Globally, specialty coffee is generally defined as “A crafted quality coffee-based beverage, which is judged to have a unique quality, a distinct taste and personality different from and superior to the common coffee beverages offered. The beverage is based on beans that have been grown in an accurately defined area, and which meet the highest standards for green coffee and for its roasting, storage and brewing.” Also, to be deemed as specialty grade a coffee should receive a score of 80 and above on the 100 point scale used to rate green coffee.
By that definition, our flagship blend Super Brazil could for the most part be considered as specialty coffee, but in Australia the term has further evolved to include other distinctions such as being roasted a touch on the lighter side to highlight origin flavours as opposed to more the caramelised flavours found with more roast development. A further requirement for specialty coffee has become a complete transparency and traceabilty of details like the origin, harvest time, processing method, roast date etc. So with these developments in the coffee industry, our specialty coffee division was born not as an alternative to Super Brazil, but as an addition to our range, so that cafes we work with can offer their customers the option of the different styles of coffee that are increasing in popularity with coffee drinkers.
For this purpose we source specialty green coffees through a range of means such as direct from the farmers themselves, via specialty coffee focused suppliers like Melbourne Coffee Merchants, SILO, Latorre and Dutch, MTC, Ninety Plus, the Cup of Excellence program and more. These coffees are purchased in small quantities, ensuring freshness, seasonality and variety. We roast these specialty coffees in small batches, predominately on a customised 5kg roaster that is located in one of our cafes called Hawthorn Common. Our specialty coffees are roasted to order, packaged by hand and delivered in a timely manner, in many cases by the roaster himself, Ben Toovey. Ben is the head of our specialty coffee division, and he oversees the sampling, selection, roasting, packaging and delivery of all specialty coffee products. Thus our specialty coffee division acts as a micro-roasting arm of our main coffee roasting facility, catering to those who wish to experiment with some of the more contemporary styles of coffee offerings and preparation methods.
Another function of the specialty coffee division is quality control, research and development. We test and implement things like VST precision filter baskets, Extract Mojo refractometer and TDS meter, and other “coffee geek” tools and toys. We can also source and help you set up alternative brewing methods in your café such as pour over, syphon, cold drip, chemex, aeropress, trifecta etc.