The Ultimate Guide to Single Origin Coffee

Single origin coffee is a big name in today’s coffee community, but what exactly is it? If you’re a fan of coffee, especially black coffee, you’ve probably heard of single origin coffee.

Keep reading to learn more about single origin coffee and why you should add it to your must-try list.

Reading: Best single source coffee

at a glance: the best single origin coffee

single-origin coffee

what is it

single origin coffee is so called because it is coffee that is grown in a single geographic location, a single location is usually a single farm or plantation.

In addition, since the coffee is grown in a limited designated area, the unique characteristics of the beans can be preserved and recreated. however, there is still a lot of confusion among coffee drinkers as to what the “wow factor” behind single origin coffee is.

why people love it

There are several reasons to love single origin coffee. here’s a breakdown of some of the reasons why it’s so popular in the coffee community today.

flavor

Because of their authenticity, single-origin coffees have gained popularity with their distinctive flavor. some independent coffee shops tend to prepare single origin coffees, such as the unique flavor of coffee brands.

Many coffee lovers prefer single-origin coffee because it typically has a specific flavor or flavor nuances that are specific to that area. this is due to the fact that soil quality, altitude, shade, and general weather can greatly influence the overall flavor.

traceability

For many coffee lovers, the ability to track their coffee is an important feature. Knowing not only about the characteristics of the coffee, but also its origin will speak volumes about the quality of the coffee itself.

Single origin coffee has such a high reputation due to its ability to be completely traced back to where it was grown. This further solidifies the reputation of a coffee farm or brand as it can be held accountable due to its traceability.

quality

The most important factor in single origin coffee is its quality. Because it is grown and roasted in small batches, farmers and roasters can take a closer look at the growing and roasting process, sorting out bad beans and making sure each batch has the most flavor possible.

single source vs. blends

the two main coffee processes and packaging: single origin and blended coffee.

Although both are very common, there are many differences between these two types of coffee. the main factors that differentiate them from each other are price, availability, quality, and overall taste.

price

Single origin coffee often tends to be more expensive than regular blends due to its more complex and better controlled growing conditions. Farmers pay special attention to the quality of single-origin beans because single-origin brands have a greater reputation to uphold.

For many blends, farmers select beans from a variety of different places to create a blend. as a result, the flavor of blends tends not to be as specific as single origin coffees.

Because blends collect beans from several different areas, little attention is often paid to minute details such as growing conditions, filtering the beans for deformities, and encouragement to bring out the flavor that is passed bypassed with blended coffee processing.

availability

Harvest times can already complicate the availability of certain coffee beans, but access to single-origin coffees tends to be even more complicated. This is because many single-origin coffees tend to be seasonal, so they may only be available during certain months of the year. as a result, these roasts are also produced in smaller quantities compared to blends and larger roasts.

For blends, availability is virtually constant depending on the brand and the given blend. since farmers combine beans from a variety of sources, they are more widely available and easier to buy. they are also made in large quantities since the beans come from a variety of places.

quality

However, the main factor that distinguishes single origin coffee from other coffees is its quality. As a result of the careful cultivation of the beans, the quality of single-origin coffee tends to be superior to that of regular blends.

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In addition, the quality of single origin coffees is important because it will determine the overall roast and flavor of the coffee. single origin coffees are a favorite for those who enjoy a cup of black drip coffee.

Likewise, blends can easily fall into the low-quality category due to their combination of a variety of different grains. Since there are many different types of coffee beans involved in making a blend, there is a higher risk of misshapen and lower quality beans accidentally being mixed into a blend.

however, this is still fairly uncommon and hopefully shouldn’t affect the overall flavor of the beans. Many coffee drinkers who enjoy putting milk and flavor into their coffee will quickly become fans of coffee blends.

flavor

Perhaps the most important difference between single origin coffee and regular blends is the taste. Since single-serving coffees are highly uniform in their cultivation, composition, and packaging, their distinct flavors are easy to taste in single-origin roasts. This is why lovers of good black coffee prefer monoorigin because certain flavors and their nuances are already strongly accentuated.

