Single origin or blended coffee, what are you into right now? Coffee purists love the adventure of single origin brews, it’s like the extreme sport of the coffee world, living on the edge! But a lot can also be said of coffee blends that’ll give your a smoother ride, making your taste buds dance. Both are great options but what’s the difference?
Like wine, coffee has particular characteristics depending on it’s place of origin. How are they developed? Different flavours are influenced firstly on where the coffee buds are grown. Higher altitude farms create vastly different flavours to those lower lying fields; strange but true. When coffee is grown in a cool mountain environment, plants and fruit, or ‘cherries’ grow and mature at a slower rate. This cruisy pace allows the beans to develop more intense flavour notes, particular to that region.
The type of coffee plant and when they are picked in the process of ripening also contribute to various overtones. Ethiopia’s coffee plants are some of the oldest in the world, which means flavours have developed over time, producing a particular combination, unique to this ancient country. Soil composition and wet/dry processing also effect the taste of coffee.
So how do Single Origin and Blends fit in? We’ve consulted our National Account Manager and Sacred Grounds Organic coffee expert, Paul Albano, for the lowdown on the difference between these fabulous brews.
So, how is Single Origin coffee defined? According to Paul,
“A Single Origin refers to the coffee grown in that single geographic area, region or co-op that produces it…”
This can be an entire country or smaller region within. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the same farm or estate as these have their own category called Micro Lot Single Origins which, Paul says, “…are guaranteed to have been picked entirely from the same estate, same field, specific altitude and harvested at certain times.”
To maintain the taste of a single origin coffee, no other flavours or single origins are added in. The coffee is purely and solely on its own with the flavours and nuances of that particular area. This is why coffee connoisseurs simply love drinking Single Origin. It’s not always guaranteed to be to your individual taste preference but it’s guaranteed to deliver a unique flavour that represents the region it’s from.
How to indulge in this taste sensation? Because of its distinct flavours, according to Paul, Single Origin coffees best consumed sans milk.
“Single Origins are best used as an Espresso or Filter coffee and served without milk. The aim being to truly discover its specific and unique flavour. By trialling a range of different origins it’s possible to expand your appreciation of each bean, its aromatics and subtle taste nuances and characteristics.”
If you’re feeling adventurous, check out all of our Village Series of Single Origin coffee and try one today!
More popular than its Single Origin cousin, blended coffees create a smooth, well-rounded drinking experience. There’s a real science, a skill to creating the perfect mix of coffee with roaster having to really understand how various coffee flavours work with each other.
“Just as a chef tries to create synergy…so too does a coffee roaster.” Barista Basics Coffee Academy.
This synergy is crucial when you’re looking to create a variety of coffee experiences that deliver quality results that are also consistent. This process gathers beans with different flavours, often from different countries/regions delivering a whole new taste. The beans are mixed and roasted together to perfection, so you can imagine how much taste-testing goes on before it’s ready for public use.
“The idea behind a blend is to balance the flavour profile. The Roaster may want a specific taste profile and therefore adjusts the type of beans other roast ratios to achieve the necessary flavour characteristics and acidity etc.”
This is why coffee blends are so popular. A smooth, balanced coffee is always a pleasure to drink. The flavours aren’t as pronounced as Single Origin, Paul says,
“Blends are best utilised as an all-rounder. Usually as the majority of coffee sold at a café run through their main grinder. They are user-friendly for Baristas and should perform well both as a “black” coffee but also with milk.”
So if you’re into your flat white, latte or cappuccino, try our amazing range of Sacred Grounds Organic blends.
When it comes to quality, it really depends on a range of factors with both Single Origin and coffee blends. Paul agrees,
“The Grade of beans is key. Secondly the way in which they are roasted. Thirdly the process to brew the beans and produce a beverage all are tangible but fraught with many variables.
These variables are what make the difference between an average cup and an incredible cup. Blends of high quality beans should generally produce a high quality cup if roasted and brewed properly. Likewise with Single Origin. The major difference in quality is seen when dealing with the highest quality beans, beans that fetch very high price per kg.”
In a nutshell, both Single Origin and Coffee blends can create beautiful coffee experiences with a variety of flavours to suit your taste. It all depends on how you like to drink your coffee and whether you enjoy intense flavours… or not!
Have you ventured into Single Origin or do you enjoy your blends?