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What is a single origin coffee?  - Coffee Life, a blog by EspressoWorks

Shopping for coffee seems to get more difficult every time you step into the coffee aisle at the grocery store. There are endless options when it comes to coffee blends, flavors, and other varieties to choose from. You might have noticed the term “single origin” show up on your coffee labels and perhaps you’ve wondered, “What is a single-origin coffee?”

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of what a single-origin coffee is, you should know that the reason why people are so obsessed about the origin of their coffee in the first place is because the environment where the beans are grown will ultimately have an impact on how the coffee tastes. And because nothing beats a delicious cup of your favorite coffee, people are now actively seeking out coffee from these particular regions.

True coffee lovers like to keep tabs on the whereabouts of where their coffee was grown because they want to know where to look when they want to indulge in that flavor again. Developing a palette like this will help you to taste and appreciate the distinct notes that each coffee offers.

What makes single origin coffee so special?

Single-origin coffee means that it came from a single country, rather than several (which would make it a blend). Because coffee beans are grown differently around the world, natural elements like the climate, elevation, and other factors can impact the way that it tastes.

When you’re drinking a single origin coffee, then you get to taste all of these elements, which are distinct to that location where it was grown. It becomes a celebration of all of the effort that went into growing the coffee beans, and those hardworking individuals that grew them.

For this reason, when you sip on your single origin coffee mindfully, you’ll recognize all the ways that your cup of brew is special — beginning from the very start, right at the source.

Where do single origin coffees come from?

Single-origin coffee allows drinkers to taste the unique notes that originate based on where the beans are grown; and eventually, they’ll be able to recognize the difference in flavor based on their origin.

To give you a head start, here are some of the flavors that are often associated with specific regions:

  • Central Americasmooth and balanced
  • South Americamedium-bodied, sweet
  • Africafull flavor, strong aroma
  • Middle EastSweet, fruity hints
  • Ethiopiaflavors range from sweet to refreshing
  • Sumatrafull-body, earthy, rich

What is the difference between single origin and single estate?

Just when you thought you had your coffee figured out, it gets slightly more complicated. Single-origin coffee generally refers to coffee grown in the same country, however, you can go even deeper than that, to single estate coffee — which as the name suggests, means the beans were grown from a single farm.

If you’re really dedicated to drinking coffee from a specific single source in order to really taste it in all of its glory, then you can even choose beans that come from a single genetic variety. When you zero in on this type of distinction for your coffee, then you’re able to really stop and appreciate your single origin coffee’s characteristics that make it unique and delicious. 

What difference does single origin coffee make once it’s brewed?

Although we’ve dedicated most of this blog to explain what a single origin coffee is, it doesn’t mean that this type of coffee is meant for you. Single-origin coffee isn’t specifically better than blends. Blends also are unique in their own ways and are an art that’s also created by equally dedicated growers and roasters to bring you tasty combinations and flavor profiles that you cannot resist.

Should I drink single origin coffee or blends?

Blends bring together the flavor characteristics of different beans, which are combined to create flavors that everyone will love. By showcasing the best flavor aspects of each bean together, the blend offers a unique experience that your taste buds won’t forget.

To figure out which coffee is the best one for you, here are a few things to take into consideration: Are you looking for a well-rounded taste that you can count on? Are you new to coffee? Are you mostly interested in complex, vibrant flavor? Then a blend might be what you’re looking for.

If you’re truly interested in getting familiar with all of the unique hints of flavors from coffees from around the globe, then explore the wide world of single-origin coffees from the many different regions that they come from. These concentrated flavors highlight all of the beauty of dedication of coffee bean growing, roasting, and brewing. Get in on the action and get ready for a delicious journey right in your own kitchen.