On the other hand, coffee blends aren’t really focused on identifying a particular flavor or combination of flavors, but instead are focused on a melody of flavors. Coffee blends will generally provide a delicious balance of flavor, body, and acidity. Because of this, many coffee lovers prefer to enjoy their blended coffee with milk and extra flavor.

the three definitions of single origin

Since it can already be somewhat difficult to strictly and fully define what single origin coffee is, it is important to at least distinguish between the different definitions that exist.

When coffee lovers refer to single origin coffee, they mean coffee that is grown under three different circumstances. Since the word “origin” can imply several different locations across various sizes and contributing farms, it is important to recognize what the three main “origins” are that single-origin coffee can come from.

Most single-origin coffees typically come from one of three locations: coffee from a single farm, coffee from multiple farms in close proximity to one another, and coffee from multiple farms in the same country.

coffee from a farm/plantation

Some coffee critics consider single-origin coffee to come from a specific location. one of the most authentic and rare types of single origin coffee, considered by many coffee fans to be one of the highest quality coffees you can find.

some more snobbish coffee connoisseurs may consider this type of single origin coffee to be the only type of single origin coffee due to its exclusivity to a specific location/farm.

Because it is so exclusive to only one specific location, the demand and price for this type of single origin coffee can be quite high. most of them can range from a few dollars per pound to hundreds of dollars per pound.

coffee from multiple farms

The most commonly recognized definition of single origin coffee, this type of single origin coffee includes a handful of farms that produce the same coffee in the same area. this area can range from a couple of acres to several square miles.

This version of single origin coffee is so popular because it is easier for farmers and roasters to achieve, as it involves more than one specific farm. multiple farms allow for more crops to be produced, but also allow for higher exports and higher profits for farmers.

However, the main drawback to this is a slight loss of the exclusivity and authenticity that smaller farms can provide. Likewise, having multiple farms source beans from the same area leaves room for inconsistency in growing conditions and flavor nuances. although there is a possibility of this happening, the risk of error is still somewhat small.

coffee from a country

This is the loosest definition of single origin coffee, this includes coffee beans from any farm, as long as it is in the same country. For those looking to try specific roasts from specific countries, there are several coffee brands that only source their beans from one part of the world. Some of these larger single source coffees come from countries like Brazil, Kenya, Guatemala, Ethiopia, and Peru.

origin and specialty coffee

There are many versions of high-quality coffee in the world, but the most recognized is specialty coffee. Often many specialty coffees tend to be single origin coffees as well, as the different flavors created in single origin coffees are very rare and unique to a certain region.

According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), coffee that is considered specialty must score 80 points or higher on the 100-point Coffee Review rating scale. critics will classify coffee by bean size, mutations, deformities, growing conditions, etc.

To pass as specialty coffee, beans must be free of primary defects with a limit of 0-3 complete defects, a maximum of 5% above or 5% below the required screen size. in addition, they must also exhibit a different quality in one or more of the following categories: flavor, aroma, body and acidity. Not only that, but the cup of coffee must be free from flaws and must also maintain a moisture content between 9-12%.

Because of farmers’ close watch on single-origin beans, they can easily monitor the overall quality of the coffee. this is often what makes many single origin coffees also specialty coffees.

single origin and the third wave

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During the last few years, many did not consider single origin coffee as they do today. The rise in recognition and specialization of single origin coffee is mainly due to third wave coffee.

In summary, the third wave of coffee is a movement that has occurred in the last few decades. Coffee has been enjoyed by many people for the last few hundred years. however, during this time, many considered coffee to be just coffee, with no special variations based on geographic region, processing methods, roasting methods, etc.

Over time, there has been a cultural shift in the appreciation of coffee cultivation. the third wave movement focuses on the enjoyment and appreciation of authentic, high-quality coffee. With the third wave, single origin coffee gained momentum due to its detail to the intricate cultivation of the beans. this is how single origin coffees began to make their way into mainstream coffee culture.

best single origin coffee

single origin coffee is able to bring out specific flavors very well. therefore, it’s important to know what your flavor options are when it comes to experimenting with single-origin coffee. here are just a few of the most delicious coffees you can buy on the market today. workers bag these beans from a growing area, each with its own flavor nuances.

