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What Are Speciality Coffees?

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The term, "Speciality Coffees" refers to more than just coffees that may cost more or that taste better than ordinary coffees.   It refers to coffees that are of a higher quality, not only in your coffee cup, but during all stages of their production, where cultivating and processing them is handled with the best possible care and knowledge.

The majority of coffees are picked by hand using either selective picking or strip picking.  Strip picking is the fastest process, but it entails picking all of the coffee berries at one time.  Selective picking is reserved for specialty coffees.  When coffee berries are selectively picked, the plants are carefully examined and only those berries that are at the peak of ripeness are chosen for picking.  Those berries that are not quite ripe are left for later. 

Once the coffee berries have been picked, they must be dried before they can be fully processed. Most specialty coffee beans are spread into a large surface and sun dried.  Oftentimes, ordinary coffees will be fermented in tanks of water.  This process is often done incorrectly and results in coffee that contains a high level of impurities and that can taste bitter. 

Once the coffee has been dried, it undergoes the roasting process. Beans are normally roasted slowly between approximately 230 and 260 degrees celsius.  It is very important that the beans are continually moved during the roasting process.  Once the core of the bean reaches 230 degrees celsius, oils begin to emerge, and the color of the bean changes from green to brown.  The oils are what give the coffee its aroma. 

Ordinary coffees are often roasted too quickly, are not moved continually during the roasting process and are not roasted at proper temperatures.

After the beans have reached their peak roasting quality, they are immediately cooled by water or air.  Surprisingly, the quality of coffee beings to deteriorate almost immediately after processing. For instance, the delicious aromas begin to diminish right away.  Specialty coffees can stay fresh for up to 30 days and will still have a delicious taste and aroma. However, the longevity of lower quality coffees is highly diminished within days. 

Green Dragon Roasters sells an excellent variety of specialty coffees for your drinking pleasure.  For additional information, please contact us.


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