What is “Single Source” or “Single Origin” Coffee?

May 12, 2014

Coffee connoisseurs aren’t the only people who care about the flavor of their coffee. As the coffee business continues to heed trends, many people are becoming aware of the growing and roasting process, as well as organic practices that are better for people, communities, and the Earth. People who truly enjoy the flavor of coffee often enjoy single source or single origin coffee because the flavor of the coffee is distinctive.

Our Recommended Organic Single Source Coffees

Fair Trade Ethiopian Sidamo Colombian Organic Coffee Fair Trade Sumatran Dark Roast

Single source/single blend coffee simply means that all beans in that batch come from the same source. The beans are not mixed with other types of beans from the same location, or the same type of beans from other locations. This brings clarity of taste that is distinctive and unique from blends; the particular grower can achieve their flavor goals with a variety of strategies.

Coffee is typically grown in regions that are high altitude, moist, and tropical, with an average temperature of around 70 degrees. Any variation in these conditions will affect the final product. Soil acidity and mineral levels, types of humus or fertilizer used, and the timing of the harvest all affect the way the coffee will taste.

Central and South America lead the way in coffee production, and Colombia and Brazil are popular growing regions, as well as Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Panama. The coffee that is grown in these regions is generally medium bodied and has mild flavor.

Coffee from Africa generally has a full flavor and gives off a bold aroma, while coffee from the Middle East has a flavor that is sweeter and has fruit undertones. Ethiopian coffee is unique because it is harvested from wild coffee trees rather than farms; this coffee offers a deep and rich flavor.

One of the most distinctive and identifiable coffees comes from the Indonesian island of Sumatra. This coffee has a rich flavoring that is filled with “earthy” tones and is full-bodied. For coffee connoisseurs, Sumatra coffee is easily identifiable due to its completely distinct flavor.

Sumatra coffee is a great example of why coffee growers choose to offer single source coffee. If you enjoy the flavor of Sumatra, you know you’ll always get that experience when buying single source Sumatra coffee beans.

Of course, drinking single source versus coffee blends is a personal preference, but for those people who want to take some time to truly understand some of the more subtle differences in flavor of coffees from different regions, drinking single origin coffee is the way to go.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Will May 16, 2014 at 8:27 pm

I could drink the Ethiopian for the rest of my life and be happy. It’s so bright and clean with a wonderful acidity. It’s used in many if the blends for that reason. Some think its too much when not blended, but I use cream and sugar and it works for me.

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