When it comes to brewing these coffees, our advice is to do it the pour-over method. the pouring process is a slower paced manual brewing process. as a result, this makes it the best method to experience the full flavor of the beans.

lifeboost coffee beans

lifeboost coffee is one of our favorites when it comes to single origin coffees, because all lifeboost coffee is based on a single origin. Grown on the shady slopes of the Nicaraguan mountains, LifeBoost has a variety of blends that are carefully grown and roasted, resulting in one of the most robust and healthy coffees out there.

one of our personal favorites from lifeboost is the dark roast, roasted with hints of chocolate, caramel and an undertone of sweet fruity flavor. lifeboost also goes the extra mile to ensure each batch is free from harmful chemicals, so each cup is smooth, flavorful, and toxin-free.

soul cafe belen gualcho

Alma Coffee’s Belen Gualcho beans come from a town of the same name in the Ocotepeque department of Honduras, located right in the middle of the mountains. the company explains that, with these sustainably produced beans, it was love at first sight, and we think if you try them, you’ll be hooked too.

The light roast is the perfect balance of fruity and sweet, with delicious notes of malt chocolate, green grapes and whole grain crackers. You’ll appreciate starting your day with this bright and pleasant coffee for its flavor alone, but once the caffeine kicks in (since lighter roasts tend to give you more energy than their darker counterparts), you’ll be even more grateful that you brewed a cup of belen gualcho.

stay with golden coffee co. making hope

ah, nashville. home of country music, hot chicken and…single origin coffee? ok, maybe the beans will stay brown coffee co. Sourced for his estate, La Esperanza Blend was not grown in Tennessee, but was roasted there!

Instead, these beans come from Colombia at La Esperanza Coffee Farm. They were farmed by Rigoberto and Luis Herrera, whose family has farmed the land since 1946! this infusion tastes a little buttery (who doesn’t want a smooth glass of wine?), and with its notes of kiwi, strawberry, and chocolate, it has a nice, deep sweetness you won’t want to miss.

aa coffee beans from kenya

kenyan coffee is known for its distinct growing regions that develop their own flavor profiles. They are typically well balanced, medium bodied, and have a strong, crisp flavor. Most Kenyan roasts are very flavorful and spicy, usually with sweet and floral undertones.

a sample of kenyan coffee that is a good start to try is the selection of 18 aa kenyan coffee beans. screen 18 grows its beans at elevations of 6,000 feet or more, ensuring they are healthy and tasty. plus, they also roast them in small batches to preserve the flavor and freshness of the beans.

yirgacheffe beans from ethiopia

These Ethiopian beans are lighter in body and typically have a lot of earthy tones. Yirgacheffe beans are distinguished by their earthy flavors with cinnamon and fruity undertones. These beans are typically roasted by roasters to a medium consistency and are well balanced in body and acidity.

Ethiopian yirgacheffe blend of freshly roasted coffee is just one of the blends that best exhibits these characteristics. This light to medium roast has a lemony citrus finish with a hint of mandarin orange that makes it refreshing to drink.

hualalai estate coffee with peas

Peaberry coffee beans themselves are some of the tastiest coffee beans in the world. roasters can roast their beans more easily and consistently. As a result, this brings out the stronger flavors of the beans.

Since it’s also a specialty coffee, peaberry coffee is even more refined. This is because workers sort the beans, making sure each one is suitable for roasting. A great brand to experience this type of coffee is Hualalai Estate Peaberry Coffee. It has a silky and smooth body, with hints of delicious spices, and will leave you wanting more.

final thoughts

There you have it! everything you need to know about single origin coffee and why it’s such an important factor in today’s coffee community. single origin coffee has a great reputation for its taste and quality among many coffee lovers around the world. therefore, it is essential to try it if you are looking to expand your coffee palate.

happy caffeine!

See also: What is the best-smelling coffee?

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