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Speciality Coffee: Specialty Coffee Vs Commercial Coffee

It may have happened to you that you went to a cafe to drink coffee with your friends, and the barista, while taking your order, asks you whether you want specialty or commercial coffee, and you have no idea about these two names and their differences. In this article, we discuss the different types of coffee and examine their differences to help you make a more informed choice when buying or ordering coffee.

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What is premium coffee?

In terms of quality, premium coffee is right after specialty coffee. This type of coffee has a very good quality like specialty coffee, but unlike specialty coffee, not all premium coffee beans are completely healthy, and there may be a very small number of damaged and damaged coffee beans among them, which slightly affect the taste of the coffee, but it can be said Premium coffee still has a very good taste and aroma and usually scores between 70 and 79 out of 100 according to SCA standards.

What is commercial coffee?

These types of coffees are generally the same coffees that are sold in big stores and supermarkets under different brand names in packaging. The owners of the coffee selling companies buy these coffees in bulk from the farms, roast them and sell them in special packaging for the company. Generally, in terms of quality, this type of coffee is considered average, and based on the SCA or Specialty Coffee Association standards, they receive a maximum score of 80 out of 100.

What is specialty coffee?

This type of coffee has a much higher quality than commercial coffee and its taste and aroma are very pleasant. The high quality of specialty coffee is due to the fact that it is grown and harvested under very special and controlled conditions, and they are generally high-quality and completely healthy Arabica coffee beans, which makes them more expensive than commercial coffee. Specialty coffee can only be purchased from coffee shops, and this type of coffee is sold either as unground coffee beans or coffee that is freshly ground and roasted daily. This type of coffee scores above 80 out of 100 according to SCA standards.

What is ninety plus (90+) coffee?

In general, coffee grades above 90 are called Ninety Plus. This type of coffee is very premium in terms of quality and is considered the best type of coffee in the world. Since the production of such high-quality coffee requires a specialized team and spending a lot of time and money, there are only certain brands that are active in this field, such as the BlueBottle , Stumptown , and Intelligentsia.

In addition, Ninety Plus Coffee is actually the name of a special coffee brand that was established in Ethiopia in 2006. This type of coffee is the highest quality Ethiopian coffee in the world, and as the name suggests, it scores above 90 points based on SCA standards.


In commercial coffee, you feel a bitter taste mixed with the normal taste of coffee. Taste like cocoa, chocolate and nuts (almonds, hazelnuts). But on the other hand, specialty coffee engages your taste buds to a greater extent and has a wider range of flavors. Specialty coffee has sweet (like sugar cube), acidic (like orange, tangerine and lemon), fruity (like strawberry) and even floral notes, and by being more precise in the coffee taste, you can distinguish them and from They have fun.

How about premium coffee? Premium coffee has the same taste notes as specialty coffee, but its bitterness is a little more. it

But in the case of Ninety Plus coffee, we have to say that depending on the origin of the coffee from one of the farms of this brand, we are faced with different taste ranges. For example, Ninety Plus Geisha coffee has a sweet taste and hints of flowers, chocolate, honey and even black tea.

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Type of coffee beans

There are two main types of coffee: Robusta and Arabica. Arabica is the most widely used variety and accounts for 60% of the coffee market. Arabica coffee beans are more valuable and expensive; Because they have less bitterness and a more diverse range of flavors. Ninety plus, specialty and premium coffee is 100% Arabica, but commercial coffee is Arabica, Robusta and sometimes a combination of Robusta and Arabica.

Seed quality

In order for the coffee beans to be correctly classified in terms of quality, criteria such as the amount of defects in the beans, the amount of moisture, etc. are carefully examined.

As we mentioned before, Ninety Plus coffee is the best type of coffee in terms of quality, and according to the special conditions of its cultivation and harvesting, it receives a score above 90 according to SCA standards.

In the second grade is specialty coffee, which scores above 80 out of 100 and ranks 1 (grade 1) in green coffee grading, its moisture content is 13-9% and no primary defects are found in the coffee beans.

Premium coffee is in third place in terms of quality. This coffee scores 70-79 according to SCA standards and ranks 2nd in size grading. A small amount of defects in the beans of this type of coffee is acceptable.

Finally, we have commercial coffee, whose grade is from 2 to 5 and its score is lower than 80.

Growing conditions

Another important difference between different types of coffee is the origin of the beans. In the packaging of commercial coffees, the exact origin of the coffee beans is not mentioned, while in the packaging of specialty coffees, the exact origin of the coffee beans is mentioned, including the country of origin, the region and even the coffee farm.

You may be wondering why the exact origin of coffee should be important?

Your answer can be summed up in one word: soil

Soil is one of the most important factors that determine the quality and taste of coffee beans; This is why coffee farmers pay attention to the exact location of the farm, the type of soil, the height from the ground and even the exact time of harvesting in order to achieve a certain taste and quality of specialty and premium coffee, and grow coffee in very controlled conditions so that the notes Create a special taste for their demanding customers.

Ninety Plus coffee, which is different from other coffees, is grown and harvested in well-defined and unique regions such as the western plains of Barro Volcano in Panama and the forests of Ethiopia.

But in the case of commercial coffee, since this type of coffee is supposed to respond only to the general and universal taste of coffee, not much attention is paid to the place of growth and cultivation or the conditions of plant cultivation, and in many cases, mixing coffee beans from different farms causes that its unique flavor notes are lost or barely felt. But can it be said that commercial coffee tastes bad? No, because all these things depend on your taste and preferences.

Specialty Coffee Vs Commercial Coffee
Specialty Coffee Vs Commercial Coffee

The method of harvesting and quality control of coffee beans

Even the method of collecting and harvesting coffee beans is different from each other. When harvesting commercial coffee, brand-owning companies use special machines or labor to collect as many coffee beans as possible; Because the ultimate goal is to collect more coffee beans in less time and send them to other departments to continue the processing process.

But in the case of specialty coffee, since the farmer and the specialized workforce in the field of coffee have used special methods to cultivate the plant and have spent a lot of time and money on it, the harvesting and picking of the coffee fruits is done only by hand to avoid damaging the coffee beans. less to enter when collecting it.

Harvesting specialty coffee is done only by trained coffee experts who have the ability to recognize good and ripe coffee fruit, and it is obvious that these experts are also paid more for this work. Sometimes another step is even added to this process, during which brown fruits that are ripe but damaged or have other defects are removed by hand. All these processes are very precise and time consuming. The process is more or less the same for premium coffee, but with less precision.

Finally, in the best type of coffee, Ninety Plus coffee, in addition to the fact that all stages of specialty coffee harvesting and quality control are carried out by a specialized team, the stages of coffee processing and fermentation formulas that are specific to this type of coffee and one of the innovations of this brand cause that Release unique and diverse flavor notes from coffee beans.


Ninety Plus coffee is one of the most expensive coffee brands in the world. In fact, in 2019, this Guinness record brand became the most expensive coffee sold in the world, and each kilogram of Panama Ninety Plus coffee was sold for 10,000 dollars. After Ninety Plus coffee, in terms of price, specialty coffees are the most expensive types of coffee. Premium coffees are more or less expensive, but they are cheaper than specialty coffees. Finally, we have commercial coffees that are available to everyone at reasonable prices.

⚠️ Pay Attention Please!
This article was prepared by an expert. But this is for general information only. Before any action, it is necessary to consult a doctor.
Beneficially is not responsible for any damages or losses!


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