If you have visited Devil’s Isle or other coffee shops, you will see some options that you can have between roasting profiles and several countries to choose, to be more specific we can know the region and the name of the farm. Adding to this we can also find on the bag a small description of the taste (cupping profile) that we can perceive when we drink a cup of coffee. But how does all this happen? Who selects what and why we have chosen these coffees to offer it to our customers? This is where our coffee quality and standards come in, and we have “Specialty Coffee.” This involves a high-quality control in the whole coffee bean chain, from the care of the plant, control of the cherry, selection of the cherry when it is collected, the process of the coffee bean to turn it green to be able to roast it, and then the hand of the barista. The barista has just as much responsibility as anyone else in this chain, as he/she can serve that cup of coffee that could demonstrate the effort of all those who have worked on this bean. The last part of this chain our clients, who will enjoy the experience of taste in an excellent cup of coffee.
In Specialty Coffee, many people are enrolled to achieve a high-quality control. First in the chain are:
1. The coffee farmer
Here is where the path of the coffee beans begins. Farmers who have worked generation after generation with coffee are always in constant work to be able to have the best care and controls of healthy parameter coffee trees and thus be able to produce better coffee cherries, controlling the best point to be able to pick them and obtain the greater complexity of flavors reflected in the cup. Many are experimenting with different processes and having the best selection controls of the beans to have the best cup of coffee that we can experience.
2. The buyer of green beans
This is the next step after the farmer. Green coffee (unroasted beans) buyers are people trained to select the best beans, evaluating coffee in green, roasted and in brewed cup of coffee. In the coffee industry these job titles are labeled “cupper” and they have the responsibility to rate the coffee and see if it meets the standards to be able to be called Special coffee, with a score of up to 80 points in formats to be standardized by the SCA. Part of their job is to be able to communicate the descriptions of the selected and purchased coffee to the Roaster and later to the barista.
Also known as the “coffee roaster”. This is the person in charge of being able to give expression to the coffee bean. The roaster requires a lot of knowledge to perform his job, not only knowing about the beans itself but also of the equipment that he needs to be able to roast it, highlighting the best characteristics of the coffee beans that can be tasted in a cup of coffee made by the barista. The roaster can give different roasting profiles to the same coffee and always keep the complexity of the flavor. Much control is needed throughout the roasting of the coffee and to be focused on each phase of the roasting process. The roaster must have complete knowledge about the coffee beans. Examples of this include, where they come from, the altitude of where they were harvested and the variety of the humidity in order to have an optimum roast for the coffee bean.
4. Making a cup of coffee
Here comes the role played by a barista. This person is responsible for transmitting all the knowledge of coffee beans in to the cup, has the great responsibility to extract the best flavor of coffee beans through equipment and extraction methods with high quality standards. The barista must have a great communication with the roaster in order to understand the beans and educate others to be able to offer the best experience to the customer. For this it requires a great number of hours of training to achieve consistency in their daily tasks and thus satisfy the customers when they receive their cup of coffee.
5. The Customer
The costumer is the last in this chain and the reason we are improving our quality standards. Through the customer we can build the coffee culture and enrich it. The client is the one who has the last word, and for me personally the quality control goes up as we sell the experience of drinking a cup of coffee.
In short, Specialty Coffee is a coffee that gives us an unforgettable experience through high quality standards in each phase in which it passes, from the farm to the consumer.