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By
Kali Mireva

The Rise of Specialty Coffee in the Hotel Industry

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Travelers nowadays look for more experience-oriented stays. For Millennials, who are making up most travelers in the last few years, comfort does not beat experience. This means they are not just looking for coffee to be easy to get. They want to experience specialty coffee from local roasters when visiting a new place. 

What this means for hotel managers is that when planning the beverage program, coffee quality should not be overlooked. Supplying coffee from local roasters not only helps local businesses, but also improves the customer experience

Stocking up the hotel minibars with unique local food and drinks is a great way to show guests what the area has to offer. This, too, requires proper hotel inventory management to see great results in the form of better customer retention

But, what’s available in hotel restaurants is also very important. Having different varieties of wine, making the best cocktails, and serving all other types of alcohol are a must. However, it won’t be enough.

Specialty coffee is on the rise. To please the guests who really appreciate a nice cup of coffee, quality means more than anything. This blog post covers what you need to know about specialty coffee and how it can change the guest experience!

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Specialty Coffee: What Does it Mean and Where it Comes From

Specialty coffee is defined as a type of coffee scoring over 80 points on a 100 points scale. To be classified as a specialty, this type of coffee is grown at high altitudes, receiving great attention and care from the farmer. It’s then sold to traders or local roasters. 

Key Takeaway: Specialty coffee can up the beverage game of any hotel and restaurant. Local roasters can provide quality blends that will impress guests from any part of the world.

Short Specialty Coffee History

Specialty coffee is not anything new, and it’s not a trend that will go away. As a matter of fact, specialty coffee has existed for a long time. It can be traced back to as far as the 1900s. Back then, discerning customers, like the Hotel du Crillon in Paris, supplied their coffee from specific micro-lots in Guatemala. 

Later, in 1970, the term “specialty coffee” was used in the Tea and Coffee Trade Journal. This happened just a few years after the first-ever Starbucks shop was opened. Coffee shops like Starbucks were one of the first who turned coffee from modern convenience into a pleasurable drinking experience. 

Coffee Grading

The green coffee is graded with a visual inspection and then cupping. The process involves taking 350 grams of green coffee beans and counting all the defective ones. The defects of the coffee beans can be Primary and Secondary. 

The Primary defects can be sour beans, black beans, fungus damage, foreign matter, or severe insect damage. The Secondary defects include being partially black, parchment, immature or unripe cherries, broken, cut, or chipped beans, or slight insect damage. For coffee to be classified as “specialty” it must have no Primary defects and less than five Secondary defects. 

The cupping process involves roasting the coffee ad brewing it just with hot water. Then, it’s up to the skill of the taster to assign scores to each of the attributes of the coffee. They include acidity, aroma, flavor, and body. 

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Growing Regions for Specialty Coffee

Most countries that grow coffee commercially, also produce small amounts of specialty coffee. Countries like Kenya, Colombia, and Ethiopia are known for their specialty coffee. However, there are many lesser-known countries that are pushing to produce higher quality coffee in the latest years. 

For example, Panama has lately been producing some of the best coffee. This is thanks to their highly educated farmers, diverse microclimates, and focus on increased biodiversity. The small size of the country and the effects of the two surrounding oceans are not to be underestimated either. 

Consumption Growth 

In America, specialty coffee is spreading nationwide because some larger companies that offer it are gaining more popularity. The daily consumption of specialty coffee in the US used to be 9% back in 1999, but in 2014 it reached an incredible 34%. 

At the same time, in the UK, most recent reports show that the market is set for a 13% growth each year. This is higher than the 10% originally predicted. 

The increase in popularity is even shown in high-street chains, like Costa Coffee and Starbucks. They currently continue to introduce limited-edition single-origin coffee, which is a big contrast to their dark roasts or high-robusta blends. 

The same increase is starting to show in the hotel industry as well. As more and more guests are looking for a premium coffee experience, hotel restaurant management is striving to deliver. If you are in the industry, it’s worth looking into improving the quality of the coffee that’s being used in the coffee shop and hotel restaurants under your management. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Specialty Coffee and the Hotel Industry

As a business owner, you are probably constantly striving to bring more value and better the experience of your customers. This is so important in this day and age when people can get what they need easily, but what they want is more exquisite. 

Coffee is definitely one of the areas where people are searching for higher-quality products. It’s not just about waking up in the morning with a hot beverage. Having coffee is a way to relax, connect with others, and experience a new place. 

So how is the rise of specialty coffee connected to the hotel industry? Here’s some more information about that!

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How Is Specialty Coffee Different? 

Specialty coffee is coffee with zero Primary defects and less than five Secondary defects, scoring above 80 points on a 100 points scale. It’s a type of coffee that’s made from high-quality beans and grown by highly educated farmers. Although the brewing process is important as well, the quality of the beans is what’s truly important. 

As a business owner, when opening a coffee shop, one of the things you have to consider is the type of wholesale coffee you will need. This can vary between wholesale coffee grounds, wholesale coffee beans, and private vs white-label coffee

Even if you don’t have a coffee shop but an entire hotel, it’s worth researching and spending the money on higher-quality coffee. Consider adding specialty coffee to your beverage menus from the best coffee roasters in the area.

How Many People Drink Coffee Daily?

About 80% of adults in America consume caffeine on a daily basis. On top of that, the average coffee drinker in the US consumes 3.1 cups of coffee per day. The country is ranking 25th when it comes to coffee consumption but still manages to go through an estimated amount of 3.3 billion pounds of coffee.

This means that coffee is important for the people in the US and having quality blends for them to enjoy will set any business apart. A stocked mini bar is no longer enough to keep customers satisfied. Specialty coffee is consumed by 150 million people daily in different types of drinks. 

What Caffeine-Based Beverages are Most Common in the US? 

Lattes and cappuccinos are the most commonly consumed caffeine-based beverages in the United States. They are followed by the classic espresso and mocha.

Specialty coffee can bring these popular drinks to the next level and greatly improve the customer’s experience. Even when you get it from local roasters with the help of digital ordering. A good barista will create tasty drinks with aromas that’s worth indulging in. 

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