1.What is specialty coffee?
How popular is specialty coffee? Even if you don’t drink coffee, you must have heard of it. What exactly is “specialty coffee”? From coffee farmers to baristas, all must pursue high standards of quality. High-standard bean selection, superb roasting technology, and brewing technology. Erna Knutsen, the godmother of specialty coffee, used the term “Specialty Coffee” innovatively in the monthly magazine of “Tea & Coffee Trade Journal” in 1974.
She pointed out that only in the most favorable altitude, soil, and climate, can cultivate specialty coffee with a unique sapling flavor, this is also compared with the bulk of commercial low-cost blending coffee beans. Later, she and five others founded the Specialty Coffee Association of America in 1982, the word “specialty coffee” is known all over the world, it was not until 2000 that specialty coffee gradually entered the mass market from the niche market.
Throughout the history of the entire coffee industry, the strict requirements of specialty coffee are closely related to the third wave of coffee. In the third wave of coffee, coffee has returned to the coffee itself. People are beginning to pay attention to producers, importers, roasters and baristas, because they jointly determine the taste of a cup of coffee, which is the spiritual core of specialty coffee.
Every cup of coffee has a story. After planting, processing, and brewing, it passes through the mountains and the refined aroma comes to us. Every cup of coffee has its own taste, waiting for those who love it to discover and create. And to benefit from it, not only coffee drinkers but also everyone in the industry chain, especially coffee farmers at the source, this may be the essence of specialty coffee.
In April 2021, Rising Lab, the research institution of Shanghai First Financial Media Group, released a report showing that there are more cafes in Shanghai than in any city in the world. There are more than 7,000 cafes in Shanghai, which is much higher than other major cities, for example, there are 3,233 in London, 3,826 in Tokyo, and 1,591 in New York. Behind this set of numbers, well-known chain coffee brands such as Starbucks, Costa, Pacific Coffee, etc. did not win an overwhelming victory. In the format structure of Shanghai cafes, 55.88% of cafes are specialty coffees or independent cafes.
From a global perspective, specialty coffee has gone through a long period of development and has a group of loyal consumers. For example, the statistics of the United States National Coffee Association (NCA) show that as of January 2021, the market share of specialty coffee in the United States has reached 36%, and a number of well-known specialty coffee brands have emerged. Among them, Blue Bottle, which was acquired by Nestlé Coffee in 2017 with a majority stake, is called the “Coffee Apple” and is regarded as the representative brand of the third wave of coffee. There are also boutique cafe brands such as ARABICA, Maruyama Coffee, Fritz Coffee, Seven Seeds, etc., which are driving the third wave of the coffee industry.
2.Specialty coffee beans is the raw material for making specialty coffee
To enjoy the freshly roasted coffee beans and the fragrance of coffee, there is nothing better than making a cup of hand-brewed coffee from roasted coffee beans! Among all the factors that affect the taste of a cup of coffee, green beans account for 60%, roasting accounts for 30%, and production accounts for 10%. Therefore, no matter how good a roaster is, it is impossible to beautify mediocre coffee beans into high-quality coffee beans.
Good beans can only be planted with ulterior motives. From tree species, cropping methods, to harvesting the fully mature fruits, these good beans can only be obtained by coffee farmers and good coffee farms and production areas. From the perspective of the coffee market, coffee beans are mainly divided into two categories, commercial beans, and specialty coffee beans. Commercial beans generally refer to coffee beans that are not of very high quality and have a high defect rate.
In terms of price, high-quality coffee beans are several times more expensive than commercial beans. From a cost perspective, the profit margin of choosing commercial beans will be large, commercial beans are generally produced and packaged in large-scale batches. The price of commercial coffee beans may only be 10% of the price of specialty coffee beans, but the taste of coffee obtained from commercial beans is much inferior to that of specialty coffee beans, it can be used to make espressos such as latte and cappuccino.
Simply say, specialty coffee beans are high-quality raw beans, roasted with superb roasting techniques, and restore the unique taste of coffee beans, it’s the taste that only belongs to this kind of coffee beans, roasted coffee beans should be consumed within the best drinking period.
Specialty coffee beans must be high-quality beans without defective beans, produced from an excellent variety, with a unique aroma and flavor. It generally grows at an altitude of 1,500 meters or even more than 2,000 meters, with suitable precipitation, sunshine, temperature, and soil conditions, such as the volcanic ash soil of Antigua, Guatemala, which provides conditions for the growth of specialty coffee.
