Specialty Coffee: The pursuit of deliciousness

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One of the main reasons I love specialty coffee is that it is a key part of people’s lives. You may be in Africa, Asia, Europe or the US, but you are almost always guaranteed to find a whole subculture of coffee lovers who cherish this drink and its place in their day. Some of these cultures are more advanced in their appreciation of the bean, leading the innovation in pursuit of coffee deliciousness. Others are starting to catch up.

What is universal, is that people love coffee. Every person has their own idiosyncratic way of drinking coffee and their own preferences on how to extract the most pleasure and deliciousness out of the drink. Some people like espressos, others like cappuccinos. Some people place more emphasis on the taste, others the caffeine buzz, and some simply like coffee because it brings people together. It is something that is ubiquitous in the world’s cultures and yet is something that a lot of people know little about. For something that a significant amount of people drink on a daily basis, the low level of knowledge about coffee and the process from bean to cup is staggering. I adore coffee and I’m constantly learning new and interesting things that I wasn’t aware of before.

Just take a look at the coffee info graphic below, $59 billion dollars were spent on coffee from 2008-2012. I would hazard a guess that a maximum of 50% of the consumers who spent that money could tell you the basic differences between arabica and robusta.

coffee infographic: specialty coffee

The coffee film that I have included in this post points to the growing specialty coffee industry in the US and how as coffee roasters and coffee shops have seriously upped their standards, consumer taste buds are switching their loyalties from the high street chains. The love and care that goes into presenting you with an amazing cup of coffee is the product of high skill, attention to detail and love at every step in the process from bean to cup. Roasters and coffee shops owners have realised this and now are attempting to better understand every step of the process so as to extract the most deliciousness out of the bean they can.

This coffee film captures all the key components of the specialty coffee industry: passion, love, skill, friendliness and creativity. All the best people in the industry have these and this is not something that is just a US phenomenon, I have met coffee people from South Korea, Guatemala, Norway, Ireland, the UK and Ethiopia who all have these things in common. The language barrier is not an issue when they all share these common characteristics. As the guys from Lamill affirm ‘a perfect cup of coffee is made with love, picked with love, processed with love, shipped with love, received with love, roasted with love, served with love’

People notice the attention to detail. A friend of mine who studied in Boston told me about how he had went to this amazing place in California called Blue Bottle Coffee and when I saw this video, their vision is exactly as how he had described to me a few months back. Similarly, Handsome Coffee Roasters have also been on my radar from word of mouth.

The UK’s passion for coffee matches that shown on the video and coming up in April is UK Coffee Week & The London Coffee Festival! It’s a chance for people in the industry to come together and also for consumers to get to know more about coffee and discover who and what is behind their favourite drink. The organisation is working with Water Aid and is raising money for a great project in Tanzania, watch this space for more info!

Made by Thrash Lab, this coffee film really captures the beauty of coffee and the many different ways of how it impacts on people’s lives.

What is it about coffee in particular that you love?



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