As some start to discover the world of Specialty coffee, some people find themselves wondering - what is the difference between coffee beans offered from coffee roasters and cafes and coffee from an ordinary supermarket (apart from the price and taste). Hopefully our quick overview will make things clearer.
Coffee as a mineral
Coffee is classified as a mineral resource such as gold or oil - ie it is priced on the stock exchange. However, the price fluctuates and is influenced by many different factors - apart from the main factors that Specialty coffee market takes into account: quality, taste and production costs. In principle, the actual coffee itself (quality and taste) does not affect the price of selling beans on the intercontinental exchange.
Exchange-traded coffee is still the vast majority of coffee consumed worldwide. This means that the farmer is paid the same for coffee, regardless of its quality or method of preparation. In many cases and countries, the price of raw materials is lower than the cost of production, making it impossible for a farmer to make money. However, the world of specialty coffee is moving there to procure raw materials directly from the farm (direct trade).
Specialty coffee is defined as coffees with a score of more than 100 out of 80 possible points. The evaluator is SCA (Specialty Coffee Associastion), whose evaluations are valid on fixed criteria all over the world of Specialty coffee. But Specialty coffee is something much more.
Many Specialty coffee roasters build long-term relationships with farms, laundries and cooperatives - by buying directly from farmers or specialized green coffee companies. Specialty coffee is always of a higher quality and farmers are paid much more than coffee traded on the stock exchange.
What about fair trade coffee (Fairtrade)?
When buying coffee, many people look for a Fair Trade seal on the packaging. It is good to buy a product with the word "fair" on it. But what does it really mean and who decides what is fair and what is not? Fair trade means a premium paid in addition to the price of raw materials. Fair Trade USA is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of all types of farmers around the world. As a result, the lives of millions of coffee growers have changed positively. However, there is one big thing for which Fair Trade does not have high standards: quality. We believe you are here to make sure that the money you pay for coffee makes the world a better place, not a worse one. Let's say you're also aware of the struggles that many coffee farmers face and want to play their part in brightening the coffee world. Your global awareness and shopping habits affect real people around the world. Fair trade is not designed for our needs, either in terms of quality or sustainability.
So why Specialty Coffee?
Specialty coffee exists only thanks to people who have made maintaining quality a priority in their work. A special feature can only emerge if all the people in the coffee value chain work in harmony and keep a sharp focus on standards and excellence from start to finish. It's not easy, but thanks to these dedicated professionals, Specialty coffee is available worldwide!
At Mission, we strive for better results throughout the supply chain, from the taste of coffee to paying farmers better. We are proud to buy and roast Specialty coffee!