Both blends and single-origin coffees offer unique, expertly balanced flavor. The difference lies in how these coffees are sourced and selected.
WHAT IS SINGLE-ORIGIN COFFEE?
Single-origin coffees are created using beans sourced from one location. “Location” generally means coffee-growing regions, which are well-defined. The beans don’t necessarily come from the same farm or plantation; those that do have their own, more specialized category called microlots or single-estate coffees.
By coming from a single region, these coffees capture the flavors of one particular area. Drinking single-origin coffees is a bit like taking a trip through coffee country, because each cup allows you to taste the differences produced by climate, bean variety, and production method. Many coffee connoisseurs often prefer these types of coffees because of the unique drinking experience they offer.
SINGLE ORIGIN AT A GLANCE
- All beans come from one region
- Often presented in a light or medium roast to highlight regional differences in the bean
- Unique flavors reflect the coffee’s origin
- Requires cupping experience and established contacts for sourcing beans
WHAT IS A COFFEE BLEND?
Blends are produced from beans sourced from a variety of locations and then mixed together. Creating the perfect blend takes scientific skill and requires coffee roasters to understand how the pairings of various beans work together.
The ideal is to combine beans with different profiles to create a perfectly balanced ratio of flavor and acidity. When done correctly, the result is a smooth, well-rounded cup that leads to a pleasurable drinking experience. They can also be crafted for specific purposes or brewing methods, such as espresso or breakfast blends.
Coffee blends are popular because the individual flavors are not as strong as those in single-origin coffees. They are also generally offered in a larger variety of roasts, from light to dark, meaning that coffee lovers can enjoy them in the roasts they prefer.
BLENDS AT A GLANCE
- Beans come from a variety of locations and are combined together
- Smooth, well-rounded taste
- Beans can be blended together before or after roasting
- Offered in a variety of roasts
- Requires skilled Master Cupper with experience roasting and creating blends