If you didn’t already know, Haymaker is a specialty coffee brand. Because guess what? There are different types of coffee: specialty coffee and normal (commercial) coffee. That’s right—the standard, old-fashioned coffee grounds found at any supermarket are completely different from the specialty whole-bean variety you may find at specific retailers, local coffee shops, or online storefronts. From where the beans are harvested to which roasting methods are used, specialty coffee offers a more refined and balanced brew, appreciated by coffee connoisseurs everywhere. And that’s exactly why we sell it. Ready to ditch the stuff and enjoy the best of the best? We’re breaking down what sets specialty coffee apart, why we prefer specialty beans, and what it all means for you and your morning brew.

What is Specialty Coffee?

Specialty coffee beans receive a level of individual care and attention that commercial coffee just doesn’t. In areas like Ethiopia, Kenya, Columbia—and even Panama, specialty coffee farmers grow their beans at higher altitudes, during the most ideal time of year, in the best soil, and hand-pick the coffee beans only when they’re perfectly ready. The high-grade coffee processing is an art and requires a revered skill that not everyone can or will do. This is also why the beans are sold at a premium price to coffee traders and roasters around the globe.

But even with all the care that goes into cultivating the perfect bean, how does it garner the “specialty” title? Let us introduce you to the scale. Certified coffee tasters from the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) grade coffee on a scale from 1 to 100. A coffee is deemed “specialty” if it scores above 80 points. However, between 80 and 100 are a few more distinctions: 80-84.9 is “very good,” 85-89.9 is “excellent” and 90-100 is considered “outstanding.”










Very Good



Below Quality

Below 80

Not Specialty

90-100 Specialty Excellent 85-89.9 Specialty Very Good 80-84.9 Specialty Below Quality Below 80 Not Specialty

Grab a cup of Haymaker specialty coffee and read the following where we break down the types of specialty coffee beans and how best to prepare them.

Types of Specialty Coffee

Before going further, it’s important to note that only Arabica beans are considered a “specialty” coffee bean. If you see “Robusta” beans as the ingredient of any coffee packaging, you're probably about to sip a pretty bitter tasting cup of coffee. And while not all Arabica beans are considered specialty (as there are still low-grade varieties floating around), Haymaker exclusively uses 100% specialty-grade Arabic beans in each of our blends.

Okay—back to the process. When a roaster receives specialty beans, they create a custom profile for each variety. Meaning, after inspecting each bean for color and quality, they’ll sample roast each batch to draw out and enhance the bean’s natural flavors. Only a master roaster has the education and experience to create a roast that highlights specific flavors and aromas, which is why a commercial coffee blend will never stand up to the taste of specialty.

Once the flavor has been determined, the full beans are packaged and ready to buy so you can grind them right before drinking. This not only ensures freshness, but it also gives you the flexibility to grind your beans to match the type of coffee you want to enjoy.

So, when you’re looking to buy specialty coffee beans, look no further than the coffee selection from Haymaker for whole-packaged Arabica beans grown in a high-altitude climate, and you’ll be on the fast track to coffee nirvana.

Overall: Is It Worth It?

Dating back to the early 1900s, coffee-drinking consumers have been seeking out specialty coffee (whether they called it that or not). Over the years, we’ve seen improvements across agricultural practices and roasting technology so coffee lovers can enjoy a higher-quality brew. However, the biggest barrier to entering the specialty-coffee world seems to be the price. We get it—a 1-lb bag of grocery store brand coffee grounds will be much cheaper than a bag of beans harvested by hand. But it’s the price difference that offers you a consistently aromatic, rich flavored coffee, compared to a bland and bitter taste from the supermarket varieties.

If the cost is the only thing holding you back, you can buy Haymaker’s specialty coffee and get FREE shipping on any order over $35. Save more on our Bundles! With a bag of beans and an insulated mug, you’re ready to enjoy everything that’s special about specialty coffee. Shop today and enjoy it hot, iced—any way you like.