Coffee is a daily ritual in many parts of the world, especially in the US. Coffee was not very popular in the US until after the Boston Tea Party in 1773, when the switch from tea to coffee was considered patriotic. Fast forward to the 1960s, the demand for specialty coffee grew. Since then, coffee has evolved into two main categories: blends and single-origin coffee. So what is the difference?

colombian single-origin coffee farmer

What Does Single Origin Coffee Mean?

Single-origin coffee means that the coffee is sourced from a single area whereas coffee blends are a mix of beans from several origins. However, single-origin coffee does not simply mean it is from a specific country. The altitude, soil, and climate affect the flavor of the coffee beans, so different areas in a country can have different flavor profiles. For example, we sell two single-origin coffees from separate areas in Colombia, Cauca and Tolima. Single-origin coffees are selected from specific areas to create a unique coffee flavor specific to that area of the country.

roasted single origin coffee beans

Single Origin VS Blend Coffee

Now that we know what single-origin coffee means, what is a coffee blend? A blend is a mix of beans from multiple regions or countries. Most cafes and coffee roasters use a house blend, designed as a simple, well-balanced coffee that will go great with milk, sugar, and syrups, making it an excellent all-around coffee choice.

Also, most mass-produced coffee is a blend of many different coffees. While you may be able to get Colombian, Brazilian, or Ethiopian coffee from a mass producer, they use coffee from many areas of the country. For the beans to taste consistent, they roast in large batches, destroying some of the delicate oils in the coffee. These oils are what give single-origin coffee its distinct flavor. Read our coffee-tasting notes blog to learn more about how flavor notes are created.

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Artisan VS Single Origin Coffee: What is the Difference?

You may have heard the term artisan coffee, but what is the difference between artisan and single-origin coffee? Artisan coffee is an overarching term for coffee from small roasters who roast the beans in micro mills. Most artisan roasters sell single-origin coffee and a blend of single-origin coffees. Because we roast in small batches, we can carefully and evenly roast the coffee to bring out distinct flavors from single-origin coffee. Coffee beans are full of delicate oils that give the coffee a unique flavor. These oils can easily damage and ruin the delicate taste if the beans are scorched or heated unevenly. Artisan coffee roasters capitalize on the flavors of these oils by roasting and cooling the beans consistently. Single-origin coffee means coffee from a specific region, while artisan coffee means any coffee made by an artisan roaster.

ohio artisan coffee roaster

Is Single Origin Coffee More Expensive?

Single-origin coffee will be more expensive than mass-produced coffee like Folgers. However, single-origin coffee will cost nearly the same as a brand like Black Rifle Coffee. Why is single-origin coffee more expensive than mass-produced coffee? Large coffee roasters buy beans from around the world for the cheapest price possible. They then scorch the beans to give the coffee a standard taste, which ruins the unique flavor of the beans. Because single-origin coffee is based around a single location and artisan roasters do not buy the cheapest coffee available, single-origin coffee will be slightly more expensive than mass-roasted coffee.

single-origin coffee farmer

How Do I Choose My Coffee?

If you shop for single-origin coffee, you will notice each coffee has flavor notes and type of roast on the bag. As we mentioned previously in this article, altitude, soil, climate, and the roasting process impact the flavor of the coffee. Let’s discuss what these flavor notes mean.

What do Coffee Flavor Notes Mean

The Specialty Coffee Association The Coffee Taster’s Flavor Wheel gives roasters a standardized way to describe the taste of a coffee roast. These flavor notes will tell what the coffee tastes like. The taster wheel has 110 flavors split into several categories: spices, nutty/cocoa, sweet, floral, fruity, sour/fermented, green/vegetative, and others. Floral and herbal tasting notes describe delicate and fragrant coffees. Spicy and earthy tasting notes describe artisan coffees with depth and warmth. Caramel, chocolate, molasses, almond, and similar tasting notes refer to dark coffee beans roasted longer. Generally, dark roast coffees will have chocolatey flavors, and lighter, acidic coffees will have fruity and floral tasting notes. Coffee tasting notes help you find the single-origin coffee you like while shopping online or at a store.

single origin coffee beans

Coffee Source

All coffees are unique, but coffees from the same country will have similar characteristics. If you like coffee from one region of a country, you may like coffee from other areas. For example, we sell two single-origin coffees from Tolima and Cauca, Colombia. Both coffees have “roasty” flavor notes. The Tolima coffee has caramel and red grape flavor notes, and the Cauca coffee has chocolate and green grape flavor notes. Both coffees are from Colombia and have similar flavor notes but are slightly different. If you enjoy the Tolima coffee, you should try the Cauca coffee!

colombia single-origin coffee farm

How to Keep Single-Origin Coffee Fresh

The fresher your coffee is, the more flavor is in each cup. So, how do I keep my coffee fresh? The five factors that cause coffee to go stale are light, temperature, moisture, air, and bean grinding. Buying whole beans will help keep your coffee fresh because less of the bean’s surface area is exposed to air. Hot temperatures will also cause your coffee to lose its flavor. Storing your coffee next to your oven could cause it to lose flavor. Moisture and light will also cause the flavor to degrade. Storing whole coffee beans in a cabinet and grinding a portion right before brewing a cup of coffee will keep your coffee as fresh as possible. Read our blog on how to keep coffee fresh to learn more!

brewed single-origin coffee

Where to Buy Single-Origin Coffee Beans

You can purchase single-origin coffee from an artisan coffee roaster near you. Most artisan coffee roasters have a website where you can purchase online or visit a local coffee shop to purchase your coffee. We are an Ohio-based artisan coffee coffee roaster. Our single-origin coffees come from areas all over the world. Give one a try!

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