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Famous specialty coffee brands you definitely should try

One of the reasons why specialty coffee becomes more and more popular is the product diversity with a variety of flavors from various specialty coffee brands. Below is the list of  7 specialty coffee brands that are highly recommended to try.

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General information about specialty coffee brands

“Specialty coffee” is a term used to classify the coffee gaining 80 scores or higher on the quality grading of Specialty Coffee Association protocol. Specialty coffee is cultivated in ideal climatic conditions, holds a superior quality with nearly no defects, and possesses distinctive tasting notes.

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Specialty coffee beans

The motherland of popular specialty coffee brands primarily is located in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, Ethiopia, and India.

In addition, specialty coffee brands own a large market when Adroit Market Research reported that the production of the specialty coffee was 973,999 tons, valued at 35,867.5 million USD in 2018.

From this statistic, it can be said that the global consumption of specialty coffee brands is giant, mainly from Americans and Europeans because of their need to experience high-quality and expensive coffee.

Famous specialty coffee brands in the world

Each specialty coffee brand will own a different process of specialty coffee production to make a plentiful flavor for its products.

Arabica Cau Dat specialty coffee brand

The first specialty coffee brand is from Cau Dat, Lam Dong, Vietnam with “golden factors” for making specialty coffee. Located at an altitude of 1500m above sea level, the climate here is temperate with an average temperature of 18-21°C. In addition, the soil in Cau Dat is red basalt. All factors make Cau Dat ideal for Arabica cultivation. 

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Arabica Cau Dat specialty coffee brand

Thanks to the beneficial natural environment of Cau Dat and the washed processing method, this specialty coffee brand produces the characterized Arabica coffee’s flavor with light bitterness and sourness. It combines with an elegant smell which is a right combination of syrup, fresh fruits, and honey. 

The aroma of Arabica from the Cau Dat specialty coffee brand is considered the most charming fragrance by consumers. By smell, people can recognize that this coffee is Arabica Dalat – Cau Dat.

New England specialty coffee brand

Established in 1916 in Boston, New England has gained a reputation in the field of specialty coffee, with an amazing service and a high-quality product line. This specialty coffee brand collects Arabica coffee beans from Central and South America, Eastern Africa, and the East Indies.

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New England specialty coffee brand

New England specialty coffee brand has been developing its standardized roasting process for nearly 100 years. To ensure consistency, 100% Arabica beans are roasted in small batches.

New England specialty coffee beans come in a variety of flavors, including butter pecan, blueberry cobbler, pumpkin spice, and pistachio crème. This coffee is ideal for those who want a sweet flavor.

Arabica Lam Dong Honey specialty coffee brand

Arabica from Lam Dong specialty coffee brand is quite different from others. Lam Dong is a Vietnamese province at a height of 1400m – 1600m above sea level. This place is featured by an ideal climatic condition and rich volcanic mountain soil. These factors strongly support producing high-quality coffee here. 

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Arabica Lam Dong Honey specialty coffee brand

One element contributing to the difference of the Lam Dong specialty coffee brand in the honey processing method. The company applies the retention of viscous with 8-12% sugar soaking into coffee beans. Thus, a balanced mixture of sweetness from brown sugar and bitterness is created. Arabica of the Lam Dong specialty coffee brand gives drinkers a unique aftertaste.

The Original Whole Bean – Bulletproof specialty coffee brand

Bulletproof specialty coffee brand has direct cooperation with farms in Guatemala and Colombia to guarantee product quality.

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The Original Whole Bean – Bulletproof specialty coffee brand

High-quality coffee beans are grown by organic practices. At 100% ripeness, they are expertly picked to remove low-quality beans. After that, selected coffee beans will undergo a modern making process and tests for toxins and impurities. Those factors contribute to caffeinated coffee with a complex flavor profile. It has the taste of plum, cinnamon, orange, along with a hazelnut finishing note. 

Kicking Horse Coffee – Lavazza specialty coffee brand

Located in Torino, Italia, the Lavazza specialty coffee brand partners with farmers in Ethiopia in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.

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Kicking Horse Coffee – Lavazza specialty coffee brand

The aftertaste of Kicking Horse coffee from the Lavazza specialty coffee brand is complex when it is a combination of tart red currant, sugar cane, and milk chocolate. This flavor profile is a result of expert processing and a special roasting method. The coffee is roasted beneath the peaks of Canadian Rocky Mountain.

Premium Medium Roast Ground Coffee – Guru specialty coffee brand

Sourced from Colombia, which is a top coffee plantation place in the world, Guru specialty coffee brand brings to customers special ground coffee made by perfectly roasted beans. 

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Premium Medium Roast Ground Coffee – Guru specialty coffee brand

Coffee beans will be selected carefully, small-batch roasted, and nitrogen-fleshed. The coffee flavor is bold and smooth, which is distinctive from other coffee types. It gives consumers a real energy boost after only a sip. The coffee of Guru specialty coffee brand is perfect for cold brew or french press. 

Special Coffee – Café de Loja specialty coffee brand

Café de Loja Specialty Coffee is a 100% single origin arabica grown at 1950 meters above sea level in Loja, the south of Ecuador. 

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Special Coffee – Café de Loja specialty coffee brand

The brand’s farmers have been well trained in good farming practices, ensuring the highest level of consistency for our customers. Only red cherries are hand-picked. Thus, the coffee is dense, fruity, and flavorful, with appropriate acidity and fresh crisp taste. Products of Café de Loja specialty coffee brand are certified to be toxin-free.

Standards of specialty coffee brands

To grade the quality and classify specialty coffee, the Standards Committee and Professional Development Department of Specialty Coffee Association have designed a protocol that is a qualifiable reference instrument. Green Coffee Grading protocol and Cupping protocol are covered under the SCA protocol.

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Specialty Coffee Association

Green Coffee Grading protocol

Following the SCA Green Arabica Coffee Classification System (GACCS) version in Spring 2000 and the SCA Defect Handbook in April 2004, the Green Coffee Grading is a visual inspection of a 350g green coffee beans sample to defect calculation.

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Green Coffee Grading Protocol

There are 2 categories of defective beans which are Primary (e.g. sour beans, black beans) and Secondary (e.g. broken beans, husks). When calculating defects, it is best to judge them as integers rounding down rather than up. 

After counting, if the coffee has zero Primary defects and fewer than five Secondary defects, it will be tested with the Cupping protocol.  

Cupping protocol

Cupping protocol is a highly estimated grading instrument for analysis of general quality, specific features, and certain tasting notes of a coffee sample. 

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Cupping Protocol

One special thing about this method is that it helps evaluate the taste of different coffees at a time. They might be from the same cultivar but different farms, or they might be different coffee varieties with different processing ways. 

The protocol will grade coffee samples by separate components covering fragrance, flavor, aftertaste, acidity, body, balance, sweetness, clean cup, uniformity, overall, and defects. The final score depends on the individual scores. Specialty coffee beans will have a final score above 80 out of 100. 

Score Grade

Specialty Yes/No

90 – 100 Outstanding Yes
85 – 89.99 Excellent Yes
80 – 84.99 Very Good Yes
< 80 No Grading No

If you want to try Vietnamese specialty coffee, especially Arabica Lam Dong Honey, please contact me at +84855 555 837 (Whatsapp available).

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