My Coffee Journey (Chapter 2): A Bump in the Road and a Noob’s Take on Specialty Coffee

It’s been a week since (my last confession) I got the supplies to help me make my first cup of specialty coffee. 

And what did I do?

I washed them. (The washable parts, of course.)

Thaaaat’s it. 

That’s as far as I got.

Yep, the Hario V60 dripper and coffee mill are looking nice and shiny on my kitchen counter.

Nice and shiny and neglected.

I’m only at the beginning of my specialty coffee learning journey, and I already feel like I’ve veered off course.

Temptations and distractions have a way of appearing full-force during the holiday season, don’t they?



It’s as though the Coffee Chain gods know what I’m up to…

Well, I may have hit a bump in the road in terms of learning how to make my own cup of specialty coffee, but there’s more to specialty coffee than just learning how to brew it.

What is specialty coffee?

This was one of the first questions that popped into my head when I heard the term “specialty coffee.”

So I asked my friend Google. 

As of this writing, there are more than 146 million articles vying to answer this most (French) pressing question. 

I read three.

Just kidding. I didn’t keep count.

I’m pretty sure many of the articles are written by coffee connoisseurs, people who really know their coffee.

And then there’s me. A complete noob in the realm of specialty coffee.

We all have to start somewhere, right?


Along with what I’ve learned, and continue to learn, from UrSpecialty’s resident coffee connoisseur, I found these two articles particularly informative:


  • What is Specialty Coffee?   - Specialty Coffee Association (SCA)

  • Coffee Professionals Discuss: What is Specialty Coffee?  - Perfect Daily Grind

    These are in-depth articles, and each discuss multiple perspectives about the meaning of specialty coffee.

    Since there isn’t a singular definition of specialty coffee, I guess there’s no harm in adding another one, even if it’s coming from a coffee novice like myself.

    I’m far from having a comprehensive understanding of the world of specialty coffee, but here’s my interpretation of things from what I’ve read so far.


    As consumers, we don’t always think about the journey and people involved in making the products we enjoy possible.

    We tend to take things for granted. 

    For people in the specialty coffee business who care about delivering a quality product, every point in the journey, from the farm to our cups, makes a difference and is not to be taken for granted. 

    Put simply, achieving a great-tasting cup of specialty coffee is a community effort.


    Are you a specialty coffee drinker? What’s your definition of specialty coffee?

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