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What is a specialty coffee?

May 15, 2018 ● Pascal Giroux

Specialty coffee is the great vintage of coffees, which differentiates it from more typical coffee. This superior quality coffee must meet the highest quality standards for coffee in the world, from cultivation to distribution. To be called a speciality coffee, it must get a mark of at least 80% from the Specialty Coffee Association of America. Specialty coffee has specific characteristics that distinguishes it from other coffees.


Speciality coffee must be 100% traceable, from the farm where the grains were harvested to where it is distributed to consumers. It is cultivated in specific areas, on small lots that meet precise geographic and climatic conditions to give the coffee its unique flavours.


Speciality coffees are cultivated at high altitudes, at least 4593 feet (1400 meters). This altitude produces a coffee plant that has very dense grains which results in a taste profile that is both rich and complex.


Once harvested, coffee grains are dried or washed following precise methods that will highlight a specific flavour profile. To find out more about coffee treatment, read our article on this subject.


Roasting a specialty coffee is an art. The roaster must test different types of roasting to determine which one best highlights the aromas of each coffee. The roasting date is also essential since it validates the coffee's freshness.

The fruit of attentive labour

What makes specialty coffee so special is primarily the attention given to each step of that coffee's transformation and the quality of the final result. From planting specialty coffee to drinking it, every actor in the production chain must work toward an exceptional coffee.

Surprise your taste buds with Julius specialty coffees.