Ever find yourself sipping on a coffee from 7/11 or a shady cafe only to think you could have made a better investment? Could have gone for a Coke or a freshly squeezed juice but now you're stuck with a sub-par start to your day.

We know the feels.

This comes down to a few things, but for the purpose of this post we'll focus on one thing — the quality of coffee you are drinking.


Let's get straight into it.


It's easy to believe that the granules in a jar of instant coffee aren't the same as the golden espresso pouring into your latte cup, but unfortunately, depending on where they come from, there's a chance they aren't so different.


I mean the quality of the raw product — a green bean which is usually bought through various selling channels like auctions or brokers and then sold to coffee roasters who roast, package and sell a final product to cafes or supermarkets.


We usually refer to two different grades of raw coffee in the industry: specialty and commodity.


So what's the difference? In loose terms specialty coffee has to meet a minimum of 80+ on a scale of 100 when it is being quality graded — commodity coffee standards are lower.


Chain establishments usually use commodity coffee as it is significantly cheaper and produced at higher volumes which allows for higher profit margins and happier shareholders.


This obviously comes at a cost as commodity coffee often does not have the same crispy flavour profiles as specialty coffee and therefore roasters purchasing it often have to roast it slightly darker to compensate for less desirable tastes.


Final thoughts: next time your coffee tastes bitter after more than a few stops at a particular cafe don't blame the barista, it's likely the coffee they are using.