The Role of Specialty Coffee in Restaurant Culture

Nick Mirev
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    In the past few years, specialty coffee has become more popular. Doubtless, it will be one of the coffee trends in the near future as well. The reason behind its fame is the fact that coffee enthusiasts are becoming more and more in the past few years. And specialty brands are the most exquisite options on the market. Wholesale coffee vendors answer the demand by offering more options for venues that wish to offer truly special customer experience to their guests. In this blog article, we’ll explain what specialty coffee is and how your restaurant can benefit from adding such brands to the menu.

    What Is Specialty Coffee?

    Specialty coffee is a high-quality product that is scored above 80 by certified Q graders. These specialists undergo training by the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI). They check coffee for qualities such as aroma, flavor, acidity, body, and possible defects. Specialty coffees are carefully grown and produced in small quantities. Their roasting process is also done in small batches with unique techniques.

    Specialty coffees are rarely made of blends. Usually, it’s single-origin, made from a specific region. The soil and climate of coffee-producing regions give specific and unique profiles to the drink. As it is a premium product, the price of specialty coffee is often much higher than the standard choices. 

    Specialty coffee comes in beans. The grinding process should be done by an SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) certified barista. The same goes for brewing as well. These skilled coffee experts know the main characteristics of the coffee based on the region of production, the climate, and the level of roasting. A certified barista will prepare the drink in a way that keeps all its flavors, texture, and richness.

    Key takeaway: Specialty coffee is a high-quality coffee that is offered only in premium venues. It scores above 80 out of 100 points by certified Q graders. Offering specialty coffee makes a restaurant stand out from the competition.
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    Why Offer Specialty Coffee in Your Restaurant?

    There are multiple reasons why you might consider adding specialty coffee to your restaurant’s menu. Here are the main benefits:

    Offering Specialty Coffee Adds Additional Value to Your Restaurant

    The role of tea and coffee in the restaurant is changing. Having designer coffee on your menu can be the thing that differentiates you from other restaurants. This will be important if your venue is located in a city with a large competition. Furthermore, it will boost customer satisfaction as well. Many coffee fans will choose to visit your place instead of another restaurant if they know you can offer them a specialty coffee experience.

    You can also consider offering delivery for high-grade coffee drinks. Many clients might consider enjoying the drink from the comfort of their homes. This can also be in the form of hot or cold brew subscription boxes.

    Higher Profits with Specialty Coffee

    Traditionally, profit margins are higher for products that can’t be found easily. Specialty coffee makes no difference. In addition, most people who consider themselves coffee aficionados have a higher income. Attracting such visitors to your venue will be beneficial in the long run.

    Another way to increase your profits with the help of specialty coffee is to upsell it to guests who want standard espresso drinks. People are often eager to try something new if it’s recommended by their waiter. So, many will choose to get a better coffee experience even if it means paying a little extra.

    Sustainability Is the Key

    Nowadays, many consumers are looking for environmentally friendly and sustainable products. Specialty coffee producers often prioritize these practices in their production process. By adding it to your restaurant coffee menu, you allow your customers the opportunity to opt for a product that uses fair labor and eco practices.

    Specialty Coffee as a Marketing Technique

    In today's fast-paced world, marketing is becoming increasingly important. Adding specialty coffee to your menu will not only add value and increase profits, it can also be used as a marketing channel. For example, you can partner with a local barista and offer coffee brewing courses. Furthermore, you can organize coffee tasting events where food and coffee are served for breakfast and brunch.

    Another trend in the field of coffee marketing is offering a variety of cold brew coffees. If you combine those with plant-based milks, you’ll be riding the trend wave.

    Coffee bean subscription boxes are another idea to promote your venue, even if your profits from them are not that big. You can pair them with hand-made desserts. This way, your clients get a selection of coffees, exceptional desserts, and become your loyal customers. Subscriptions are becoming an increasingly popular trend online and the coffee ecommerce niche is no different.

    specialty coffee marketing

    Don’t Miss Out on Other Opportunities

    Yes, the demand for specialty coffee brands will continue to grow. However, there are other caffeinated drinks that are becoming increasingly popular. The best example of this is matcha. Made from powdered green tea leaves, this drink is an alternative for caffeine lovers. The main difference is that, with matcha tea, the release of energy is slower and lasts longer. Another distinction between the two drinks is that matcha has a grassy flavor. So, people who are looking for a fresh option might go for a matcha tea instead of a specialty coffee.

    Speaking of teas, they still have a huge base of fans across the world. Being the second most consumed beverage after water, having a good collection of tea varieties increases the value of every restaurant. Not to mention that many clients enjoy pairing tea and food. Consider offering such mixes in your seasonal menu in order to answer the demand of customers looking for quality tea drinks with their meals.

    Frequently Asked Questions about Specialty Coffee

    Still not sure whether you should add specialty coffees in your restaurant’s menu? Perhaps the following questions will help you decide.

    Are There Specialty Coffee Baristas?

    Yes. In order to guarantee that this luxurious coffee is made according to the highest standards, it should be prepared by an SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) certified barista. These highly skilled professionals have the expertise to brew the drink in ways that keep all flavors and texture. Specialty coffee beans come from different regions and should be prepared in different ways. Otherwise, some qualities can be lost in the process.

    How Expensive Is Specialty Coffee?

    Specialty coffee is about 20 times more expensive than regular coffee. There is even an index for this commodity - the Specialty Coffee Retail Price Index (SCRPI). It tracks the median price of these products. Consumers who opt for this choice understand that the experience they receive is truly special. Therefore, they’ll be willing to pay a much higher price for a cup of coffee rich in flavors and prepared by a skilled barista.

    Where Is Specialty Coffee Produced?

    The majority of specialty coffee plantations are located in Brazil, Ethiopia, Colombia, Indonesia, and Mexico. These countries are among the biggest producers of coffee worldwide. That is why, it is not surprising that the main specialty brands come from these regions.

    What Is Designer Coffee?

    Designer coffee is more commonly known as latte art. This is the process of preparing coffee in order to achieve a pattern on the top of the foam. Skilled baristas will use various techniques to offer designer coffee to their customers. The results are aesthetically pleasing and worthy of a social media post. Therefore, designer coffee is yet another way to market your venue and encourage customers to talk about it online.

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    Where to Buy Specialty Coffee?

    Many coffee beans wholesale vendors offer specialty coffees from all around the world. If you’re a retail customer, you can check some of the best coffee roasters or check reputable local roasters. The ones that offer specialty coffee usually advertise it as it is a unique selling proposition. If you’re a restaurant manager, you can benefit from an app like BlueCart that has various vendors offering exquisite tea selections and specialty coffee brands.

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