Coffee Blends vs. Single Origin Coffee

Coffee 101: Coffee Blends vs. Single Origin Coffee

There’s no doubt that when you’re exploring the world of specialty coffee for the first time, things can get a little confusing. There are nearly endless choices to make when shopping for coffee, and it usually starts with two terms that may be hard to distinguish for a newcomer to the scene: coffee blends and single origin coffee.

So what are the differences? And which should you pick? Let’s talk about it.

What Is Single Origin Coffee?

At its core, single origin coffee refers to any coffee that is sourced from a single (get it?) region, farm, co-op, estate, or any other individual coffee-producing entity. Single origin coffees showcase the distinct character and terroir of their individual origin and cultivation. Through the experience of drinking single origin coffees, you can explore the nuanced flavors associated with different regions, varieties, processing methods, and terroirs.

Why Choose Single Origin Coffee?

Single origin coffee is the best way to explore specific countries, regions, varietals, and processing techniques. Every single origin coffee will be a different experience, and even the same single origin coffee can have slightly different flavor profiles from one year to the next, as changes at the farm level will present themselves in the final product.

Are There Downsides To Single Origin Coffee?

Ultimately, it’s a matter of personal preference, but if you are someone who wants a consistent cup of coffee year-round, single origin coffee may not be for you. That’s where blends come in…

What Are Coffee Blends?

Simply (and maybe obviously) put, coffee blends are combinations of different single origin coffees mixed to create a unique flavor profile. Blending coffee allows us to highlight the best parts of each coffee, with the sum of the parts being a balanced, consistent experience that we can repeat all year long.

Why Choose A Coffee Blend?

Consistency: One of the main benefits of coffee blends is their consistent flavor. Because blends combine beans from various sources, they can maintain the same flavor profile year-round by choosing fresh component coffees with the desired characteristics.

Complexity: Blends can often offer a more complex flavor profile, as they can highlight the best attributes of the different coffees that compose them.

Balance: Unlike single origin coffee, where you sort of “get what you get,” blending allows roasters to intentionally balance the acidity, sweetness, and bitterness, creating what can be a more harmonious, consistent cup.

Versatility: Coffee blends are versatile and can be tailored for different brewing methods, such as espresso or drip coffee, making them a popular choice for cafes and home brewers alike.

Which Should You Choose?

When deciding between a coffee blend or a single origin coffee, consider what you value most in your coffee experience. If you want a consistent, balanced, and complex cup, a coffee blend might be the right choice. On the other hand, if you enjoy exploring unique flavors and value transparency and origin-specific qualities, single origin coffee could be a better option.

Have any questions? Drop us a line and we’ll get back to you soon!

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