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What Is Specialty Coffee? - Encyclopedia Arabica

The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) uses the term "specialty coffee" to define the highest-quality green coffee beans roasted to their greatest flavor potential by true craftspeople and then properly brewed to well-established standards. Specialty coffee in the green bean state can be defined as a coffee that has no defects and has a distinctive character in the cup, with a score of 80 or above when graded according to SCA Standards

There are two distinct species of coffee with economic significance: Arabica and Robusta. These two species are different on many levels, specifically in terms of genetics and taste. Robusta tends to be more disease resistant, higher yielding per plant, and has twice the amount of caffeine than Arabica. In the cup Robusta tends to be harsh, bitter, and generally of lower quality. The name Arabica, however, is not an absolute guarantee of quality. The vast majority of coffee produced worldwide is Arabica (around 75-80%) and there is a wide range of quality from the lowest to the highest.

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