Specialty coffee beans are best harvested manually, and the green beans are finely processed through various sun exposure or washing, makes the coffee has a layered, fruity, sweet, and mellow flavor. Specialty coffee beans have a strict grading system to ensure uniform quality, and protection during storage and transportation is very important. For example, for the control of temperature and humidity, ventilation control, avoiding the adsorption of odors, etc., if these are not done well, no matter how high the level of beans is, they will no longer be of high quality.
The emergence of specialty coffee beans not only gives coffee the ability to trace its origin, but also standardizes and transparentizes the entire industrial chain system such as planting, harvesting, processing, preservation, and trading. Specialty coffee is made of high-quality roasted specialty coffee beans, the roasted coffee beans should retain the characteristics of the origin of the green beans. It is fresh and rich in taste. From the source to the end, every link is strictly controlled.
3.The most popular Arabica specialty coffee beans-Gexia
Arabica coffee beans are the main force of specialty coffee. Geisha coffee beans are a subdivision of Arabica coffee beans. They are grown in many parts of the world, including Panama, Colombia, and Ethiopia. The Geisha variety was discovered in the Gesha Village in Ethiopia in 1931(the Geisha coffee beans from Ethiopian Geisha village and Panama Geisha beans are two completely different varieties). In 1963, Don Pachi Serracin introduced the Geisha coffee tree species from Costa Rica to Panama. Because the yield was not high, which directly affected the harvest, coffee farmers were not willing to plant, so they were always used as a windbreak tree.
Because the tree species is higher than the average coffee tree, it was originally planted in a small area of Panama La Esmeralda and used as a windbreak forest. In order to participate in the annual Panama Best Coffee Competition, the owner of the manor, Daniel Peterson, searched all the coffee trees in the manor for testing, accidentally found that at the highest point of the coffee farm, the coffee beans produced by these Geisha coffee trees, which were originally used as windbreaks, have the unique citrus and floral aromas of African beans, so it was separated from other varieties of coffee beans in 2003 and participated Panama Coffee Bean Cup Test Competition in the 2004 and became an instant success.
After years of experimentation, Panama La Esmeralda found that coffee trees growing above 1,400 meters above sea level, the collected Geisha beans can really show the special flavor that Geisha beans should have. Therefore, the main classification is based on the planting height and the actual cupping results as a supplement, the “Red, Green, and Blue” grades of Geisha beans are classified.
• Esmeralda Special(bidding batch)
It grows at an altitude of 1600-1800 meters, is the boutique grade. Refining methods include both insolation and washing. Generally, cupping scores are 90+. They can only be sold through global Internet auctions each year. They are very rare and therefore quite expensive.
• Esmeralda Private(Collection Batch)
The green label (Esmeralda Private Collection) also grows in high-altitude areas of 1600-1800 meters, but the cup score is slightly lower than the red label, about 88.
• Esmeralda 1500 (Featured Batch)
Esmeralda 1500 grows at an altitude of about 1500 meters and is the most widely available variety among several species. The refining method is generally only washing with water.
The reason why Geisha of Panama La Esmeralda is talked about, in addition to the flavor of the coffee beans themselves, is also because of the higher transaction prices of the family’s bidding-grade Gexia year by year. The 2004 champion Geisha had a transaction price of US$21/lb, and in 2013, the sun-dried Geisha reached approximately US$350/lb, a growth rate of 36.6%. At that time, the price of Panama’s non-competitive specialty coffee beans in 2013 was about $6 a pound, and its price was more than 58 times that of other specialty coffee beans!
After 2012, in major coffee competitions around the world, almost all players began to use Geisha as competition beans. In recent years, Geisha has helped many players win the championship due to its unique flavor, and has become the “champion bean seed” that the world is eager for. As “competitive beans”, many high-quality Geisha beans were bought by many contestants at high prices as soon as they came out. Coupled with the extremely low production and the need to participate in auctions, the amount of Geixia that flows into the market is very small. Therefore, the chance of ordinary people who want to drink a glass of pure Geisha is very slim.
4.Good storage is one of the necessary conditions to become a specialty coffee
In addition to having the latitude, altitude, climate, soil quality, rainfall…suitable planting environment, appropriate and sophisticated water washing or solar fermentation treatment, suitable roasting method, good storage is essential to maintain the unique flavor of premium coffee beans. The freshly roasted coffee beans have too much carbon dioxide, and various flavors cannot be fully released. They taste no taste and need a period of time to “exhaust”. This process is called raising beans, and the time for raising beans is about 24-48 hours.
