Information about our coffee

Now, you’ve probably repeatedly heard the words ‘speciality coffee’, but what exactly does this mean?

According to the Speciality Coffee Association, speciality coffee “refers to the highest quality green coffee beans roasted to their greatest flavour potential by true craftspeople and then properly brewed to well-established SCAA developed standards.” (SCA, 2021). Coffee must score over 80 points on the quality scale to be deemed speciality, and must be single-origin.

Why do we choose speciality coffee?

The ethics

Speciality coffee aligns with our values at XO. The coffee industry is infamously exploitative, and we want to play a hand in changing that. Once a product is deemed speciality, it is immediately more valuable. The price point of our coffee reflects the quality of our product as well as the fair price paid for farmers’ labour and product.

The taste

The robust criteria for speciality coffee means that great taste is guaranteed. Each coffee must score at least 80/100 on the cupping scale in all of the following categories to be namedspeciality: Fragrance/aroma, Flavour, Aftertaste, Acidity, Body, Balance, Sweetness, Clean cup, Uniformity, and Overall. This comprehensive marking criteria means that only the very best tasting coffee can be marketed as speciality. It is estimated that only 6-7% of the coffee sold in the UK is speciality grade (Balance Coffee, 2021). Because all of our coffees are speciality grade, we know that our customers are getting the very best product.

Speciality coffee summarised

Speciality coffee undoubtedly has a higher price point than its standard coffee counterparts. We believe, however, that the investment in farmers, communities, the environment, and really great-tasting coffee justifies the price, and you can purchase in the knowledge that each member of the supply chain is being paid a fair price for their labour and product.