Over the past year, as more people have worked from home, coffee lovers have had the opportunity to try coffees other than their typical Starbucks. Home baristas are experimenting with speciality coffee, grinding their own beans and brewing cold brew, Japanese iced coffee, espresso, and pour-overs in their kitchens. As a result, they’re discovering a whole new universe of coffee beans out there, one of which is single-origin coffee.
The majority of third-wave speciality coffee firms sell both single-origins and blends, but what’s the difference and what should you buy and drink?
What exactly is single-origin coffee?
Single-origin coffee is derived from a single producer, crop, or location in a single country.
“Single-origins are small lots, and depending on how granular you get, single-origins can be from a single country or region, and you can go all the way down to a specific lot size, which would be a small section of a [coffee] farm where they’re growing one specific type of coffee,” Jeremy Brooks, Verve Coffee Roasters’ head of sourcing and green coffee buying, explained.
Brooks continued, “Single-origins really accentuate the terroir of a single region — how the coffee tastes in that place.” “Single-origins are often quite representative of the country from which they were obtained. Ethiopian single-origin coffee is like eating a peach, according to anecdotal evidence. We can play around with blends and place them in a way that actually offers you a little greater dynamic range: instead of a peach, you get a peach cobbler.”