Saturday, March 2

The Difference Between Gourmet, Premium and Specialty coffee

If you are a regular coffee drinker you might for sure come across terms like Gourmet, Premium, or Specialty coffee. Even if these names sound quite nice, not many of us know what they really mean. Because of that in this article, we are going to explain to you, the real meaning of each one of these terms.

The Specialty Coffee – The Highest Quality one 

In order to be recognised as a “specialty coffee” the coffee needs to receive a cupping score of 80+ and it also has to get a Grade One green grading score. This is how the coffee quality is measured in the coffee industry.

The 80+ point coffees offer different high-quality flavors that also have attributes like a vibrant acidity or a silky mouthfeel. In order for a coffee to offer such a high level of points it has to be properly roasted and grown in a specific area that has a proper climate. 

The second thing that qualifies coffee as a specialty one is the grade. In order for a coffee to get the Grade One, it must have no primary defects along with 0-3 full secondary defects. Along with that the moisture content should be somewhere between 9-13%. When it comes to its cupping, the beans must be perfect, with zero Quakers, otherwise, it can not be called Specialty coffee.

The flavours offered by these specialty coffees are incomparable to anything else on the market and because of that they are also the most expensive ones on the market. 

The Premium Coffee

If the Specialty coffees are the ones that received Grade One in green grading, the Premium coffees are those that get Grade two. They are measured after the same standards as specialty coffee, but the big difference is that the coffee beans can have 0-8 full defects and also a maximum number of 3 quakers. Because premium coffee is allowed to have some small defects in it, its flavour might be impacted a little. When it comes to its cupping score, the premium coffee normally receives a score somewhere around 70-79.

This does not mean that Premium Coffee tastes bad, or something like that. Premium Coffee is still a great and delicious coffee to have that will offer you a great experience, but its flavour is not as perfect as the flavor offered by the Specialty one.

Gourmet Coffee

The last category of coffee you must certainly be aware of is Gourmet Coffee. Having such an impressive name, you might think that Gourmet coffee offers such a great experience as the other two categories. Unfortunately, in reality it is not like that. This Gourmet term of categorising coffees is used by the other coffee companies for marketing purposes. The Coffee companies are using this term when their product can not be called premium or specialty. 

So, even in the food and beverage industry, the Gourmet term might point to high-quality products, when it comes to coffee it is exactly the opposite. So, the coffees that are labeled as gourmet coffees are usually the ones that have a lower quality than the specialty or premium ones. So next time, when you are going to purchase your coffee beans, and you spot that it is Gourmet coffee, try to do a little research online about the way it was roasted in order to not purchase a poor quality coffee. 


In conclusion, we hope that this article was helpful to you and that we succeed in making you aware of these coffee terms of quality. We consider this aspect to be a very important one that every coffee lover should be aware of. So, next time you are purchasing your coffee make sure to choose the right one, and even if the specialty or the premium ones are a little more expensive, you will not regret it for sure. Check out the Cafendo coffee catalogue for more information. 

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