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What is the Difference Between Single Origin and Blend?

If you're a coffee drinker, you've probably seen the terms single origin or blend. If you've ever wondered what these labels really mean and which coffee is the best, then you've come to the right place! Read on to arm yourself with all the information you'll need to make your coffee choices fully conscious.

What is single origin coffee?

Single origin coffee means quite simply: coffee from one country. When green (pre-roasted) coffee is imported, it always comes from a single origin. However, a single origin label alone is not an indicator of quality or expertise. But in theory, it should mean you've tasted the specifics of that region.

What is a coffee blend?

The reason single origin coffee exists as a term is because the vast majority of coffees in the world are a blend. Most roasters purchase coffees from different origins and then blend them and roast them together, which helps produce a more consistent flavor and aroma profile. Its purpose is mainly to reduce and control the cost of production.

Problem with most coffee blends

Unfortunately, it turns out that most blended coffees are not of the highest quality, as the priority of most supermarkets and roasters is often to control costs and save money. Blended coffees tend to have a lot of flaws and be of poor quality, then turned off by over-roasting the beans so that everything tastes burnt. Consider over-roasting the beans like a piece of toast. If you lightly toast a piece of bread, for example, you can tell the difference between a sourdough and the average supermarket loaf. But if you burn that toast to a crisp, both types of bread will inevitably taste the same. Unfortunately, this has become standard practice in the coffee industry and to a point where many people assume they like dark, over-roasted coffee because it's the standard offering.

This method flattens out the denser features and also hides its origin – so these coffees are essentially non-traceable.

Which is the best for you?

As a general rule, single origin coffee is best for brewed coffee and blends are better for espresso - let's explain why!

Why is single origin best for brewed coffee?

When it comes to brewing coffee such as the V60, AeroPress or Cafetiere, we want to offer our customers transparency and a coffee that represents the natural properties of the source it comes from.

In order to achieve this and maintain the same consistency, we have created 4 flavor categories. This is to make it easy for you to always find a coffee you'll love, whether it's fruity, chocolatey, fruity floral or chocolatey fruity.

It will be everyone's favorite category like music genres. So if you really like a particular coffee, check which category it is in and you should always find a similar single origin coffee you'll enjoy!

Are single origin coffees good for espresso?

On the other hand, we recommend choosing a blend for espresso coffees - because it is very difficult to create a great tasting espresso with a single origin coffee.

The reason for this is that the espresso brewing method is quite harsh. Most coffees are well-balanced, but when you brew it as espresso, it's actually like putting it into an amplifier. Even high-end coffees with a rotten body, little acidity, or a single-note flavor profile can become wildly unstable.

A blended espresso allows us to find complimentary flavor characteristics. When judged correctly, coffees are better than the sum of their parts - versatile and delicious to drink.


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