Many coffee lovers are looking for better coffee from various roasters, but there are many coffee enthusiasts which are not certain what exactly are single-origin coffee roasters. So, what is the definition of better coffee? Better coffee means different things based on individual taste, requirements, and type of coffee, but in reality, it’s about flavor and taste. Everything else is secondary. It makes sense.
After you read all the types of premium coffee that exist, and all commercials about all the blends and types of coffee you can brew, it’s sometimes confusing or blurry to find the best coffee. It’s even more confusing when you visit a cafe or a coffee roaster that has many types of coffee to choose from.
There are several ways to decide which is the best premium coffee for you. One is if you know
for example that you want coffee that has cocoa/chocolate flavors, at
least you’ll know which country origin provides (natural-processed) coffee which has that flavor. Second, a coffee lover could try a variety of roasted coffee at home or at different roast houses that provides coffee tastings. To me its the most accurate and exciting way to let your senses make the decision for you.
If you are shopping for coffee and are not certain,
carefully read the notes and description printed on the bags. Most premium coffee roasters are usually detailed regarding what to expect in each bag!
You’ll want to look closely at the bags anyway because you’ll
want to be sure that the coffee you’re buying has been roasted recently. Always choose the coffee roasted within the past two weeks
for the freshest flavor, and pass on the coffee that has an expiration date.
What is single-origin coffee?
Single-origin coffee meets your expectations of the same coffee beans from the same origin in the bag of coffee, and no other coffee mixture you don’t want in your coffee. Every bag of this coffee, from this roaster, is guaranteed that it came from a single coffee grower. Each bag contains coffee beans from the same farm, the same warehouse, and has the same roast profile, and no fillers, or blends included. These unique coffee beans provide the same exact great flavor and taste experience each time you drink it.
Not all coffees from one country will taste the same, any more than people from one country act the same. Heck, even people from the same families don’t act the same a lot of the time!
Single-origin coffee beans are seasonal and do not grow all year round, which provides less supply with high demand.However, these are the common generalities I’ve found thus far on my coffee journey, and they can give you an idea of where to start when shopping if you’re looking for a specific flavor profile.
How is The Flavor of Single Origin Coffee?
Based on the fact that single-origin coffee beans can be traced to the same coffee farm, it has a unique and special flavor that distinguishes itself from other coffees and has the same flavor and taste each time, and you can tell that after you taste it.
I wrote some articles about single-origin coffee in the Kona region of Hawaii. One was the Koa 100% Kona coffee, and the other was the Hawaii Coffee company 100% Kona coffee and are both single-origin coffee farms.The third article was a bout one of the healthiest coffee called single-origin organic coffee.
The main reason single-origin coffee is so unique it’s due to the special Growing Conditions:
- Continuous sunshine with constant temperatures around 75°F, but never below 60°F.
- Protection from too much sun by either cloud cover or shade which coffee needs.
- High Altitude! The higher altitude has a large influence on the taste and flavor of its beans. The elevations at which Kona coffee for example, is farmed (up to ~3200 feet) provides the coffee a very smooth taste.
- Lots of rain, regularly. The sunny mornings combined with light afternoon rain provide natural irrigation.
- Good soil drainage. Coffee plants do not do well if their roots are standing in the water for a long time.
- Manual hand-picking process is used to pick only ripe cherry from the trees for the milling process. Harvesting happens only when the beans are cherry red. No mechanical harvesting is used so there would be no mix of bitter green beans with red cherries.
Genuine 100% Kona coffee from Hawaii has an incredible aroma and flavor that includes a bit of honey, chocolate, brown sugar, and some fruitiness.
Other single origin coffee has different profiles.
Even though both farms produce the highest premium quality of coffee beans, they have their own unique and bold aroma and flavor, and their beans are not blended(mixed) to keep its flavor unique so they are truly single-origin coffee farms.
What is the difference between a blend and single origin coffee?
Single-origin coffee generates an original flavor profile, while a blend combines the flavors and aromas of various beans. Generally speaking, single-origin coffees are usually bolder with a more robust and exotic taste. Coffee blends are mixed together and become more balanced since the variety of beans complements each other’s profile.
Most of the coffee we buy as coffee lovers in retail stores and coffee shops is a mix of beans from various plants and countries around the world called blended coffee (normal procedure). With blended coffee beans, you might get beans mixed with pesticide-soaked beans. In other words no one really knows unless it’s a well-known brand like Lavazza which specializes in a high-quality blended coffee.
There is always the possibility that you can get premium dark roast beans mixed with under-dried, toxin-filled lighter roast beans. This is becoming the new normal. It’s just the way it is, and there is no way to know, unless you do your homework on single-origin roasters
There is also the price differential with single-source coffee being more expensive than blended coffee.
Why is single-origin more expensive?
To answer this question, I’ll go back to the Kona example for single-origin coffee which applies to the other single-origin roasters around the world.
Kona coffee in a 100% pure form (not blend) is pricier than blended coffee roasters. Because of the very high demand and low supply of the single origin coffee, Kona roasters can afford to pay higher processing costs.
Compared to the coffee farmers in other parts of the world who grow lower quality coffee beans, coffee farmers in the Kona region are paid higher wages. Coffee farming in the Kona region is very labor-intensive which results in a higher cost for its specific process.
Kona brand’s output is limited to this small region which has a large demand worldwide. The supply and demand market for Kona coffee makes it exclusive in the coffee industry. That applies to any single-origin farm, with higher demand than supply.
I do not believe that single-origin coffee is overpriced. The other coffee roasters are underpriced because they have significantly cheaper processes, and pay their workers low fair trade wages.
The retail price of the Kona coffee or any other single origin coffee roasters is higher than other coffee growers because their costs to produce their unique coffee are much higher.
It provides single origin farms the ability to pay their workers a higher fair wage and in turn, the workers maintain high-quality processes because they’re happy, loyal, and proud. That is what fair trade is about.
That’s why single-origin growers provide the best value that workers deserve. It makes sense that in return the workers pursue quality and distinction to get fair trade wages for
The growing conditions where coffee is grown have tremendous results on the boldness, flavor, quality, and aroma of the coffee bean. How coffee is grown has direct impacts on the farmers, pickers, regions and environment sustainability. Coffees growers around the World deliver unique flavor
notes based on the conditions in the countries they were grown in.
Each single-origin farm around the world provides us with coffee which was produced in ways that help
farmers manage their land more sustainably, protect the environment and benefit from improved livelihoods. That’s a good reason to look into single origin coffee, it’s a win/win for all of us.