Updated: Oct 29, 2019
Coffee origins and blends.
Coffee has been man’s favourite beverage for centuries. Today, an estimated of over 2,25 billion cups of coffee are consumed daily from different parts of the world. However, have you ever thought to yourself, whether ordering a cup of coffee at your favourite coffee shop or buying one online, ‘what does single origin mean? What’s the difference between a single origin and a blend?
Let’s us take you on this journey around the coffee world and discuss the origins and blends.
Single Origin- Exactly what it sounds like. Coffee beans coming from one specific region. This could be an entire country, or a specific farm or estate or group of local famers. Some coffee connoisseurs prefer single origin beans for their taste and flavour which is based on the soil, climate, altitude, shade and other factors from a region that gives the coffee beans a distinct flavour profile. Single origin coffee tends to be more expensive as it is seasonal, meaning one can only get at certain times of the year. Though the downside is, because of its distinct flavours, sometimes it might have a undesired note or taste which can become overpowering.
Coffee Blends – This is when coffee beans are taken from different origins and mixed together to produce a variety blends with a mix of flavours with a well-rounded and smooth flavour in one complex cup. This takes experience and expertise from the roaster, to mix the right flavour profiles from the origins and in the right ratio to come up with a specific taste. A talented roaster can blend taking the harsher edges off the origin, bringing harmony to the flavours, creating the best possible taste. The Blending craft is a great skill and art form.
Which is better? This is an on-going debate between Baristas and coffee connoisseurs, so let us know your opinion. What’s your take Single Origin or Blend? We believe It really comes to personal preference. Below are a few things to consider.
Blended coffee gives the intensity and richness in flavour which works well as an espresso shot as well as still allowing it to be discerned through the milk of a latte or cappuccino.
The flavours are well rounded.
Single origin beans, because of the finer taste nuances, generally aren’t well suited for espresso, as an espresso needs a mix of sweetness, acidity, and crema, which some of the single origins don’t offer.
A roaster typically goes through an in-depth trial and error process to find the perfect balance between one type of bean which is more bitter and the other one which offers sweeter notes.
The Single origin tends to taste better when it made using other coffee making technics like Drip Filtration (i.e. filter coffee), Immersion (i.e. French Press)
Some Coffee Connoisseurs tend to go for single origin more as it affords them the opportunity to experience one particular taste in its most pure form. Also often a reason why usually single origin lovers prefer their coffee black.
Some Coffee lovers prefer blends as it has a much more flavourful or balanced final product. A great mouth feel from a Brazilian origin, with good aroma from New Guinea and a chocolaty aftertaste
from the Mexican origin. Imagine it like a chef mixing different ingredients to make a great signature drink.
Coffee shops, tend to go for coffee blends as they tend to suit more of every palate so they can satisfy as many of their customers as possible.
There is consistency in blended coffee as it produces a well rounded coffee taste, once coffee of other origins are introduced, weaker areas of the base coffee are strengthened. This gives it it’s great, intense and balanced mixture of different flavours. Creating perfect harmony. When roaster roasts with the same ratio each time, they have better chances of acquiring the same taste in any given batch. This makes blended coffee great. If one feels like tasting in the unique characteristics and exotic flavours of coffees from different regions, different harvests, choose single origin. As we said, it boils down to personal preference.