After raising the beans, start drinking until the obvious defective flavor appears, called the best flavor period. Taking moderately roasted beans for an example, the best flavor period is about 30 days. If it is light baking, it is about 40-50 days, while the best flavor period of deep baking is short, usually within 30 days. Of course, this best flavor period is established under certain storage conditions, that is to say, three key factors-preserving roasted beans sealed, protected from light, and moisture.
In addition to these three key factors, the packaging of coffee beans is also very important. Most coffee beans are packaged in aluminum foil bags with or without a one-way air vent. Aluminum foil can block light and air, the function of the one-way exhaust valve is to exhaust the excess carbon dioxide and block the outside air from entering the bag, it can effectively prevent the coffee bag from bulging, bursting, oxidation, and dampness, to achieve the goal of keeping fresh, ensure the flavor of the coffee does not change.
Coffee beans roasters can fill the roasted coffee beans directly in a bag with an air valve, instead of waiting for packaging after raising beans. The coffee exhaust valve is the companion for coffee bags, many coffee bags have a one-way exhaust valve installed.
5.Automatic high-speed weigh and fill machine for coffee beans, which can help you quickly lock the freshness of roasted coffee beans.
With the advancement of technology to promote the renewal and progress of packaging materials, the change in consumer perceptions has also accelerated the development and progress of the packaging industry. In the past, in order to preserve coffee beans for a long time, vacuum packaging was more popular for coffee beans, but roasted coffee beans will continue to release carbon dioxide, so vacuum packaging will soon become non-vacuum.
The more popular packaging for roasted coffee beans is a flat-bottom bag with a one-way exhaust valve. The outside air cannot get in, but the gas inside can be discharged. Therefore, it can greatly reduce the oxidation of coffee beans and retain the flavor, which is the first choice of many roasted coffee beans manufacturers. Whether the coffee beans are packaged with a single air valve, needs to be decided in combination with the size of the packaging bag and the length of time required from roasting to drinking.
Our SK-GD weigh and fill machine for coffee beans is an automatic packaging machine, specially designed for filling coffee bean bags with or without an air valve. It is used to fill granular products with all kinds of pre-made bags, it has an excellent packaging performance for weighing and filling Geisha coffee beans, Blue Mountain coffee beans, Kopi Luwak specialty coffee beans, green coffee beans, whole coffee beans, or coffee particles.
The machine is mainly composed of a multi-head electronic combination scale, material hoist, work support platform, coffee beans weigh and fill machine. The operator pours the coffee beans that need to be packaged into the hopper of the feeder, the coffee beans are conveyed to the electronic combination scale through the conveyor belt of the feeder for weighing, and then discharged into the bag for filling, sealing, coding, cutting, etc., complete the whole packaging process.
According to different filling accuracy and speed requirements, different weighing methods can be customized. Before each filling, there is a bag opening device to guide and open the bag’s mouth to ensure smooth feeding. It can be equipped with a nitrogen filling device or an exhaust device (choose one of the two) according to the packaging needs. Adjusting the width of the bag is controlled by a motor. To change bags of different widths, you only need to set the control button on the touch screen to adjust the width of each group of machine clips at the same time, which is convenient for operation and saves time. The oil-free vacuum pump is used to avoid pollution of the production environment.
Constant temperature heat sealing, you can exchange a variety of sealing knife holders freely, two knife holders can be installed for sealing at the same time. The weigh and fill machine for coffee beans is equipped with a vibration device to prevent the phenomenon of material clamping when sealing, which affects the bag sealing. There is no direct contact with people during the packaging process to avoid human pollution and improve the hygiene standards of food packaging.
SK-GD is suitable for filling flat bottom bags, stand-up bags, back seal bags, three sides seal bags, four sides seal bags, zipper bags, gusset bags, and other premade pouches, which are made of paper-plastic composite, plastic-plastic composite, aluminum-plastic composite, PE composite, and other packaging materials. The weigh and fill machine for coffee beans can reduce 4-10 workers, and the input cost can be recovered within 0.5-1 years, reducing production costs and management costs.
Sywen Packaging is a professional coffee bean packaging machine manufacturer and supplier in China, we have many modes and types of coffee bean filling machines. According to the difference in the packaging container, filling speed, and precision requirements, we not only have semi-automatic coffee beans packaging machine, automatic coffee beans packaging machine, coffee bean cans filling machine, we also have other supporting coffee bean packaging equipment. If you need professional, free coffee bean packaging advice, please contact us!