Better Than the Average Brew: The Value of Specialty Grade Coffee

For most of us, coffee makes the world go round—as long as we can find the right brew. Throughout the years, it has become increasingly more difficult to find coffee that tastes great, offers that buzzy caffeine boost, and is harvested from ethical sources. If you are a coffee drinker looking for a better brew to energize you for your next big adventure, specialty grade coffee is for you!  

What is Specialty Coffee?

Specialty grade coffee is not your average cup of coffee. It is coffee that is held to the highest production standards in order to deliver the best flavor, quality, and experience. In the world of coffee, specialty means any coffee with a cupping score of 80 or more.


So, what does this actually mean for you?


In order to qualify as specialty coffee, coffee is reviewed based on its beans and the cup of coffee it makes. Specialty coffee beans must be nearly perfect, offering only a small number of minor defects per batch and demonstrating a consistent size and appearance. The cup of coffee it offers should meet the highest standards when it comes to smell, taste, body, and acidity levels as well.


Although a specialty coffee rating is a strong indicator of its quality, great coffee can also be identified by its sources, the elevation that it is grown at, and the drinker experience.

The Ethics of Alternative Coffee Sources

The coffee industry has faced its fair share of disputes and concerns about ethics throughout the years. For those who want to be eco-conscious and support an industry that offers fair working conditions and payment to its workers, the standard coffee market is less than ideal.


With specialty coffee, concerns about ethics go out the window a lot of the time. Since specialty coffee is not bought or traded on the commodity market, it is generally not a part of the more corrupt markets.


Specialty coffee should be sourced from farmers who produce the highest quality coffee beans—and they should be paid a premium price for it. The best brands will also participate in direct trade practices and examine farm practices to ensure that they offer quality processing, exceptional storage, and follow rigorous picking standards.

A Quality Difference You Can Taste

For a lot of people, coffee is just coffee. It is either good, or it isn’t, right? Wrong!


In today’s world, the true flavor and quality of great coffee have been overshadowed by corporate brands mass-producing low-quality coffee. People will pay extra just for companies to mask the taste of their coffee. Why? Because the taste isn’t good—but did you know it should be?


Specialty coffee offers exceptional flavor and is designed to be consumed as is. Black specialty grade coffee isn’t bitter, and it doesn’t taste like perfumed additives or flavors. It tastes like fresh, robust coffee whether you purchase whole bean or ground variations.


Paying a premium for ethically-sourced specialty coffee beans can actually improve the coffee industry for everyone–and save you the cost of all those extras you use to cover up the flavor of low-quality beans.

Better Coffee for a Better Day

Life is an adventure, and sometimes we need a little boost. Whether you are preparing for your next big meeting, a day out with friends, or climbing your highest peak yet, you deserve quality coffee to start your day off right. At SJO Ventures, we offer small-batch, single-source coffee produced by farmers we know and trust. Explore our brews today to enjoy coffee the way it was made to be in nature!



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