What is specialty grade coffee?
All of our cold brews and roasted coffees are specialty.
Bauer’s Brew is synonymous with “special”. So what do we mean?
According to the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), specialty coffee is coffee that has been graded above 80. It is the highest scored coffee available. Much like a movie, its quality isn't dependent on the acting you see on screen, but the writing, production, directing, and everything else that went into making the movie, all the way to the final product (us). Specialty coffee can consistently exist through the dedication of the people who have made it their life's work to continually make quality their highest priority. This is not the work of only one person in the lifecycle of a coffee bean; specialty can only occur when all of those involved in the coffee value chain work in harmony and maintain a keen focus on standards and excellence from start to finish. This is no easy accomplishment, and yet because of these dedicated professionals, there are numerous specialty coffees available right now that we offer, and also turn into incredible cold brew beverages. So, how do we define specialty coffee? Well, in the broadest sense, we define it as coffee that has met all the tests of survival encountered in the long journey from the coffee tree to the coffee cup. More specifically, we measure it against standards and with methods that allow us to identify coffee that has been properly cared for. In the final analysis specialty coffee will be defined by the quality of the product, whether green bean, roasted bean or prepared beverage. A coffee that delivers satisfaction on all counts and adds value to the lives and livelihoods of all involved is truly a specialty coffee. YOU’LL KNOW WHAT WE MEAN WHEN YOU TAKE THAT FIRST SIP.
There is much more to coffee than most people know:
There are thousands of coffee varieties, and dozens of origins/countries. Just like an apple, or wine, coffee has many different "versions”. Our coffee selections and menu are always changing as we source beans from all around the world.
Coffee is grown in over 50 countries around the world (National Coffee Association). You’ll find it mostly in an area called the Bean Belt. This belt, as the name suggests, circles the globe, covering parts of the Americas, Africa, and Asia. It sits over the Equator & between the 'Tropics' latitudes - stretches as far north as Mexico and Myanmar and as far south as Zimbabwe and Brazil.
And exactly where your coffee is produced, out of this vast range of countries, will affect how it tastes, how it was grown, and more. Things like altitude, weather, the soil, the producer, and much more will influence the taste. "Terroir" is the soil condition, topography, climate, and more. It’s a common phrase in the wine world but also used by coffee professionals.
Consumers, you might find that you like the fruitiness of an Ethiopian coffee, the balanced and sweet notes of a Guatemalan, or the earthiness of an Indonesian – but you won’t know until you try these origins. This is why we offer an expansive and ever changing menu for you to explore. Generally, the fruit forward coffees from Ethiopia & Africa (the birthplace of coffee) will not taste like a coffee from South America. We put in the work for you and only source the best of the best.
In GENERAL, there are three different types of coffee processing: natural, washed, and honey. Coffee processing is how the coffee is treated after it is picked. While all green coffee is processed, the method that is used varies and can have a significant effect on the flavor of roasted and brewed coffee. How your coffee is farmed and processed can also affect its taste. And, again, different regions have different farming and processing methods. Processing is how the coffee beans, or seeds, are removed from the coffee fruit, or cherries. There are several methods and they all impact on the flavor of your coffee – as well as its environmental footprint.
Naturals tend to have more fruit and fermented flavors because the bean has more time to interact with the natural sugars from the cherry as enzymes break down the mucilage around the bean.
Washed coffees are prized for their clarity and vibrant notes. Removing all of the cherry prior to drying allows the intrinsic flavors of the bean to shine without anything holding them back. Fruit notes are still found in washed coffees, however, fermented notes and berry notes are less common.
The honey coffee process is a little mixture of both. It tends to add sweet notes to the coffee because some of the mucilage of the fruit remains on the bean after the skin and pulp are removed through water and fermentation. The mucilage has the appearance of honey, thus the name.
The family is known as the "Coffee" family and has 450 genera and around 6,500 species worldwide. Genus: Coffea. Overall, the genus has about 100 species, only a few of which are commercially relevant. Species: arabica makes up approximately 70% of the world's coffee production and all of the coffee we use at Bauer's Brew Co. Other species not so common in specialty include canephora (var."Robusta") and liberica. Of all of the Coffea species, only arabica is self-fertile, and therefore can be self-pollinated. The arabica species also typically have lower caffeine contents than canephora. Variety: This rank of taxa delineates differences between plants that are smaller than in subspecies but larger than forms. A variety retains most of the characteristics of the species, but differs in some way. So in general, we use the coffee species Arabica, and within that species we brew using many different varieties. These varieties, like everything discussed above, will also have its own unique characteristics and intrinsic flavors that will affect the taste in your bottle.