lady stirring specialty espresso coffee

Premium Coffee vs. Specialty Coffee vs. Gourmet Coffee; What's the deal?

  • Only about 10% of the world's coffee beans meet the criteria to be classified as specialty coffee grade.
  • Specialty coffee beans are carefully sourced and usually come from a single origin, rather than being a blend of beans from multiple regions.
  • The flavor profile of specialty coffee is often very distinct and can vary greatly depending on the specific beans and the region in which they were grown.
  • Specialty coffee is typically more expensive than regular coffee due to the high level of quality and attention to detail that goes into its production.
  • Premium coffee is of a higher quality than regular mass-produced coffee, but it is not necessarily a specialty coffee.
  • Premium coffee may be made from a specific type of bean or may be produced using a unique method, such as organic or fair trade practices.
  • Premium coffee is generally more expensive than regular coffee, but not as expensive as specialty coffee.
  • Gourmet coffee is a term that is often used to describe coffee that is said to be of higher quality but there is no requirements or standards for gourmet coffee and is typically a marketing phrase at best.
  • Same, or slightly higher price than regular coffee.

With so many viable options, it's hard not to become confused when it comes to coffee. Coffee lovers have a wide range of options to choose from, including regular coffee, gourmet coffee, specialty coffee, and premium coffee. But how do specialty and premium coffee differ from one another? What about Gourmet?

Coffee that received at least 80% on a scale that considers size, shape, and flaws is considered specialty coffee. It is renowned for its distinctive flavors and aromas and is grown in unique and ideal climates. Only 10% of coffee beans in the world meet the standards to be labeled as specialty grade, making specialty coffee an extraordinary and in-demand product. Instead of being a blend of beans from various regions, specialty coffee beans are typically carefully sourced and come from a single origin. As a result, the flavor profile can be more distinctive and complex and reflect the product's origin.

Green Coffee beans dried in a pan and a hand inspecting individual beans for quality

Premium coffee, on the other hand, is of a higher caliber than typical, mass-produced coffee, though it is not always a specialty coffee. Premium coffee may be produced using a particular bean variety or a special technique, like organic or fair-trade methods. Although premium coffee generally costs more than regular coffee, it is less expensive than specialty coffee. Most premium coffee blends are made from premium coffee beans and are an excellent way to drink high-quality, consistent coffee. The flavor profile of premium coffee can vary depending on the specific beans and production techniques used. Gourmet coffee, while sounding more expensive, is simply a marketing term with no higher quality regulations than regular coffee.

In terms of price, specialty coffee is typically more expensive than premium coffee due to the high level of quality that goes into its production and the very limited supply. 

So, which is the best option for you? Specialty single origin coffee might be the best option if you're a coffee enthusiast looking for a distinctive and high-quality product or want to experience the true flavor of coffee from around the world. Premium coffee, on the other hand, might be a good choice if you're searching for a high-quality coffee that is more reasonably priced than specialty coffee.

No matter what kind of coffee you select, it's critical to take the source and production processes into account. Look for brands that give a high priority on such principles as both specialty and premium coffee can be produced in a sustainable and ethical manner. You can enjoy your coffee knowing that it was made in a way that is good for the environment and the people involved in its production by supporting businesses that place a priority on sustainability and ethics. At Final Grind Coffee Co., we specialize in creating specialty coffee from single origins and premium coffee blends using only farmers and growers who are ethical, sustainable, and dedicated to their craft.

Coffee grower is transferring specialty coffee cherries into a basket for washing

Coffee lovers have high-quality choices in specialty and premium coffee. Known for its distinctive flavors and aromas, specialty coffee is a rare and highly sought-after product, whereas premium coffee is more readily available and of a higher caliber than typical mass-produced coffee. Be sure to keep these factors in mind when making your decision since both types of coffee can be produced ethically and sustainably. The choice will ultimately depend on your personal preferences and what you feel comfortable spending. 

Back to blog

1 comment

What is different Gourmet Coffee?


Leave a comment

About the Author

Justin Kramp is a coffee fantatic and the owner and founder of Final Grind Coffee Co. He loves drinking single-origin specialty-grade coffee from around the world while researching interesting topics in the coffee world to share with his readers like you.

He founded Final Grind Coffee Co. in college in a quest for better coffee in a more convenient way.

To learn more about Justin and Final Grind Coffee Co., click here!