Specialty coffee or gourmet coffee as it is sometimes known is basically coffee which is prepared out of high quality Arabica beans. Specialty coffee is available everywhere from mom and pop stores to premium outlets such as those of Starbucks.
According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) any coffee over 80 points on a scale of 100 is graded as Specialty coffee or Gourmet coffee. The reason why these specialty coffee are considered as special is because they are grown in special environments and require very specific conditions so that the best possible taste and flavor can be maintained. Such kinds of coffee also have little to no defects and have a full cup taste.
It is worth noting that the Specialty gourmet coffee segment is the fastest growing segment of the coffee industry whose market share has increased from 1% to 20% in the last 25 years.
As against the regular coffee which is made out of Robusta beans, premium specialty gourmet coffee is made out of high quality Arabica beans which are a little rarer and also better tasting. In fact when looking for specialty coffee beans it will be wise to inquire about the kind of beans and not just buy just because the bag says Specialty or Gourmet.
This brings us to an important point, many people are under the impression that most of the companies selling gourmet coffee are using this label as a clever marketing ploy to sell old stale Robusta beans in expensive looking packaging. While they are right in being suspicious, this is not always the case and many companies such as Folgers, Good scents, Sumatra Mandheling, and Blue Mountain Jamaica are reputed sources of coffee.