The words ‘coffee origin’ always reminds me of getting on a plane and heading off overseas into the unknown. It speaks of culture, exotic flavours and digging deep into an unfamiliar and fascinating world. But what does it really mean when it comes to coffee in your cup?
Single Origins are all about flavour. Not all coffee beans taste the same. Every bean will taste and smell different based on the growing conditions. The altitude, the soil, the humidity, the local eco-system, the farming and processing techniques all play a huge part in the flavour of the coffee crop. In a coffee blend, you’re tasting a combination of different beans from different countries mixed together, whereas with a Single Origin, you’re tasting nothing but the flavours produced by one single country, region or sometimes even single farm. Which leads us to…
Single Origin can mean a lot of different things. This is where you’ll see variances from roaster to roaster. A Single Origin can refer to a single country, producer/cooperative, region or farm. What does this mean? Well, it’s really about traceability. Having a deeper understanding of the origin and growing conditions of the bean allow us as a roaster to decide on what we want and look for when purchasing coffee to roast. This is where Fairtrade is really important.
Besides the ethical insurances that Fairtrade provides, it also allows you to trace the true origin of a coffee. Having access to information about the producers themselves, the conditions of the workers and the processing techniques used the cooperative all helps with profiling a bean and assessing the quality. Fairtrade works closely with farmers to ensure a constant flow of information and up-skilling with quality control at the forefront. This relationship encourages creativity and experimentation in both farming and roasting resulting in amazing flavours and truly unique coffee.
At the end of the day, this will ensure that you’re paying for a higher quality coffee that has been farmed and then roasted with love instead of just a label with questionable processing techniques and conditions.
Single origin vs blends
So what’s the real difference? If you’re a routine person, you like your coffee in the morning with your news page opened on your iphone (does anyone read the paper version anymore?), you’ll probably stick to a blend. They’re stable, predictable and perfect for milk-based drinks. But if you’re ready for adventure and love variety, you’ll go gah-gah for an origin. It’s like getting on that plane- it’s different, it’s the unknown, it’s an adventure for your taste buds!
Single origin coffee has become more popular with the pour over and Aeropress coffee styles of brewing. Flavours are clear and not muffled by milk or choccy on the top!
Sacred Grounds Sumatran origin
So now to introduce you to our Origin of the month, all the way from Western Sumatra, Indonesia. This coffee is sourced from the Permata Gayo Coop in the Gayo region of Sumatra. This coop was formed in 2006 and now has around 3,089 members. It achieved its Fairtrade certification in 2008 and now produces some of the finest organic Fairtrade coffee in the world.
The people of the Gayo region have used their Fairtrade premium to create environmental education programs, to purchase tools and provide medical assistance for women. They’re big on helping women to become independent, hiring them in the processing plants and training them in financial management.
And how does it taste? Plentiful rainfall, high altitude and humidity all contribute to the unique flavour of Sumatra Gayo coffee beans. It has a lovely bright, tangy coffee with hints of dark cocoa (for all you chocolate addicts) and blackcurrant and soft spice notes. I love how you can actually taste all those beautiful flavours in the one sip! Instead of just making a coffee for a caffeine hit or out of habit, why not try an amazing origin or two? Buy our Sumatra Origin here.