El café de especialidad vs el café convencional (el del súper) - Artisancoffee

Specialty coffee vs conventional coffee (Diferences between traditional supermarket and specialty coffee)

With over 20 years of experience in the world of coffee, I have had the opportunity to explore and value what makes a coffee truly exceptional.

Do not think that I have arrived at this knowledge in a pristine way, in between, there have been a thousand times, a thousand ways of understanding "good coffee", a thousand coffees that have tasted horrible to me and finally a knowledge that invites me to conclude that although, As the philosopher would say, I only know that I know nothing, only that the best coffee is always in motion, today it is one and tomorrow it will be another. Surely what I write today may have 2-3 nuances tomorrow, the day after tomorrow 10 or 20 and in 2 years this article will surely be outdated.

Even so, I dare to share some basic principles, so that you at least save hundreds of those coffees that I have had, and that finally led to the opening of my roaster and the decided commitment to specialty coffee.

And why specialty coffee?

So many years running one of the most famous traditional coffee shops in Spain led me to try many, many coffees from different conventional roasters, and if I'm honest, I liked almost none of them, they all tasted strong and burnt. I thought that I didn't like black coffee (I added milk and sugar), I drank my coffee in "professional mode", to know how ours was, what the one they offered me was like, and how the competition's was... And man, there were differences, it's true, the barista had a lot of influence on it, the production process is fundamental, but what about the coffee?

For me, who also do coffee tastings periodically and in which I always include a "supermarket coffee," I would summarize the tasting notes of those coffees in 3 great insights:

  1. Woody notes - very toasted straw.
  2. Notes of burnt in general, burnt plastic, ashtray,...
  3. "It looks familiar to me", to the bar near the house, to the mocha that grandma/tita made when we were little...

And the key reason why specialty coffee is not more widespread is surely the last point, and that is that many of us had that distant aroma of coffee associated with something very intimate. Meetings with family, cousins, brothers and friends,... with whom to chat in a relaxed way over a cup of coffee. How and why to change your usual coffee?

It's true that it may seem like a betrayal, but the reality is that nothing about those meetings has to change, except that it will improve the aroma and flavor of the coffee that will accompany those endearing moments.

In short, it is a change for the better .

The reasons why I opted for specialty coffee are:

    1. Unmatched quality and flavor: . No matter the origin ( Colombia , Ethiopia , Central America ,...) I recommend that you order your coffee beans. By doing so, you will be able to appreciate the big differences in the quality of the beans compared to conventional coffee. Specialty coffee beans are a more natural brown color and are virtually free of defects such as broken beans or small twigs, which are common in supermarket coffees.

    2. Sustainable cultivation and harvesting : Throughout my career, I have noticed that specialty coffees that take better care of the environment, such as those that are grown in the shade, are bird friendly or are even coffees harvested directly from the forest , are superior in quality and flavor. Harvest after harvest, these coffees prove that a commitment to sustainability can result in an exceptional product.

    3. Variety to explore : The richness of flavors in specialty coffee is amazing. From fruity and floral notes to hints of citrus and spice, each variety has its own unique flavor profile. In contrast, conventional coffees tend to have a flat, uniform flavor, with notes of burnt wood or charcoal and often even burnt plastic.

    4. Supporting Fair Industry : When I look at supermarket coffee prices, I'm often surprised how they can be lower than my cost price. This leads me to the conclusion that conventional coffee producers are trapped in a vicious economic cycle that is difficult to get out of. By choosing specialty coffee, you are supporting a more fair and equitable industry.

    5. Best long-term value : I did a personal calculation on sugar consumption. If you add 2 sachets of sugar (20g) to each cup of coffee and drink 2 cups a day, you are consuming 40g of sugar a day. This translates to 1.2kg of sugar per month and a staggering 14.4kg of sugar per year. Specialty coffee, with its superior flavor, allows you to enjoy a satisfying cup without adding sugar. This is not only beneficial for your health, but also reduces the cost in the long run. So, you can enjoy a truly exceptional and healthier coffee experience.

In short, specialty coffee is a better and smarter choice for those looking for a more complete and healthy coffee experience.

We invite you to discover and enjoy these differences for yourself. Give specialty coffee a try and we promise you won't regret it!


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