Commodity Coffee vs. Specialty Coffee | What You DIDN'T Know

Commodity Coffee vs. Specialty Coffee | What You DIDN'T Know

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages worldwide, with billions of cups consumed every day. However, not all coffee is created equal. There are two main categories of coffee: commodity coffee and specialty coffee. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between these two types of coffee and why specialty coffee is unique and superior in many ways.

Sorting and Harvesting

Commodity coffee is grown in large quantities and is usually harvested mechanically. This method results in a mix of ripe and unripe coffee cherries that are not sorted, resulting in a less consistent and lower-quality product. The beans are then transported to large processing plants, where they are washed and dried before being shipped to roasters.

On the other hand, specialty coffee is usually harvested by hand, and only the ripe cherries are picked. This selective harvesting ensures that only the highest quality beans are used, resulting in a more consistent and better-tasting coffee. Specialty coffee farmers are also more likely to use sustainable and ethical farming practices, which can have a positive impact on the environment and the people involved in the process.


After harvesting, the coffee beans need to be processed to remove the outer layers and reveal the green coffee bean. There are two main methods of processing coffee: washed and natural.

Commodity coffee is typically processed using the washed method, which involves removing the outer layers of the coffee cherry using water. This method results in a clean and consistent flavor profile but can strip the coffee of some of its unique flavors.

Specialty coffee, on the other hand, is more likely to be processed using the natural method, which involves drying the coffee cherries with the fruit intact. This method allows the coffee to absorb more of the fruit's flavors and can result in a more complex and unique taste.


Once the coffee beans have been processed, they are ready for roasting. Roasting is the process of heating the beans to develop their flavors and aromas.

Commodity coffee is usually roasted in large batches and roasted to a specific temperature and time to achieve a consistent flavor. This process can result in a lack of nuance and complexity in the final product.

Specialty coffee is often roasted in small batches by experienced roasters who use their knowledge and expertise to create a unique and complex flavor profile. Specialty coffee roasters often experiment with different roasting techniques and profiles to bring out the best flavors in the beans.


When it comes to tasting, specialty coffee has a distinct advantage. The unique flavors and aromas that are present in specialty coffee are a result of the meticulous sorting, harvesting, processing, and roasting methods used.

Specialty coffee is often described as having a cleaner, brighter, and more complex flavor profile than commodity coffee. The nuanced flavors and aromas can include notes of fruit, chocolate, floral, and even savory elements.

Try Our Coffee

If you're interested in experiencing the difference between specialty and commodity coffee for yourself, we invite you to try our specialty coffee at Royalty Premium Coffee. Our coffee is carefully sourced, roasted, and packaged to ensure that every cup is a unique and memorable experience. Whether you're a coffee aficionado or just looking to try something new, we're confident that you'll love our coffee. Check us out at and take your coffee game to the next level. Then, let us know what you think in the comments. Did you know about the differences between grocery store coffee and specialty coffee?

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.