April 11, 2024

Season 1, Episode 53: The Declining Quality of Specialty Coffee - A Roaster's Perspective

By Oaks The Coffee Guy
Episode Summary:
In this podcast episode, I discuss my thoughts on the declining quality of specialty coffee over time. I use a recent experience with an expensive Kenyan coffee that failed to meet my expectations as an example. Despite this coffee going through an elaborate double-wash fermentation process, the flavor profile was underwhelming and one-dimensional.

I explain my perspective as a coffee enthusiast who has tasted truly amazing coffees in the past, coffees that were fantastic when roasted light, medium, or dark. In contrast, many current high-end coffees require very specific preparations to taste good. I speculate that the proliferation of complex processing methods nowadays may be an attempt to compensate for declining bean quality. While innovations can make an average coffee taste better, truly great coffee should taste great when simply washed and roasted. My hope is that by being transparent about my experience, I can have an authentic discussion about the state of specialty coffee. I aim to provide a helpful viewpoint for fellow coffee lovers, even if it means critiquing an industry I’m a part of.

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