Specialty coffee vs. Shopping mall beans

Specialty coffee vs. Shopping mall beans

Quality over, well, everything else!

In this day and age of coffee, there has become an increasing awareness of where our beans come from, the people who produce our beans, the cost, the quality, the way we plan to brew with them, and scores of other variables that change the way we drink. 

For those who opt for just grabbing a bag of beans from the shopping mall or other retail center, there are a few reasons why one might want to rethink their coffee choices. Keep reading to discover how and why specialty coffee leads to a greater coffee experience than shopping mall coffee beans. As a bonus, we will include some great specialty coffee blends courtesy of 29 Coffee Roasters!


Specialty beans vs. Shopping mall beans

To get a good grasp on what makes specialty beans superior when compared to shopping mall beans, we should look at some of the resulting variables that come about when we brew. 


  • Freshness

This is an important thing to consider when choosing coffee beans. Fresher beans, like what one gets with specialty coffee beans like ours have a richer, cleaner, and generally better flavor and aroma. Coffee beans should ideally be bought as whole beans and then ground when you are ready to brew. This ensures that the beans maintain their freshness for longer when compared to pre-ground beans. 

Shopping mall beans on the other hand cannot promise freshness. Coffee beans at the shopping mall or the supermarket may have been sitting on store shelves for days, weeks, or even months! As opposed to specialty beans which are usually roasted and sent out to coffee lovers within a week of roasting.


  • Cost

This is an interesting one because, for some, the lower cost of beans will be a plus rather than a minus. But hear us out on this one! The lower cost in this case often reflects lower quality. When it comes to coffee beans or any other culinary masterpieces like wine or meat (if you eat meat) a higher cost will usually be indicative of a higher quality product overall. Though this is not true 100% of the time, we can say with a great deal of confidence that when it comes to coffee beans, you can rest assured more expensive beans will be a better coffee experience. When it comes to cost specialty beans will cost more than shopping mall or retail beans but the quality is well worth it!


  • Aroma and flavor

Though we touched upon this one with a freshness we just wanted to drive the point home. Specialty beans are an artisanal work of culinary art. It begins with the tender care and diligent cultivation of the coffee farmers, goes to the expert dedication to craft that the coffee roasters possess, and culminates with your own brewing practices. 

Specialty beans will usually have a keener, richer, and more delectable flavor, aroma, and mouthfeel. Shopping mall beans, however, can be bland, musty, moldy, too acidic, or too bitter. This is also a result of the lower quality of cultivation, roasting, and packaging that mall beans may exhibit as opposed to specialty beans.


  • The brewing experience

Specialty beans make any brewing experience truly spectacular. From the scent of the freshly ground beans to the pleasing aroma of the hot water meeting the grinds, to the stellar flavors, hints, and notes of the final brew, specialty beans are a good enough reason to roll out of bed in the morning for sure! Shopping mall beans, especially pre-ground beans, may result in a mundane, bland, musty, and mediocre coffee experience. One that does not exhibit great regional flavors and one that may lead to a pretty “meh” experience overall!


  • Sustainability and fair trade

When it comes to fair trade and sustainability, specialty coffee is the way to go. Specialty coffee beans will more often than not come from farms and collectives where the farmers are paid a fair and honest wage for their hard work. The higher cost goes to these diligent farmers. Specialty coffee beans will also usually be sustainable, this goes hand-in-hand with the higher tag price.


Though we cannot say all shopping mall beans are not fair trade or sustainable, we can say that some may not be. Meanwhile, nearly all specialty coffee, by definition is sustainable and fair trade.


Our picks for great specialty blends

Here at 29 Coffee Roasters, we have stupendous coffee bean blends to enjoy. Check out these keen picks from us!


  • The Espresso Smith Blend- This blend is fit for any proper coffee lover! The flavor and aroma palettes are right and good featuring biscuit, nut, fruit, cocoa, and some interesting smooth and sweet flavor and aromas to enjoy. This blend is superior to anything you could find at the mall!


  • Ja-Mocha Rock Star Blend- A superb choice for those who like a little milk with their coffee, our Ja-Mocha blend is a true superstar. This blend has amazing flavors and aromas on display including berry, sweet chocolate, and some creamy and rich hints and notes.


Specialty coffee beans vs. shopping mall beans

There really is no contest between specialty and shopping mall beans. Specialty beans possess a higher quality, taste, and smell better, are usually sustainable and fair trade, and lead to an overall better brewing and coffee experience to be had. We hope you get to experience this as well, courtesy of 29 Coffee Roasters' great specialty blend collection. Happy brewing!

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