The Ultimate Guide to Specialty Coffee Roastery


Specialty coffee roastery have become popular in recent years. To be able to bring specialty coffee to more people requires a strict process.

Definition of Specialty coffee roastery

Nowadays, people pay much attention to specialty coffee beans, as well as specialty coffee roastery. Different from other types of coffee beans, requirements in specialty coffee roastery are more complex.

The general definition of Specialty coffee

The term “Specialty coffee” was first introduced in 1974 by Erna Knutsen, a founder of Knutsen Coffee Ltd. In essence, the concept for specialty coffee is still quite simple. Special climates and geographical regions will produce coffee beans with unique flavors called “Specialty coffee”.


The general definition of Specialty coffee

To evaluate specialty coffee, it must achieve 80 or above out of 100 points on a scale (SCA/CQI). At the same time, specialty coffee is evaluated on many criteria and through many processes: a place of cultivation, climate, plant variety, method of cultivation, method of fertilization, method of harvesting, handling, processing, full flavor, little or no primary error.

Definition of Specialty coffee roastery

Specialty coffee roastery is where the coffee roasting process takes place. With the complexity and higher requirements of Specialty Coffee, specialty coffee roastery play an important role in the coffee supply chain.

Specialty coffee roastery must not only ensure the quality of the coffee from farm to roaster but convert the quality potential to roasted coffee beans.


Specialty coffee roastery

One of the biggest advantages of specialty coffee is that it shows the unique local flavor of each region. Therefore, the specialty coffee roasting stage can be considered as the key to preserving the original specialty coffee flavor. The degree of the roasting, roasting method, and roastery will govern and determine the flavor of specialty coffee.

Specialty coffee roastery’s standards

Specialty coffee will taste best when it is roasted at a medium level and when it is fresh, a specialty coffee roastery must have standard machines, standard coffee roasting methods, and a rich experience of roasting.

Before roasting, green coffee beans are very soft, have a fresh grassy smell, and have little or no flavor. The roasting process turns green beans into the signature aromatic beans we often use.

Specialty coffee roastery requires proper roasting

Coffee roasting can be considered an art. If roasted correctly it will become a masterpiece, if not, it is just a waste.

Professional specialty coffee roastery or specialty coffee roasters have to test roast the coffee before deciding to officially roast it.


Roasting process of specialty coffee

Through the roasting process, the aroma and taste of coffee are refined from complex chemical reactions. For example, the Maillard reaction, which results from the impact of heat on sugars and amino acids, creates hundreds of different flavors for batches of coffee. With specialty coffee, the right roaster helps to preserve the flavor of that coffee-growing area.

Time to specialty coffee roastery needs to be guaranteed

The average roasting of specialty coffee takes about 10 to 20 minutes (depending on the roasting method or type of roaster you use), the temperature from 180 degrees to 250 degrees Celsius.

The first stage of the roasting process is drying. Raw coffee beans after preliminary processing have a moisture content of 8% – 12%. This stage usually takes about 4 to 8 minutes with a traditional roaster.

The drying process is still continuing, the coffee gradually turns brown or yellow. The time from the beginning of the first crack until the coffee is discharged from the machine is considered as the Taste Development Time.

The proportion of time spent in the growing stage should be between 20%-25% of the total roasting time. That way, specialty coffee can keep its true taste.

Specialty coffee roastery roast at different levels

Lightly roasted coffee will show many original flavors. The darker the roast, the more or less the flavor is lost because the flavor has been created by the heat. The darker the roast, the more “roast flavor” dominates, so much so that it is difficult to distinguish the origin of different types of coffee.

A common way to tell the degree of roasting is by the color of the beans. Specialty coffee has colors from light to dark.


Specialty coffee roastery roast at different levels

The Specialty coffee roastery applies the classification of coffee roasting levels according to 3 levels: 

  • Cinnamon & Light Roast / Light Roast

“Cinnamon” here is cinnamon, which means that the color of specialty coffee roasting at this stage is almost the same as the color of cinnamon bark. This roasting method is very light, with specialty coffees, it is almost possible to feel the typical flavor and aroma of the growing area.

