A Single origin coffee is a bean that has been traced back to one region or farm. It is never mixed (blended) with other beans from green bean to brew.
Smooth, sweet and refreshing with summer berry tones. This is the coffee that a cycling race was named after.
Coffee is grown in many different regions of the world. The best of these single origin coffees showcase the intrinsic flavor and quality that comes from a particular place. They are often distinguished by the name of their region on the packaging. They are able to demonstrate more nuanced flavors, that cannot be masked by the lower quality beans used in blends or the dark roasting required for commodity coffee.
The earliest coffee origin story involves a goat herder named Kaldi who noticed that his herd became more energetic after eating the cherries of a certain tree. He tried the berries for himself and discovered that they gave him the same effect. He shared the discovery with his neighbors who grew to love it as well. Coffee began to spread quickly through the Middle East and by 1714 it had reached Europe. It was greeted with suspicion by some but was widely accepted by the more intellectual and liberal population. Coffee houses became centers of social activity and communication throughout England, France, Austria, Germany and Holland. In some cases they were known as “penny universities” where people would gather to discuss important matters over a cup of coffee.
While there is some debate about whether or not coffee is a drug, the truth is that it can have addictive qualities for some. In general, though, it is not considered a harmful substance and it can be enjoyed responsibly when it is roasted properly.
The terroir of the region in which a coffee is grown can have a massive impact on the final flavour. Altitude, rainfall totals and soil nutrients are all factors in the unique tasting notes found in single origin coffees. The roaster’s blending and processing methods will also add to the overall taste profile of your coffee.
A coffee with a great tasting profile is often described as being balanced, well-rounded and smooth. Single origin coffees tend to have a subtle complexity and clean finish. A good example is our Sumatra Mendheling, which can be described as being syrupy, juicy and multi-dimensional.
If you are a coffee lover then we recommend trying as many different single origins as possible. This will allow you to explore the nuances of the bean and help you develop your palate.
Some single origin coffees are processed in a way that accentuates the flavour of the beans, such as natural and honey process. For example, Kenyan naturals are renowned for their sweetness and floral flavours whereas Rwandan honey coffees can be syrupy with a distinct orange & berry finish.
A blend is a combination of different beans from more than one single origin. Coffee blends are created for a variety of reasons, sometimes as an experiment and others to achieve a desired taste profile.
The specific terroir where coffee beans are grown affects the intrinsic flavor of the coffee. This is similar to how a Sauvignon Blanc from Napa will taste different than a Sangiovese from Tuscany. As a result, the characteristics of the soil, climate, and agricultural practices are reflected in the coffee that is produced. Each country or region has it’s own signature flavor that single origin coffee exemplifies. The flavors that are produced will depend on the soil conditions, altitude, variety of the bean, shade, and how it is roasted.
This is what allows us to offer a unique selection of single-origin coffees, each with it’s own distinct profile. Each has its own aroma and flavor that will take you on a journey around the world. Our single-origin coffees showcase the best of each region and the incredible work that is put into growing quality coffee.
Understanding these nuances takes practice and an attentive palate. However, with a little experimentation you will learn to identify the characteristics that make each single-origin coffee unique. Then you can decide which brew method brings out the most of these characteristics. For example, a pour over may highlight the floral and fruity notes of an Ethiopian single-origin while a French press could emphasize the full body and chocolate undertones of a Brazilian bean.
Our single origin coffees are sourced directly from farms in unique regions of the world that bring their own signature flavors to each cup. These distinct flavor notes are the result of a combination of factors including terroir, altitude, soil nutrients, rainfall totals and agricultural practices.
The best single origin coffees are bright and showcase citrus or floral flavor notes. They also feature a full body and often winey or nutty aromas that are reminiscent of the region from which they hail.
In comparison, blend coffees are darker roasted and lean towards chocolate, caramel and nutty flavors. Most specialty roasters use only the highest quality beans in their blends, as it’s pretty tough to hide a low-quality bean in a complex mix. Generally, blends are used to fill in gaps and achieve a desired profile but can also be created out of experimentation or even necessity.
The most common difference between a blend and a single origin is that a blend combines beans from multiple places while a single origin only uses beans from a specific farm or region. This allows a roaster to use higher quality beans and achieve a more balanced flavor while still being able to offer you a variety of flavors.