Thankfully over the past few years signs for speciality coffee in Bordeaux have become increasingly visible with more and more dedicated coffee shops opening their doors and offering coffee as the main event rather than a mere afterthought to a meal. Some among you however might have asked yourself what speciality coffee is exactly, so we have decided to put it into our own words here.
There is no exact definition for the term these days as it is used often and to describe a number of different phenomena. The term started being used when it was coined to describe the use of coffee beans that come from special geographic microclimates giving them unique flavour profiles. Nowadays it is more often used to mean that the quality is of a high standard and its sources can be traced.
Producing speciality coffee
In order to serve a speciality coffee, special care needs to be taken at every stage of the coffee’s journey from plant to cup. What sets speciality coffee aside is the special attention and monitoring of quality at each stage of the coffee’s life… and of those there are many:
Planting – care must be taken in selecting the plant husbandry, soil type, microclimate and altitude.
Harvest – the ripest coffee cherries must be hand picked for the best results.
Processing – the beans must be washed, the skin and pulp must be removed and they must be dried, with extra care give to the temperamental drying process.
[transportation / shipping]
Roasting – the roast must be at the exact right temperature and for the perfect amount of time to extract the fullest flavour.
Grinding – selecting the right size of grind for the specified use is imperative, as of course is the freshest of grind, just seconds prior to brewing.
Brewing – even at the final stage there are a huge number of variables that come into play and must be monitored such as water quality, brewing temperature, coffee to water ratio etc.
For us here at Musette ‘speciality’ means that special care has been taken at each step of the process to ensure the best final product. Put simply, the proof is in the taste: speciality coffee has a special taste. Speciality can also refer to the people involved in the production of the coffee at every stage. What they do is an area they specialise in and focus on, it is their area of expertise, it is their speciality!