The Ultimate Guide to Buying Speciality Grade Coffee

If you are someone who only drinks coffee from time to time, buying a coffee bag would be a simple process for you. All you have to do is to walk down to your nearest store, find the coffee bag that you usually do, go home, and enjoy your coffee. However, if you are a coffee fanatic, this process becomes a lot more complicated than it is.

Buying specialty grade coffee is different as there are literally dozens of varieties you can choose from. With tons of flavours in the market and different choices such as organic coffee, direct or fair trade, light roast, Arabica, washed, etc., you might feel surrounded by so many options that you don’t even understand or know the difference.

However, being a coffee enthusiast, you should take it as an adventure rather than turning it into a frustrating ordeal. In this article, I am going to highlight all the things that you need to keep in mind so that you do not have an extremely hard time when choosing right specialty grade coffee to buy. Without any further delay, let us understand the process grading scale of coffee.

Coffee Grading Scale

The very first thing that you need to keep in mind is the coffee grading scale, as the quality of coffee beans is measured through this more information on this at International Coffee Council -ICO  please use this as a point of reference and you need to pay attention to these scores to know what is specialty grade.

  • 100-90 (Outstanding)
  • 9-85 (Excellent)
  • 99-80 (Very Good)
  • Below 80 (No Grading, Not a Speciality Coffee)

The grading is done by experts via visual inspection and cupping. In order to be qualified as a speciality grade coffee, it must have no primary defects and also should have less than five secondary defects. In cupping, a coffee expert judged different factors such as the coffee bean’s acidity, aroma, body, and flavour.

Coffee Roast Levels

The next thing that you need to consider is the coffee roast levels, as it makes a huge difference in the quality and taste of the coffee. Here are three different levels of roasting:

Light Roast

As these beans are the least roasted, they retain the original coffee bean flavours. They have dark tan colour and crisp acidity that you are not going to find in any other beans.

Medium Roast

Medium roast beans are of a light brownish colour, and they have the most exotic flavour out of all coffee options. They have an exceptionally light honey and caramel sweetness to them which makes them stand out from the rest of roasting.

Dark Roast

These types of beans are dark in colour and often have a shiny touch on their surface. Coffee made from these beans has a very strong flavour with mellow acidity and a pleasant bitterness.

Where to Buy Your Best Speciality Grade Coffee From?

Now that you know how the different options available in speciality coffee, I am going to point you in the direction from where you can buy the best speciality coffee from.


The easiest way to buy speciality coffee is to order it online so you can easily choose from different options and flavours. However, you must make sure that you buy only from a trusted website.


The next place where you can go to search for speciality coffee is to buy from a café as most cafes put them up for sale from time to time.


Moreover, you can also buy these beans directly from the roaster if you can find one in your local area. It is one of the best ways to ensure coffee freshness, but you will be limited to a few options.

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