Single-origin Coffee from Bean to Cup
Single-origin Coffee from Bean to Cup
Single-origin coffee is one of the biggest names in the coffee industry today. If you are a fan of coffee, especially black coffee, you must have heard the term single-origin coffee. Almost all coffee shops and cafes have the term beautifully written on their chalkboard outside. If you miss the sign outside of coffee shops, the name is everywhere on the internet, from Instagram to Facebook.
But then, what exactly is single-origin coffee, and why is it so special?
This piece will show you the beauty of single-origin coffee and why you should try it soon.
What is Single Origin Coffee?
Single-origin coffee is a special term used to describe coffee beans grown from a distinct region of the world. Coffees with the label "single origin" are any coffee beans that are homogenous in nature. Anyone can trace all the beans in such a park to one farm, one farmer, one producer in one country or region of the world.
In contrast to single-origin coffee, there is blended coffee. Unlike single-origin coffee, coffee blends are made from coffee beans that come from different places.
Therefore, coffee blends combine different coffee beans to give you coffee with the desired profile in taste and aroma. However, single-origin coffee allows you to enjoy the wholesome coffee profile of coffee beans as it comes from a particular region.
Why People Love Single-origin coffee beans
There are several reasons why people prefer single-origin coffee beans. However, here are a few reasons why it has remained a strong favourite in the coffee community.
Because single-origin is usually undiluted beans from the same region, they usually have a distinct taste. The unique taste and flavour are usually due to the overall effects of altitude, shade, soil quality, and climate that the coffee plants undergo as they fruit.
As a result, many coffee shops brew with these single-origin coffee beans to create a unique flavour for their coffee brand.
Coffee lovers usually enjoy the specific flavour overtones and taste specific to the area of origin of their coffee beans.
For some coffee lovers, the ability to track the origin of their coffee beans is a crucial characteristic. By identifying the origin of the coffee beans, you can easily know the traits of the coffee before you taste it. Also, the origin of the coffee beans will usually tell a lot about the quality of the coffee made from it.
Since single-origin coffee comes from single origins, anyone can easily trace the coffee beans to their growth. This makes it easy to hold the farmer accountable. As a result, most farmers put in more effort to solidify their brands.
Quality of the coffee beans
One of the biggest advantages of single-origin coffee is the quality that comes with it. That's because farmers cultivate and roast the beans in small amounts. Therefore, the farmers and the roasters can monitor the coffee beans more closely during the cultivation and roasting process. With the extra attention, they can easily spot bad beans and remove them so that each batch retains as much flavour as it can.
Types of Single-Origin Coffee Beans
When coffee lovers say single-origin coffee, they actually refer to three different types of coffee from single origins. The word origin can mean different locations of different sizes. In fact, there are three broad categories under which the single origins that single-origin coffee can come from.
Single-origin coffee can be from any of the following:
- Multiple farms in the same country
- Multiple farms close to each other in the same region
- Single farm or plantation.
Single Origins Coffee beans from one Farm/Plantation
For most coffee critics, this is probably the only type of single-origin coffee that exists. Critics say it is the rarest and the most authentic type of single-origin coffee that anyone can find. For most coffee fanatics, it is the coffee with the highest quality.
However, because of its exclusivity, it has a limited supply. Therefore, coffee is in huge demand and can cost a lot of money. Some of these single-origin coffees can cost as much as a hundred dollars for one pound.
As a result, some coffee lovers like to think they are not the only type of single-origin coffee.
Single Origin Coffees from multiple farms
Of all the coffee beans called single origins available today, these single origin coffees are the most popular. They are single-origin coffees that come from farms in the same area. The area in question can range from a few acres to several square miles.
This type of single-origin coffees is common because they are easily sourced since their production involves the cooperative efforts of multiple farmers and roasters. More farms mean more coffee beans and so more exports and more profit for the farmers.
Unfortunately, these beans are not exclusive and are concentrated in flavour as the single-origin coffees from small single farms. Also, the different farms mean that there might be inconsistent growing conditions and different flavour overtones.
Single Origin Coffees From a Single Country
This is the loosest definition that people give single-origin coffees. It brings together coffee beans produced in as many farms as possible so long the coffee farms are in the same country. Some coffee brands sell single-origin coffees that are only from specific countries.
The advantage of this is that these types of single-origin coffees are cheaper than the other two types. A majority of the single-source coffees sold today come from countries like Ethiopia, Guatemala, Brazil, Kenya, and Peru.
Single Origin and Specialty Coffee
There is some best coffee in the world that coffee enthusiasts call speciality or speciality coffee. According to the speciality Coffee Association of America (SCAA), speciality coffee has a minimum score of 80 out of 100 points on the coffee grading scale. During coffee grading, critics usually check the size of the beans, their deformities, growing conditions, mutations, etc.
For coffee to be considered a speciality coffee, the coffee beans must not have any primary defects. If at all there are defects, they should be three of them or less. Also, the size of each bean should not be more than 5% below or above the required screen size.
The coffees in the category should have distinct properties like aroma, body, acidity, and flavour. Asides from that, the coffee should not have faults; it should have a moisture content of between 9% and 12 %.
To be passed as speciality coffee, the beans must have no primary defects with a limit of 0-3 full defects, a maximum of 5% above or 5% below the required screen size.
Furthermore, they must also exhibit a distinct quality in one or more of the following categories: flavour, aroma, body, and acidity. Not only that, but the cup of coffee must be free of faults and must also maintain a moisture content between 9-12%.
Because single origins coffee comes from one source, they usually have similar properties. More so, farmers can work on their products to meet the required quality expected of their coffee. This is why most of the speciality and speciality coffees in the world today are single-origin coffees.