Making the Transition from Supermarket Coffee to Speciality Coffee

Making the Transition from Supermarket Coffee to Speciality Coffee


If you have clicked on this blog chances are you have been to your favourite coffee shop, or visited the coffee geek of the family and wanted to enjoy that same quality at home.

You have trekked the isles of the supermarket, picked your bag of coffee, dusted off the coffee maker but you just can’t quite perfect the taste of your coffee.

So, why doesn’t the coffee you drink at home taste quite as good as your favourite coffee shop? The basic answer is the coffee quality. Commercial coffee like the ones you buy in the supermarket, whilst accessible, is for the most part poorly sourced and poorly roasted that has been on the shelves for upwards of 6 months. Much like wine, or food the packaging might be nice but if it hasn’t been sourced well it is not going to taste good.

From Farm to Cup

At Fidela Coffee we source all of our coffee directly from the farms of our family and friends in Nariño, Colombia. We are involved at every level, from the growing of the coffee beans, right through the processing, quality grading, shipping, roasting, and packing. We ensure great care is taken at every step which means all of our coffees receive an official Q grading score of 84+ (Q grading is simply the officially recognised scoring system for quality, similar to the 100-point wine scoring method).

All of our coffee is carefully roasted in small batches with specific roasting profiles (recipes in other words) to ensure optimum flavour. We put a lot of care and attention to detail in what we do, which results in a delicious cup of coffee.

All I want is a simple cup of coffee…

Picking up a bag of speciality coffee can be intimidating, there’s a lot of information about location, region, growing altitudes, flavour notes that sound a bit whacky. So why is it all there and why does it matter?

It’s all about transparency and highlighting quality. Much like wine, coffee grown in certain regions will affect the taste, as will the height it is grown at. Similarly, there are tasting notes there to help guide which coffee will best suit you. Do you ever pick up a bottle of wine, spin it round to the back and read how it tastes? Coffee is no different, in fact coffee is said to have more than 800 flavour and aroma compounds compared to 250 found in wine (there’s one for the pub quiz).

Does that mean you have to understand every single one of the tasting notes to enjoy a cup of coffee? Absolutely not, I certainly don’t taste every note in my glass of wine, but I still enjoy it.

As you drink more and more coffee, you will be able to distinguish flavours in the cup, as well as which type of flavours you enjoy. For example, I really enjoy a light coffee that tastes fruity, floral (think earl grey tea), and is sweet – others enjoy coffee with taste notes of chocolate and caramel.

I enjoy my coffee with milk and Sugar- can I add this to speciality coffee?

Absolutely. Whilst our lightly roasted coffee is best enjoyed without milk and sugar (we think our coffee tastes flavoursome and naturally sweet without any additions), you can add as you please. We suggest trying it without milk and sugar to start with, you might just enjoy it!

We would also suggest avoiding coffee with fruity or floral tasting notes if you are going to add milk. Fruit and milk don’t mix well. We would suggest trying a coffee with chocolate or caramel notes, they will pair much better.

How do you add the flavours to the coffee?

We add nothing, all of coffee flavours come naturally through careful meticulous growing and processing methods at farm level, accentuated when roasting. Have you ever had those white grapes that taste just like candy floss (we swear they’re a real thing!), or strawberries that taste so sweet it’s as if there’s been a full packet of icing sugar sprinkled on them? It’s a little like that – nothing added, just the wonderful flavours of nature!

I like my number 3 roast coffee – what coffee should I drink?

Commercial coffee tends to be roasted very dark, which can leave an unpleasant ashy bitter taste leaving you reaching for anything that will mask the flavour (milk, sugar, sweetener). We believe good coffee shouldn’t taste like this. All of our coffee is roasted lightly (think a number 1 or 2 on your supermarket bag of coffee), which means no ashy flavours.

But I can get my bag of coffee for £4 in the supermarket, why are your bags more expensive?

Commercial coffee tends to be cheaper because it is of a much lower quality grade, and the farmers who have worked year-round are paid very little. All of our coffee is graded as ‘Speciality Coffee’, we also work directly with the farmers to ensure they are paid a fair price. This means they can reinvest in their produce, but it also means they can better provide for their families and invest in their communities. Read more about our work at origin.

Any other recommendations?

  • Use filtered water – water makes up over 99% of your coffee, so removing impurities will help the flavour.
  • Use a recipe – you wouldn’t bake a cake without a recipe, would you? Whilst it might seem a bit over the top, the results speak for themselves. We recommend using 60g coffee for every litre of water. Kitchen scales will do the job!
  • Buy a grinder – freshly ground coffee will taste better than pre-ground coffee, and last longer before going stale. We recommend using pre-ground coffee within 1 week of opening, whole beans will stay fresh for up to 3 weeks if stored correctly.
  • Keep it out of the fridge – store coffee in an airtight container (all of our bags are resealable, just push the excess air out before sealing), and just pop it in the cupboard. Moisture and smells from the fridge will negatively affect your coffee.
  • Buy fresh – coffee tastes best when fresh, we recommend using our coffee one week after roasting, and before the best before date on the back of the bag. Never want to run out of coffee? Sign up to our subscription service to have a bag of coffee delivered to your door from only £11.