Single Origin Coffee
Single-origin Coffee-Why it Matters?
“Single Origin Coffee”- your local coffee shop has likely displayed this offer beautifully on their chalkboard. Or perhaps you've seen it advertised on Instagram.
Did you ever wonder what it means to have a single origin? And why it's more expensive than a normal cup of coffee?
Don't worry, we're here to explain everything. We will look at what exactly single-origin coffee is, why it is important, and why it is so expensive.
What exactly is single-origin coffee?
The word "single-origin" is a small one with a big meaning. Coffee from one single producer, crop, or region in one country is often simplified to mean a single-origin coffee.
Thus, "single-origin" refers to a coffee category that focuses on one particular region or area where it is grown. The region can vary from a country (i.e., a single-origins Ethiopian), down to a sub-appellation (i.e., a single-origins Ethiopian Yirgacheffe), and even a single lot on a farm.
According to Habegger, the place in question can be anything from a coffee farming cooperative to a particular farm plot, or even a specific period of coffee picking.
With a single-origin coffee, consumers gain a deeper understanding of what they're drinking. Traceability is the most important characteristic of single-origin coffee. As a result, the buyer has an idea of exactly where and what kind of coffee they are purchasing rather than a blend.
What Makes Single-Origin Coffee Unique?
It is a fact that much of this coffee is considered specialty coffee, the reason is its grading and examination processes. During a grading process, a sample of specialty coffee beans is taken aside. In the process of examining the sample, the examiner will look for defects (sour beans, insect damage, etc.) as well as foreign matter. Moreover, they will measure how big the beans are compared with each other and with those of the same geographical region. Among other things, this process is what makes single-origin coffee so special and expensive.
Why Is Single-Origin Coffee Expensive than others?
Several factors other than the grading process contribute to the higher price of single-origin coffee. One of the key differences is that in most cases the beans are picked by hand rather than by machine. As a result, healthier and riper beans can be selected. In addition, since coffee can be traced to its source, businesses are examined more closely to ensure that they are paying their workers fairly and treating them ethically. Third, this coffee is often labor-intensive to harvest because it is hand-picked and grown in locations that are harder to access.
Does single-origin coffee taste better than blends?
It's a complicated answer to a multifaceted question, but just because coffee is referred to as a single origin does not mean that it has always better quality. Depending on the agricultural practices and after-harvesting processes, coffee can be high or low quality. It is essential to understand that by calling a coffee single origin, there is an expectation that there will be some transparency about where and how the coffee is grown. To be able to taste all the flavors of single-origin coffees, many roasteries roast them lighter. However, certain flavors will only emerge when roasted dark. Likewise, roasters also make blends of beans from different regions to achieve unique flavors that aren't possible from single-origin beans.
Which Coffee Origin Is Best?
Choosing the best coffee origin is just as subjective as choosing whether it should be single-origin or blended. Nevertheless, some countries don't generally produce good coffee. This is particularly true for countries that traditionally import their coffee. Despite being located within the coffee belt, Belize and Cambodia are not among the top exporters of coffee.
The coffee origins which produce Arabica beans are the best coffee origins. Unlike Robusta, Arabica grows at higher altitudes under specific conditions. There are no significant amounts of Arabica beans being produced in many Southeast Asian nations. African countries such as Ethiopia, Guatemala, and Mexico have large mountain ranges and export a large quantity of Arabica beans.
The final thoughts
Choosing single-origin beans is perhaps the best way to ensure you will get a great cup of coffee. This will allow you to trace the beans back to the farm and the region that produced the delicious cup you are about to consume. Comparing it with other single-origin coffees from the same region will give you an idea of what characteristics the bean should have.
When looking to try vibrant coffee flavors like strawberry, jasmine, or cane sugar, you should look for single-origin coffee instead of a blend. So, let’s try different flavors on the go by experimenting with single-origin coffee!