Specialty gourmet coffee is a very hot commodity in today's market. The consumption of gourmet coffee has steadily grown with consumers enjoying the more sophisticated tastes of gourmet coffee beans.
Specialty gourmet coffee, sometimes called premium coffee, is exceptional coffee beans grown only in ideal coffee-producing climates. These coffee beans have unique characteristics because of the soil they grow in which produce very distinctive flavors.
Gourmet coffee has a more balanced flavor and richer taste than the standard mass-produced coffee. Gourmet coffee beans go through a rigorous process of certification that is stricter to help keep the quality high.
In the 1974 issue of the "Tea & Coffee Trade Journal", Erna Knutsen first used the term 'specialty coffee' to describe these unique coffee beans that are produced in special microclimates with these distinctive, exceptional flavors.
In 1982 the Specialty Coffee Association of America was created by coffee professionals to help set quality standards for the specialty coffee trade.
Since the 1990's the growing popularity of the coffee houses and specialty gourmet coffee retailers, have made gourmet coffee one of the fastest growing food services markets in the world. In the United States alone, it nets approximately $8.5 billion a year.
Some have compared specialty gourmet coffee to wine. The aromas and flavors have similarities in how the consumer connects with the two beverages. The characteristics of gourmet coffee however, are more even complex than wine. The coffee bean is more dependent on altitudes, climate and soil variation than with the grapes used for wine.
The history and tradition of the specialty coffee grower makes this a very complex beverage. So pour yourself a cup of your favorite specialty gourmet coffee, sit back and enjoy, you deserve it.
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