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Single-Origin vs Blend- Which One is Better?

Single-origin coffee and blend coffee are the two categories that you’ll see when you begin to delve into the world of java. In this day and age, there’s way more flexibility when it comes to choosing your blend, acidity, roasting level and even flavour. If you are just beginning your coffee journey, then you may feel slightly overwhelmed with the amount of options available, and this is understandable, but there are things that you can do to make things easier on yourself. In this guide, we’ll talk about the difference between single-origin and blended coffee, while also giving you the information you need to come to your own conclusion as to which one’s better for you.

What’s Single-Origin Coffee?

Single-origin coffee, as the name suggests, is harvested from one place. This is usually a specific country or region. If you look at a coffee and it says Brazil Cerrado, this means that it is harvested in Brazil, within the Cerrado region. Single-origin coffee tends to be available at certain times of the year and the flavour tends, to be both exotic and unique. The flavour profile of the coffee can usually be pegged down to the geographical region. Single-origin coffee gives you the chance to get an exclusive taste of a coffee, in its purest form. You may find that the acidity, the aroma and even the flavour is much more pronounced when compared to blended coffee. If you are seeking a unique experience or one that you can compare to other types of coffee, then single-origin coffee is the way to go, as no two geographical regions taste the same.

What’s A Coffee Blend?

Most coffee drinkers consume blends more than any other type of coffee. These coffees tend to come from beans with varying origins. This will give you an explosive flavour and it will also have a lot of combined characteristics. Coffee blends tend to be made in way bigger batches and the taste is much more consistent. Blends are incredibly balanced and they tend to pack a gentler, much more approachable taste. The beans are mixed together, and this helps to create a harmonious taste that strikes every part of your tastebud. If you want a well-rounded cup of java that is consistent, then blended is the way to go. Many believe that blended is a sub-standard version of single-origin, but this is not the case at all. It’s all down to personal preference!

Why do Roasters Choose to Create Blends?

Now you may be thinking, if the coffee beans are so high in quality, why use them in a blended coffee? It’s important to remember that coffee blends are the best way to create a unique flavour profile and the end result could make each type of bean more deep and complex. When done poorly though, you may end up with a simple flavour that misses every mark. Blends are the best way to create a product that is consistent. You won’t have 1000lbs of 5 types of beans. You’ll have 5,000lbs of one type of blend.  Blends tend to create a much more mellow experience, removing the harsh flavour that tends to come with individual coffee. If you have Guatemalan coffee, then this might have an apple-like bite to it or a high level of acidity that might not be suited to everyone’s taste. If a roaster was to combine this with a mellow coffee bean, such as one from Indonesia, then this would round out the acidity. Sometimes beans are roasted for longer when they are going into a blended coffee. If you take the Guatemalan’s acidity and roast it for longer, this rounds it out and helps it to flow with the more earthy notes that come with the Indonesian coffee.

Most people who roast coffee tend to have a signature blend that is designed to work well when used as an espresso. Since brewing an espresso is a complicated process that can leave room for frustration, a blended coffee helps to lessen the burden and makes for a more consistent beverage.

Factors that set Single-Origin Apart from Blends

If you want to see how single-origin coffees differ from blends, then you can find out more about that below.

Flavour Profile

Single-origin coffee will have an unaltered flavour profile. It has a bolder taste, is more robust and often feels more exotic. Blends balance out the flavour and round off any distinctive notes, so if this doesn’t appeal to you, then single-origin may be the way to go.

Purity

As you can imagine, single-origin coffee lovers rave about the purity of the beans. When you drink a coffee that comes from a single-origin, you can easily find out the story of how the beans are grown, their origin and the climate. You will have a crisp cup of coffee that might not be suited to milk, cream or sweetener. It’s best enjoyed black, so you can taste every nuance.

Consistency

When you buy a bag of single-origin coffee, you may not quite know what you’re going to get. The consistency can vary according to the seasonal conditions. The difference in taste might be much more pronounced when compared to others and this is because they are much more mellow.

Which is Better? Single-Origin or Blended?

Unfortunately, there’s no right answer here. If you talk to some experts, they will tell you that single-origin is better, every time. If you speak to another expert, they may tell you the opposite. A good rule of thumb would be if you love to have your coffee with milk, cream, sugar or sweetener then you may find that blended is the way to go. If you like your coffee black, you may find that you love the complexity and the boldness that comes with single-origin. You can also take the time to compare the different flavour characteristics from all around the world, and this experience just cannot be compared. Ultimately, you should go with what you like because if you do, you can never go wrong.