For some coffee chauvinists, the origin of their favourite cup of Joe is quite often an important criterion that’s rarely overlooked.
Single origin coffee or single estate coffee has created a big buzz as of late and it has made people more aware of the growing popularity of coffee as a beverage.
But then again, coffee blends aren’t far behind in the race as well. A considerable number of people would rather opt for an equal/unequal blend of both Arabica and Robusta, or in some other cases, a blend of two or more single origin coffee as well.
To get a clear picture of which coffee is best (subjectively speaking here), we have to know what’s makes them different in the first place.
So, let’s dive into the definitions of single origin coffee and coffee blends, shall we?
Single Origin Coffee
Single origin coffee refers to coffee originating from a single region, estate, or community growing the coffee. One can go even further into the specifics such as individual farms, or lot to define the place of origin.
Whenever we hear the word ‘single origin’, we automatically attribute it to something that’s more superior in quality or characteristics. And to a certain extent we’re not wrong.
Most single origin coffee are distinguished because of their pronounced quality or flavour profile. Single origin coffee beans coming from a single place tend to have unique characteristics owing to reasons such as climate, weather, and topography.
Compared to coffee blends, single origin coffee offers more exotic and robust flavours than blends which may be perfect for some but might not be for everyone.
Sparked by the 3rd wave coffee movement, single origin coffee consumers stress on the traceability of the coffee and the methods of processing, which is also one of the most important characteristics of single origin coffee.
Coffee blends, as the name suggests are pretty straight forward. Different coffee beans from different places coming together to create one perfect blend.
When it comes to coffee blends, the art of balancing flavours is often the most important aspect of this coffee type. Coffee blends are not as overpowering as single origins and are blended in such a way to create a consistent, well-balanced flavour every time.
One can think of coffee blends as a recipe to making a perfect well-balanced dish.
Single origin coffee vs blends, which one’s the best?
Here’s the part where it gets tough.
Choosing one over the other can be a bit controversial as it is completely subjective and ultimately comes down to individual preferences. But for the sake of ya’ll, we’ll still list down the pros and cons of each and let you do the decision making.
As mentioned earlier, when you think of a coffee blend think of ingredients needed to make the perfect dish.
Sure, you can use any one of the ingredients individually, but you know they’re not going to deliver on what you want because they have individual flavours that are may be too prominent or weak on their own.
So, what do you do? You take the different ingredients, and you find the perfect balance to make your dish pop. That’s exactly how coffee blends work.
Coffee beans from different regions have different characteristics, be it flavour or aroma. For example, a particular coffee bean from one region may have all the fruity notes that most coffee lovers yearn for, but a coffee bean from another region may lack all these characteristics but have the perfect level of acidity.
Hence, these two coffee beans end up as a blend to better complement each other’s unique characteristics. Coffee blends are also made to create consistent flavour that is not present in single origin beans or cannot be easily replicated.
Coffee blends are also known to be perfect for espresso-based coffee drinks as they are more compatible with milk and sugar.
However, single origin coffee beans have a different story to tell.
You see, single origin coffee lovers tend to pay close attention to the intricacies of each coffee bean. For some, the untainted and pure flavour notes that accompany a single origin coffee bean matters most.
As much as they stress on the unique flavour of the coffee, single origin connoisseurs also put a lot of emphasis on the traceability of the beans.
If you’ve made it this far but you still haven’t gotten the answer you wanted, chances are you’re probably never going to get them.
To echo our own words from the previous paragraphs, the much sought-after answer all boils down to personal preferences. Some people are of the opinion that coffee blends are the way to go but single-origin champions would say otherwise.
All in all, you’re never going to know if you don’t try, so you might as well give a try before making up your mind.
On that note, how about some good cup of coffee from 7000 Steps, huh?