There is more to coffee than Costa and Starbucks

You might be one of many who pick up their morning cup of coffee from chains like Starbucks or Costa. But did you know that for an extra 20p you that cup could be ten times better?

The truth is, coffee is a lot like wine. There are hundreds of different types and flavours out there to explore. If you could choose between the most amazing glass of red wine versus something that tastes like feet, wouldn’t you rather have the first one?

The term ‘speciality coffee’ refers to coffee that has scored 80 points of more out of a 100 by a certified coffee taster or a quality grader.

Unlike most coffee chains, speciality coffee shops offer a variety of coffee types and beans from all over the world.

These beans have been grown at the perfect altitude, at the best time of year, in the best soil, and picked just at the right time when they’re at their absolute best.

This harvesting method results in tasty, delicious coffee.

Barista and quality grader Will Nye has been working with speciality coffee for five years at Marmadukes Café Deli in Sheffield. Marmadukes’ coffee has an average score of 85, which grades it as ‘excellent’.

And indeed it is. Not only does it taste amazing, but it’s ethically produced as well.

According to Mr Nye, quality isn’t the only good reason for choosing speciality coffee over coffee chains:

“The ethical standpoint is the main thing for me. I think it’s important to support independent shops, because at least here you know the farmers have gotten a better price for their goods.”

Many companies have made it their duty to support sustainable and traceable farming. One of them is the Berlin based company The Barn – one of Europe’s leading speciality roasters.

By paying “premium prices” they also join the fight against the exploitation of coffee farmers – a major issue in third world countries.

Although chains like Starbucks have been stepping up their ethical game in recent years, their coffee is still as bad as a cheap bottle of wine.

So the next time you go for a cuppa, make sure to make it a good one.

Read about the four coffees you must try this autumn.

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