We believe that good coffee is coffee that's delicious.
Sometimes, people just wonder what good coffee is. Some might say the higher the cupping score, the better. Some people think that coffees should have unique flavour characteristics. And some people say whatever that's delicious is good. What is good coffee for us?
A short history of good coffee
Back in the days when the concept of specialty coffee was not spread wide, people in the coffee industry looked for 'specialty grade' coffees which scored over 80 points according to the system that SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) made (and this system is still in use these days). From the era when people only care about the coffee itself, the industry started to look at detailed information such as region, farm, variety, processing method, etc. Then, people moved from drinking blends to consuming single-origin coffees. The meaning of good coffee back then was like coffee that had information that could be tracked.
As the industry developed, it looked into the flavour profile and variety. Then the 'GEISHA' came out and dominated the cupping table. As the industry witnessed the potential of a new variety, they started to explore new experiments related to coffee varieties. The meaning of good coffee then was like a good variety that is unique and special.
Then, coffee processing became the one and is still continuing. From the traditional washed or natural, it went to various honey processes, then now, various processing methods are ongoing such as anaerobic fermentation, fruit fermentation, yeast, etc. The good coffee during this time is something that's unique and extraordinary.
Sensory trend changes
Not only variety or processing are we looking for but also the sensory. The threshold for fermenty flavours and acidity now is different to the old days. And acceptance of the clean cup has become different. Surprisingly, people who started specialty coffee over 10 years ago and people who started recently seem to have different standards in evaluating coffee flavour. For example, super funky tropical fruit flavours that are caused by acetic acid or phosphoric acid used to be known as 'over fermented' character over 10 years ago. However, it has become like a super unique character of that particular coffee which makes that coffee much more expensive.
Has the standard been changed?
Well, it is hard to say the sensory standard has changed. We still evaluate aroma, clean cup, flavour, acidity, body, sweetness, balance, etc. in coffee. But what's really different now is our acceptance of diversity of flavour. As people recognise coffee by flavour, not by score, people really matter what is tasted, not what numbers are seen. Still, the same quality standard of SCA is in use. However, the industry looks for a distinct flavour profile beyond the numbers.
So what's good coffee we think?
As mentioned, we believe that good coffee is coffee that's delicious. It could be a high scored one, or low scored one. It is subjective and everyone has a different taste. Some will say I like fruity floral geisha coffees from Panama while others prefer dark roast blend coffees that can wake their mornings better. This is not only about the quality and flavour but also about individuals' preferences. So, your good coffee could be different from my good coffee.
So, what do we do?
As everyone has a different preference, we do make a range of blends and single origins so that people can find what they like. But as a coffee professionals, we care about traceability and transparency regarding the green coffee, our roasting process, and quality control system so that we can ensure that our coffees are good from our side at least. Flavour, green bean quality, roasting, and brewing are counted in order to make sure our coffees are good. Then, it is served to you and waits for your choice.