What is a single origin coffee?
If you’ve ever gone into an independent coffee shop, you may have noticed the words “single origin” printed when it refers to their coffee, but what does it mean?
Doesn’t it just mean it’s from a single place, like Brazil? And why is it important? It’s something worth looking out for, and we’ll tell you why. Read on my friends, read on.
At Two Chimps Coffee, we only source single origin speciality coffee. In its broadest term, single origin means that a coffee is not a blend. A blend is any coffee made up of more than one type of bean. We prefer to hand roast single origin coffees, so you can taste the wonder of that particular lot, and not the clutter of flavours found within some blended coffees.
Single Country vs Single Origin
You might think that a single origin means that it has all come from one country, and you wouldn’t be wrong. In general terms, that is what it means, however when we talk about single origin; we’re talking details such as the specific farm at which the beans have been grown. If you buy a standard bag of coffee beans from the supermarket that says ‘Brazilian’ for instance, the chances are this is a blend of many different beans. From different parts of Brazil all heaped in together to create this Brazilian coffee.
This doesn’t necessarily mean the coffee is going to be great either. One person might choose this coffee because they like Brazilian coffee however, it’s not always the best method to go by when choosing coffee. It could be a different blend of beans every time. Each farm has its own microclimate which will play a part to the final flavour too. Lastly, lower graded coffee is often sold in this way. The best coffee is kept aside.
We source our coffee direct from the farm, so we know the country, the area, the farm and even the farmers’ name where our coffee was grown.
This is what we mean when we talk about single origin coffee. As an example, our current Brazilian coffee, I’m a Natural, was grown 1180m above sea level in Sitio Bandeira Branca, in the South of Brazil by Thiago Dutra! Our importer has formed strong relationships with the farmers, which allows us access to some of the best coffees. This yellow bourbon varietal is seasonal; therefore, it’s currently not available to purchase in green bean form as the harvest has finished for the year.
As you can see, sourcing this way means we have excellent traceability on our coffee as well.
Traceability is important as it shows how it has been ethically sourced through direct trade. Speciality coffee deserves a premium price, and traceability forms a part of this. Not only is it interesting, but we love sharing the nuts & bolts of our coffee with our customers.
Is it better than a blend?
We mentioned earlier about blended coffee and how they can mask other flavours. Historically, all coffee was blended, and at some roasteries, it still is. For instance, large scale roasters supplying the supermarket chain will not use speciality coffee for their product because of the cost. As mentioned, speciality coffee demands a higher price; usually between 30-150% more than the going rate for commodity coffee.
When blending coffee, there are three reasons to do so.
The first is to hide or mask an undesirable flavour. Often, the roaster is not too concerned with the flavour created, because they roast the coffee so dark that they end up with a bitter and burnt tasting coffee anyway. This over roasting masks undesirable characteristics and masks the low grade of the coffee behind a ‘smokescreen’ of over-roastyness.
The second is to make something greater than the two parts. Some roasters blend well and can create a really good coffee from two or more good coffees. Here at Two Chimps HQ, we create custom-blended coffees for some of our wholesale customers, giving them a unique selling point.
The third is for consistency. As an example, the coffee served from high street coffee companies tastes the same as it ever did, and ever will. To accomplish this, different amounts of different coffees are blended, changing the quantities of each as required to match the original flavour profile.
We offer six different coffees at any one time, plus a couple of limited editions too; all of which are single origin coffees.
We believe that the best flavours are found in single origin speciality coffee, and we want to showcase that by expertly hand roasting our speciality coffee to bring out the most in every batch. Coffee is best served fresh, and therefore we roast multiple times each week. Assuring you only ever receive the freshest coffee possible.
Single origin coffees do run out, however. Once it’s all been harvested, processed, roasted and drunk, it’s gone. This isn’t a problem for us as though, as we source an equally delicious coffee to replace it with. On the plus side, just think of all of the single origin coffees you could try!
As mentioned, we offer a custom blend service which allows our wholesale coffee customers to visit us at the roastery and create a unique coffee just for them and their business, that no one else can make. To do so, we run a coffee cupping here at the roastery. Coffee cupping allows the individual aspects of a coffee to shine and not be hidden behind the brew method. We’ll discuss whether or not blending the favourites will create something magical! We’ll then blend the coffee, grind and re-cup to see the results. This is a great way to understand coffee, the flavours and to create something special.
We love the distinct characteristics found in single origin speciality coffee. As a customer, you can feel great knowing that every bag of coffee you buy from us means that the money is going directly back to the farm. Improving growing conditions, wages for workers and good working conditions too.
Our ethos is ‘Fresh is Best’, and we know that by hand roasting in small batches gives you the freshest single origin coffee available.
So why not sign up for a Two Chimps Coffee subscription and start drinking awesome coffee today!
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