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 when looking for the perfect coffee. The latest trend can now be found in every roastery and even Starbucks hasn't missed it: single-origin coffees. But what does that actually mean? We clarify what the hype is all about.
Nowadays, coffee is no longer just a means of waking up - a real craze has broken out about the perfect coffee. Manufacturers fought over who offered the gentlest roasting, who produced the most environmentally friendly products and who had discovered the best growing region for their beans. The latest trend, “Single Origin,” is about coffees that come from just one growing region. They promise more traceability and exclusivity than their competitors, the blend mixtures.
Single Origin – The only good coffee?
The English term “Single Origin” refers to the origin of the coffee. A coffee can only be named this way if the beans come from a single growing region and have not been mixed. This trend has become increasingly popular among coffee lovers because in times of mass industry we want more individuality and exclusivity. Also with our coffee.
The Single Origin can also impress with its high quality standards. Since the beans are not mixed, they must be of high quality in order to leave a good taste impression. They come from cool highland regions where the coffee can develop its aroma more slowly and therefore more intensely.
Selection continues during the harvest: only the ripest coffee cherries are picked from the bushes by hand (also called “picking”). Unlike “stripping” (here the entire bush is stripped), 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 flavor facets typical of the origin, a particularly light roast is chosen. The Single Origins uniquely reflect the country from which they come. Even nuances of surrounding plants pass into the coffee bean and give it aromas that know no limits, from floral-fruity to nutty-chocolate.
So why are there still blends at all?
Single origin coffees have a major disadvantage. Due to annually fluctuating sunlight and rainfall, the aroma is slightly different every year. Similar to what we know from wine, this also applies to coffee beans.
With blends, 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 crucial reason why we love blends is different: through a skillfully coordinated mixture, they combine the advantages of different varieties and cover up any weaknesses in taste. This creates a particularly harmonious and complex coffee.
Does blend also mean inferior quality?
The large 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 it. 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.
Conclusion: Single Origin or Blend?
Both varieties, single origin or blend, have their charm and can score points in different ways. Whether you like Single Origin or Blend better depends on your personal taste - and how willing you are to experiment.
If you like to try something new and are looking for unusual flavor nuances in your coffee, you should choose a single origin next time you buy it. If you would rather enjoy the usual round and harmonious coffee compositions, stick to blends.
If you can't decide, why not try out our MyCoffeeCup Grand Selection. It unites our
excellent compositions with the best single origins.