Our encounters with the Tanzanian coffee farmers and facing the shape and colours of coffee trees were among the most fascinating life experiences. It's not well known that coffee is a fruit. What else we discovered is that coffee and banana trees grow together on farms, where higher banana trees protect lower coffee trees from sun and provide them with moisture. Also, it's not well known that you should taste more sweet, fruity and floral notes in your coffee rahter than burnt and bitter taste that you are familiar with while drinking your daily (commercial) coffee.
Life conditions of the farmers which grow coffee, one of the most popular product nowadays, are really poor. Coffee brings enormous profit to salesmen worldwide while farmers live in miserable conditions. What we learnt on our way while researching on specialty coffee industry is that it provides many oppurtunities for coffee lovers to develop it further. We want to raise awareness on different niches and diversity in this industry and bring closer the richness of this beverage to our costumers. We want to inspire them so we all together develop different specialty coffee projects.
Specialty coffee industry, as we already mentioned, pretty much differs from commercial coffee industry. Commercial coffee price is determined on the coffee stock market, unlike this concept, where the goal is to assure sufficient buying-in price which should cover farmers' expenses and to encourage them to keep producing coffee.
Processing coffee, from harvesting coffee cherries to drying green beans and further roasting them, in this industry is regulated and defined by particular standards. It, certainly, has an effect on the final product which is a cup of coffee. Even the amateurs can feel the difference between the cup of specialty coffee and the taste of regular (commerical) coffee in cafés.
In our coffee shop you can always taste blends or single origin espresso, while coffee with milk is prepared with cow milk or alternatives (soy and almond milk).
When you define coffee as specialty coffee, there shouldn't be more than 5 defects in freshly harvested green coffee beans within 300 grams. Also, green beans should be of a particular size and have specific shape, taste, aroma and acidity. The moisture of the beans should be somewhere inbetween 9% and 13%. Unriped beans are strictly not allowed.
Specialty coffee is produced in particular climate, mostly in Colombia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Brasil, Guatemala, Honduras etc. Shape, taste and acidity differs from bean to bean, from country to country. Specialty coffee industry is at great expansion on the market. Therefore, there is a great demand for it and more attention is given when growing and processing this type of coffee.