Explained: Single-Origin and Blends
By Dominc Tan
“Single origins are better than blends.”
You’ve probably heard this phrase uttered by coffee aficionados. Followed by something along the lines of because single-origin is coffee in its purest form. Or that blends are a cost-cutting measure – the disappointing equivalent of more ice and less coffee. Sounds about right, must be true...
Not so fast! As with most recreational pleasures, blanket statements are a disservice to the finer points. Delve deeper and you’ll find the devil in the details.
What is Single-Origin?
Single-origin coffee are beans originating from one region or country. Given its purity, it is served in a light or medium roast to emphasize its provenance. This translates to a denser, robust, and pronounced taste.
Noteworthily, single-origin beans are often only grown at specific times of the year, making them susceptible to weather fluctuations. Thus, each harvest is not exactly the same as before.
While this seems like a drawback, such dynamisms allow connoisseurs to enjoy different varieties of beans depending on the season or discover how the “same” beans taste in different seasons.
What is Blended?
Meanwhile, blends are created by mixing two or more varieties of coffee beans. It brings out the best of both (multiple) beans, producing a unique flavour profile depending on proportion and the extraction method.
Contrast is the name of the game here – bright exotics complement deeper notes, which are best served dark roasted. Done intentionally, the result is a cup full of complex aromas, texture and aftertaste that hit all the right spots.
To address the elephant in the room, yes, there’s a modicum of truth that low-quality beans are often found in blends. Big box brands typically do this to mask the flavours of inferior beans. But if you’re reading this, you’re probably interested in specialty coffee. Blends from specialty brands tend to use higher quality beans.
As you can tell, neither option is objectively better, what truly matters is the one you prefer, which can only be found if have a go at both types. Check out our range of Single-Origin and Blends here.