Where to Start?

So you like coffee, but not sure where to start with specialty coffee?

You enjoy a good coffee, and you want to explore the world of specialty coffee?
This web site is a great place to start - but perhaps it's a little confusing, and hard to know what to choose?
Fine coffee is a lot like fine wine, but like wine, it can hard to know where to start exploring.

So, this page is to help you work out a good place to start!

First of all, quick and useful definition of speciality coffee is coffee that rates highly in a number of key areas. It's normally a single-origin coffee (from one region, area or even farm in a given country), grown to a high standard, with no defects in its taste. When cupped (tasted) using a strict protocol by talented professionals, it scores above a certain point over a range of criteria. Think high quality with distinctive, sought after flavours and other qualities.

Most of the coffees we sell are genuine specialty coffees, and all of the coffees on our roasted menu are.

The first thing you may have noticed is that parts of the site are defined by geographic region  (South America, Indonesia, etc). This is because each region produces coffee with particular qualities and characteristics.
Don't be too put off by this - you can just browse through the individual descriptions of each origin and choose the description that appeals to you. Those descriptions are fairly self-explanatory, but some can be like certain wine descriptions - a little obtuse to those new to the field!

So where to start?

If you are simply looking for fine coffee that tastes like, well, fine coffee, you could start with:

  • One of our blends such as Josiah or Nehemiah These are solid and reliable blends used extensively by individuals, churches, schools and businesses.
  • A single origin from Brazil. Coffees from Brazil tend to be less complex, and have qualities that most people expect and identify with good coffee. This is in no way putting down coffees from Brazil, but they can be more accessible to people starting out in specialty coffee. We usually have a Brazil on the roasted menu.

But don't stop there. Try some other single origins from different regions, being guided by the description. Once you've worked out what you like (or don't like!), you can progress to coffees with more character and different flavour profiles.

I'm always happy to chat about coffee and try and help with suggestions - use the contact form to drop me a line...

Dave Steel
Ministry Grounds Coffee