The Difference between Commodity and Speciality Coffee

Specialty coffee is a term, frequently used in modern coffee culture. Baristas discuss it at great lengths and every third wave cafe takes a pride in serving such a coffee. Many local roasters and coffee shops offer freshly roasted beans of the highest quality, making them available to a wider audience of coffee aficionados. While many people are aware of its existence, only a few and true coffee lovers buy such a specialty coffee to enjoy a great cup of coffee at home. Despite the ongoing coffee culture renaissance, most people still buy readily available commodity coffee in the supermarket that makes up the bulk of the global coffee trade and consumption. What makes specialty coffee superior, what are the differences and why would you want to source the best beans for your daily cup of caffeinated pleasure?

Speciality coffee

There is a lot of valuable information designated to each bag of specialty coffee, beginning with its origin up to the date when it was roasted. The precise control of the many factors that ensure the best quality are paramount to enjoying a fantastic coffee and all of its flavors. The coffee’s origin, including the country, farm or plantation, is probably the most important to know. Next comes the variety of the coffee, when it was harvested and the method used to process it. The farmers put in a lot of effort to make sure only the best beans are selected. These are then evaluated independently based on taste and more, upon which only the successful can be designated as “specialty coffee”.


Commodity Coffee

The vast majority of coffee production ends up as commodity coffee. The quality varies widely from not so good to outright mouth cringing. While some are branded with a country of origin, you will almost never know more as it’s usually kept secret. Large farms producing commodity coffee focuse on yield and aren’t too bothered about quality. So it’s not surprising that commodity coffee is always cheaper and far more accessible as you just need to choose from a few brands sold in supermarkets. But even so, it will never be as delicious.