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Single Origin: The History of a Bean

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Single origin coffee is a statement. It says, “I know where I come from!” Why is this important? You know where your coffee comes from, it comes from the store – already weighed out, waiting to be brewed. Well, that’s not good enough, here’s why:

Single origin, or single estate means that the beans you buy come from the same place, the same harvest, and are roasted in the same way. A reputable estate, or controlled region will be able to provide information like soil makeup, acidity levels, and flavor characteristics specific to that area. Since most of these estates are smaller, leftover beans being blended into the next batch aren’t a common reality.

Origin greatly affects taste with everything from weather to soil composition as a factor. Beans from Sumatra have a different profile than beans from Costa Rica or Uruguay. Blended coffees, beans combined from different regions, can be delicious but blending dulls the intensity of any single type of bean. The biggest bonus to purchasing a single-origin is the benefit of a purer flavor profile. Regions have powerful and specific characteristics; citrus notes, chocolate notes, or earthy tones are a few examples.

Single-origins tends to be stronger as their oils are not mixed and diluted with other oils from other types of beans in the roasting process. Because of this, single origins are becoming more popular in lieu of espresso, or as pour-overs.

Unique is the best way to describe a single origin coffee. Interesting and pungent flavors make tasting into a singular experience focused on nuances rather than the comfortable experience of drinking a blend. Both blended and single origins coffees are wonderful. Ultimately the decision boils down to selecting between drinking in a specific place, or drinking a cohesion of flavors.  

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