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What is Premium Coffee?

By S. Zaimov
Updated May 16, 2024
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Premium coffee is coffee made from uniquely flavored beans that are processed with special care. This type of coffee is usually relatively expensive, but is preferred by some people for its taste. Premium coffee beans are typically grown at select geographical locations, such as parts of the Caribbean.

There are a number of different stages that coffee goes through before being delivered to the consumer. The beans are usually planted, grown, and harvested at a single location before being relocated elsewhere to be roasted, packaged and shipped around the world. The production of premium coffee often depends on specialists doing these jobs in each of these production stages.

Coffee beans must be planted not only in the right type of soil, but also at the correct altitude to stimulate their growth. Premium coffee is often grown in microclimates, which are atmospheric zones with special properties that differ from the surrounding area. Microclimates are often used for also growing other crops that require specific heat and humidity conditions.

Another important aspect in preserving the potential of premium coffee is picking the coffee beans at the right time. This is a process called harvesting, that typically involves a group of workers that gather and collect coffee cherries when they are ripe and ready for processing. During this phase, the cherries are peeled and cleaned. This raw product is called green coffee. When producing premium coffee, it is often crucial that a coffee cherry is dried at the right pace and stored at optimum conditions to turn it into a coffee bean.

Various methods exist for roasting and brewing coffee into the final product. The main goal of a coffee roaster is to use the right equipment and techniques in order to preserve the unique flavor of the beans. Roasting involves heating the beans at the right temperature until they expand and change properties, such as color and taste. The beans may then be ground or crushed into smaller particles to prepare them for brewing. Specialty coffee requires these particles to be of an exact size to preserve their quality.

The final process in coffee-making is usually brewing. Coffee can be prepared and served in various ways. Espresso and cappuccino are examples of specific coffee drinks. Brewing premium coffee usually entails boiling ground beans in a certain quality and quantity of water, at the right temperature. Before beans are packaged and shipped, most specialty producers brew and taste their product to ensure it holds up to the desired standards of quality.

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Discussion Comments

By sunshined — On Aug 12, 2012

@myharley-- I think the differences are everything you mentioned. When we were in Hawaii I tasted some premium Kona coffee and it was the best coffee I had ever tasted.

I bought some to bring home with me so I could enjoy that coffee when I got home. You could even tell from smelling the coffee in the bag, that it was a premium coffee.

By myharley — On Aug 11, 2012

I know there is a big difference in price between premium coffee and some of the cheaper brands, but what is the biggest difference?

Is it the coffee beans or when they are picked and the way they are roasted?

By SarahSon — On Aug 11, 2012

Paying extra for premium coffee beans is one thing I don't mind doing. I brew my own coffee at home in the morning and take it with me on the way to work. I figure this saves me a lot of money doing it this way than stopping at a local coffee shop every morning.

I am also particular about the kind of water I use in my coffee, as I think that also makes a difference. I grind my beans fresh every morning, add pure water, and enjoy the best premium coffee taste.

I know some people love flavored coffee, but for me this masks the true taste of the coffee. If I am drinking a high quality premium coffee, I love to taste nothing but the coffee and don't like to cover it up with any kind of flavor.

By LisaLou — On Aug 10, 2012

I used to think there wasn't much difference in the quality of coffee and would buy coffee that was the cheapest price.

Once I started tasting some of the premium coffees, I quickly started preferring them. There really is a difference in taste and quality, and I have a hard time going back to drinking cheap coffee.

If I am in a place that is not serving premium coffee, sometimes I have a hard time drinking it. Even when I try to spice it up with flavored creamers, it still doesn't taste very good.

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