When trying specialty coffee beans at this roast level, we will see the flavor of fruits, beans, a lot of sour, sweet, and very little bitterness. Specialty coffee beans will be removed as soon as the first crack.

Read more:

  • Medium Roast

Roasted specialty coffee beans have a medium brown color, more physical than light roast.

During the medium roasting process, the beans have released a part of the lipid oil, the acidity is negative, but the original specialty coffee beans quality is still preserved.

Specialty coffee roastery should note that the temperature in this stage is from 210 degrees to 220 degrees, between the end of the first crack and the beginning of the second crack.

  • Dark Roast

Roasted specialty coffee is dark brown, chocolate-like, or sometimes almost black.

Specialty coffee now no longer has its own distinctive flavor properties, this is one of the standard ways of roasting Starbucks. The original coffee flavor is overshadowed by the flavor of the roasting process. Coffee will generally taste bitter and smoky or even burnt.

The level of caffeine decreases as the roast level turns darker and is guaranteed to be roasted at 240 degrees.


The Specialty coffee roastery applies the classification of coffee roasting levels according to 3 levels

Specialty coffee roastery in the world

In the opening pages of Jordan Michelman and Zachary Carlsen’s The New Rules of Coffee the author writes, “Drinking coffee is one of those things you do every day globally.”

From the time the specialty coffee beans are still on the tree until they are carefully selected before they are transported to the coffee roaster, it is a long journey.

With specialty coffee, it carries the silhouette of a growing region, a country, and the image of the country’s people associated with certain characteristics of terrain and climate. Specialty coffee roastery acts as custodians of those precious things.

Some of the best specialty coffee roasteries in the world can be mentioned:

Right Side Coffee’s specialty coffee roastery

Located: Castelldefels, Spain

Founded: 2012

Coffee to Try: Mensur’s Natural

Supplied and roasted by a barista, Parra is the son of famous green coffee importers in Spain. Besides, the special thing about Right Side Coffee roastery is the packaging design with transparency in coffee sourcing.

All information about the specialty coffee growing area will be coded on the website with full information. Users will have the experience and listen to the story of the specialty coffee roastery, the specialty coffee growing area, and the people who grow specialty coffee.


Right Side Coffee’s specialty coffee roastery

Gardelli specialty coffee roastery

Located: Forlì, Italy

Founded: 2010

Coffee to Try: El Mirador Terra Nova

All coffees from Gardelli Specialty Coffees are lightly roasted to allow the flavor of the beans to be more defined. This is suitable for the distribution of specialty coffee; the Northern region loves to roast light specialty coffee flavor.

Gardelli Specialty Coffees’ specialty roaster has won the Italian roaster award four times. 


Gardelli specialty coffee roastery

Solberg & Hansen specialty coffee roastery

Hometown: Oslo, Norway

Year Founded: 1879

Coffee to Try: Rwanda Tumba

This is Norway’s first coffee roasting company. Its roasting team is headed by Simo Christidi, who is one of five winners of the World Coffee Roasting Championship (2012).

It’s a coffee purist coffee shop – which means it’s a shop dedicated to showcasing the power of coffee in its basic form, so no milk or sweeteners to be found. found in Solberg & Hansen’s specialty coffee roasting process.


Solberg & Hansen specialty coffee roastery

If you want to buy specialty coffee or visit specialty roasteries, please contact K-Agriculture via Whatsapp: +84855 555 837 (Ms. Sarah).

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    About author Camila Nguyen

    She has 13 years experience in connecting B2B customers around the world and provide best-quality agricultural products from Vietnam to them. She would love to share her knowledge about agricultural products through the blogs. You can contact her on Whatsapp via number: +84 84 4444 867 to get the free consultancy

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