Sure, the name seems pretty self-explanatory, but do you really know what single-origin coffee means and how important it is to buy and support it if you’re a coffee drinker? Read on and you shall.
What Does it Mean Exactly?
The simplest definition of “single-origin” refers to a specific coffee (not a blend like multi-origin coffee) that’s been sourced from one grower or producer in a single country; similarly, if you see coffee marked “single farm” or “single estate”, that means that coffee has been sourced from one farm or estate. Some coffee labels will include these terms on their bags- often including other specifics like the name of the farm/estate and the specific lot # where the coffee was grown. Single-origin coffee provides information that is not only valuable to the producers and distributors, but increasingly growing more and more important to have among coffee drinkers.
Most single-origin blends are higher quality and are distinct to an area- the growing conditions and methods vary from country to country, so it’s an added bonus that single-origin coffee is often more unique when compared to multi-origin blends.
Yet single-origin coffee means so much more. It is not only about deeper understanding of and education about coffee, but about offering a personal and intimate way to enjoy it too. Forget the newspaper, you’ll be reading the bag your coffee came in.
Single-origin Coffee and the Modern Coffee Industry
Coffee is about quality. These days, high quality and specialty coffees- as well as different brewing methods- are becoming increasingly more and more in demand in coffee shops and roasteries around the world. Since the majority of single-origin crops are high quality, chances are high that you’re drinking single-origin coffee more regularly than you realize (especially if you go out for coffee).
The coffee industry in 2017 is all about innovation and balance. It’s about creating and experimenting. Without innovative movers and shakers in the coffee world, we wouldn’t have cold or flash brew coffee and the pour-over device would never have been invented. Higher quality single-origin coffee offers baristas and roasters alike an opportunity to present the best product for their experimentation.
Single-Origin Growing Regions
Not only are baristas and roasters experimenting, but growers are too.
With increasing demand for single-origin coffee, the supply end is becoming competitive as more and more coffee farmers worldwide are catching on to its popularity. Because of this, specialty coffee farmers are constantly trying to create ways to improve their production processes in order to keep up with the ever increasing demand that is starting to become evident around the world.
Aside from production and economics, experimentation in growing regions also takes the form of trying to improve cultivation by growing different varietals of coffee utilizing various methods (like growing coffee in the sun vs shade, for example) in order to truly see what produces the best product.
Why You Should Buy it?
No doubt the modern day consumer has cause to be wary and particular about the products they buy. Single-origin coffee’s transparency about where it comes from, who the growers are, and how that particular brand is cultivated and produced helps put you at ease by lending credence to its quality and integrity. Isn’t that what you look for in a product?
It also goes without saying that you are single-handedly contributing to a coffee grower’s livelihood without transatlantic travel each time you buy single-origin coffee beans. Did you want some warm fuzzies to go with your coffee?
If you’re looking for high quality coffee that offers an educational yet personal touch to your morning and/or afternoon routine, consider buying single-origin coffee next time you run out.