Article: Single Origin or Blend? Where's the difference?
Single Origin or Blend? Where's the difference?
You've probably come across the terms single origin or blend while searching for the perfect coffee. The latest trend can now be found in every roastery and even Starbucks has not let it go: single-origin coffees. But what does that actually mean? We explain what the hype is all about.
Coffee is no longer just a way to wake up these days - there has been a real craze for the perfect coffee. Manufacturers competed to see who would offer the gentlest roasting, who would produce in the most environmentally friendly way, and who would discover the best growing area for their beans. The latest trend "single origin" is about coffees that come from just one growing area. They promise more traceability and exclusivity than their competition, the blend mixes.
Single Origin – The only good coffee?
The English term "single origin" refers to the origin of the coffee. A coffee may only be named that way if the beans come from a single growing region and have not been mixed. This trend has become increasingly popular with coffee lovers, as we want more individuality and exclusivity in times of mass industry. Also with our coffee.
The single origin can also convince with its high quality standards. Because the beans are not blended, they must be of high quality to leave a good flavor profile. They come from cool highland regions where the coffee can develop its aroma more slowly and therefore more intensively.
Selection continues during the harvest: only the ripest coffee cherries are picked from the bushes by hand (also called "picking"). In contrast to "stripping" (here the entire bush is stripped off), it can be guaranteed that no unripe cherries get into the coffee and distort the taste.
Another difference to blend mixtures lies in the roasting process: In order to preserve all the typical flavor facets of origin, a particularly light roast is selected. In this way, the single origins unmistakably reflect the country from which they come. Even nuances of surrounding plants are transferred to the coffee bean and give it aromas that know no bounds from floral-fruity to nutty-chocolate.
So why are there still blends at all?
Single origin coffees have a major disadvantage. Due to the annually fluctuating solar radiation and rainfall, the aroma is slightly different every year. Similar to what we know from wine, this also applies to coffee beans.
With blend mixtures, these fluctuations can be compensated for by adjusting the mixing ratios. If the harvest in a region is not satisfactory, a better area is simply chosen for the year.
But the key reason why we love blends is different: through a skillfully balanced mixture, they combine the advantages of different varieties and cover up weaknesses in taste. This creates a particularly harmonious and complex coffee.
Does blend also mean inferior quality?
The big coffee producers like to take advantage of the blend to mix in inferior coffee beans and thus reduce costs. This has affected the image of the blend, but one should not generalize about this. Apart from a few black sheep, the blend is in no way inferior to the single origin in terms of quality. There are many premium blends created by professional sommeliers and roasters. And not for cost reasons.
Our bestseller is also a blend mixture.
Conclusion: Single Origin or Blend?
Both varieties, single origin or blend, have their appeal and can score in different ways. Whether you like single origin or blend better depends entirely on your personal taste - and how keen you are to experiment.
If you like to try something new and are looking for unusual taste nuances in your coffee, you should go for a single origin next time you buy it. If you would rather enjoy the usual round and harmonious coffee compositions, stick to blend mixtures.
If you can't decide, try our MyCoffeeCup Grand Selection. It unites our
excellent compositions with the best single origins.