Why Our Coffee?
Specialty-grade coffee beans account for just 3% of total global coffee stock. But what does that mean?
The term “specialty coffee” refers to the highest-quality green coffee beans roasted to their greatest flavor potential by true craftspeople and then properly brewed to well-established SCAA developed standards. Specialty coffee in the green bean state can be defined as a coffee that has no defects and has a distinctive character in the cup, with a score of 80 or above when graded according to SCAA Standards.
For a coffee to make the specialty grade, it must be grown at an altitude that will contribute towards complexity in the cup. The cherries must also be handpicked only when they have reached optimum ripeness and they must be processed in a way that respects the need for cleanliness and consistency. The beans must then be roasted and brewed in a way that shows off their characteristics, rather than masking them. This approach throughout the supply chain creates coffee of a superior grade which once tasted, is hard to go back from!
Roast To Order
The highest standard of freshness.
First, let's talk about store bought coffee for a moment. Having been roasted & packaged, stored in a warehouse, transported to the local grocery store and sat on the shelf for who knows how long - it's highly likely that coffee is months old by the time it hits your cup.
Roast to order means exactly what it sounds like. The coffee remains in its harvested, "green" form until you order it. THEN it gets roasted. This level of freshness is what many coffee drinkers simply aren't accustomed to. Coffee is actually full of unique flavors in its freshest form, but because most of the world is used to [insert big name coffee company] from the grocery store or other mainstream vendors, they equate coffee to what is most likely a stale version of its former self. Here at Synoptic we don't roast the coffee until we receive your order.
Think Packaging Doesn't Matter?
A common misconception about coffee is that people believe the closer to the roast date, the better the coffee is going to taste. Truth is, coffee tastes best about 5-7 days after roasting.
When coffee is roasted, thermally-driven chemical reactions lead to the formation of gases inside the beans, the majority of which is carbon dioxide (CO2). While the beans lose some CO2 during roasting, a large percentage of them are gradually released over the days and weeks that follow. This is what’s known as “degassing”.
For specialty coffee roasters, degassing is vital: it ensures that the coffee will be fresh, aromatic, and balanced as intended by the time it reaches you. For example, if freshly roasted coffee is consumed the moment it finishes roasting, the CO2 can cause extraction to be uneven when brewed. This is the result of CO2 bubbles that disrupt the contact between the coffee grounds and the water. On the other hand, if you allow beans to release too much CO2, the coffee’s flavor becomes flat and stale.
We package all orders with what is known as a "degassing valve". Which is a one-way vent that releases CO2 while preventing oxygen from entering. This maintains freshness and stops the loss of flavor for up to two weeks. With this in mind, by the time your coffee is delivered after leaving our roastery - it's at its optimal flavor!