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What is Specialty Coffee?

What is Specialty Coffee?

Rumble Coffee Roasters: Exploring the World of Specialty Coffee

We started Rumble Coffee with the goal of creating accessible specialty coffee. We wanted to help coffee drinkers understand the story behind each coffee bean that goes into their daily cup.

So What is Specialty Coffee?

Specialty Coffee from Rumble Coffee Roasters

Specialty coffee is an elevated version of your everyday cup. Think about a cup of the worst instant coffee and then compare it with the most amazing, mind-expanding, delicious brew you ever drank. The difference between those two (aside from the care and skill of preparation put into the beverage) comes down to the quality of the coffee beans used. Instant coffee uses commodity-grade beans, while small-batch, speciality roasters like Rumble only buy specialty coffee.

Specialty coffee is high-quality coffee beans, sourced from exceptional farms around the world, and roasted with care and precision to bring out their unique flavours and characteristics. Specialty coffee focuses on the entire process, from bean to cup, ensuring that each step is executed with the utmost attention to detail and sustainability.


The Origin of Specialty Coffee

Specialty coffee can be traced back to the late 20th century when a few passionate individuals in the industry recognized the potential of high-quality beans. They wanted to move away from the mass-produced, generic coffee that dominated the market and focus on the unique, diverse flavours that could be achieved by using superior beans and roasting techniques.

sustainable coffee 

The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA)

The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) was founded in 1982 to create a global community dedicated to pursuing exceptional coffee. They set rigorous standards for coffee quality, which include grading beans based on their size, shape, and defects. 

To be considered specialty coffee, beans must score at least 80 out of 100 points on the SCA’s grading scale. 

This ensures that only the best coffee makes it to your cup.

Coffee Scoring

When we talk about scoring coffee, we are talking about how a coffee bean is judged and assessed by trained professionals. This process is called cupping and is how our team evaluates our coffees before we buy them and how we come up with our tasting notes. There are more details on coffee cupping here.

ethical coffee from Rumble coffee

Specialty coffee is anything that scores over 80 points. There is much debate around if this score is high enough or if it truly represents ‘good coffee’. We believe that any conversation about what makes great coffee needs to include the price paid to the grower and if they received a fair percentage of the final price. To encourage this, we are part of an international movement around transparency in coffee pricing and publish the prices we pay for all our coffee.

The Journey of Specialty Coffee: From Farm to Cup

  1. Sourcing: The journey of specialty coffee begins at the source–the coffee farms. These farms are in the “coffee belt,” a region around the equator that provides the ideal climate and conditions for coffee cultivation. At Rumble, we work with a selection of terrific coffee farmers from origins like Brazil, Guatemala and Papua New Guinea. For a full look into how we approach coffee sourcing, read our Impact Reports here.
  2. Processing: After harvesting, the coffee cherries are processed using various methods, such as washed, natural, or honey processing. Each method impacts the final flavour profile of the coffee. Specialty coffee producers take great care to choose the right processing method for their beans to maximise their potential.
  3. Roasting: The next step in the journey is roasting the beans. This is where the magic happens. At Rumble Coffee Roasters, we roast our beans in small batches on our Probat and Loring roasters, striving to bring out the unique flavours of every single origin. Our roasting philosophy focuses on developing the inherent qualities of the green beans, rather than masking them with a heavy roast.
  4. Brewing: The final step is brewing the coffee. This is where you, the coffee lover, come in. To fully appreciate specialty coffee, it’s essential to use the proper brewing method and equipment. We recommend experimenting with various techniques like pour-over, AeroPress, or French press to find the one that best suits your taste buds. Barista training is the next step and we have a range of videos on our YouTube channel.

Why Choose Specialty Coffee?

Specialty coffee offers a unique and elevated coffee experience that goes far beyond just caffeine. By exploring different single origins you can learn to appreciate the unique flavours of each country and region within them.

  1. Flavour: Specialty coffee showcases a wide range of flavours, from fruity and floral to chocolaty and nutty. Each origin, processing method, and roast level contributes to the distinct taste, allowing you to explore and appreciate the diversity of coffee.
  2. Quality: With rigorous standards set by the SCA, you can trust that specialty coffee represents the highest quality beans available. This means you’re getting a better-tasting, more enjoyable cup of coffee every time.
  3. Sustainability: Specialty coffee places a strong emphasis on sustainability and ethical practices. This includes supporting farmers by paying fair prices, promoting environmentally friendly farming methods, and working towards long-term relationships with producers. By choosing specialty coffee beans, you’re enjoying a superior product and contributing to a better future for the coffee industry and the environment.
  4. Community: The world of specialty coffee is built on a foundation of passion, knowledge, and collaboration. By joining this community, you’ll connect with like-minded coffee enthusiasts, share your experiences, and learn from others in search of the perfect cup.
  5. Education: Specialty coffee is an ever-evolving journey of discovery. As you delve deeper into this world, you’ll learn more about the intricacies of coffee cultivation, processing, roasting, and brewing. This knowledge will only enhance your appreciation for the craft and the people who dedicate their lives to it.

Rumble Coffee Roasters: Your Specialty Coffee destination

At Rumble Coffee Roasters, we’re committed to making coffee better by sourcing, roasting, and sharing the very best specialty coffee from around the world. We work to create unique, memorable coffee experiences for our customers, ensuring that every cup you enjoy is exceptional.

Coffee box from rumble coffee roasters

We have a range of fresh coffee roasted every day and shipped around Australia. Our espresso blends are the best thing for the home espresso enthusiast, while our filter roasts have a lighter touch for the Aeropress and Hario heads out there. From our coffee subscriptions to our office coffee options and wholesale for cafes, we have a premium quality product for every coffee drinker.