoyed in the same way as wine. You start to take an interest in the taste of coffee, but also where it comes from and how best to treat it in the coffee brewer.