Single Origin Coffee

Single Origin Coffee: All You Need To Know

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If you’ve been to a café, or coffee cupping and seen a coffee labeled with the term ‘single origin’, you may have wondered, what does that mean?

Should you attempt to define the term yourself judging from its name? You may define single origin as a coffee that is gotten from one place or originates from one place.

Well, if this is the definition that popped into your mind when you first heard the term, you are far from wrong. Although, you are missing a few key details.

Single origin coffee is sourced from a single producer, crop, farm, region, or country. This coffee is usually of pretty high quality. Some may feel its quality stems from the fact that it’s not blended with other varieties of coffee. No. It is because of the deep knowledge provided about the profile of the coffee. 

So when you taste this coffee, you don’t just enjoy its flavors but the characteristics that are singular to coffee made in that particular region.

It is important to note that single origin is an umbrella term, so let’s do a deep dive into each origin.

Single Country/Region

Single Country/region coffee beans are beans that all come from one country. It could come from different farms but they are all sourced from farms in one country like Ethiopia, Colombia, Brazil, etc.

Albeit it may seem like this single country/region is still a very broad term. Because there are still numerous towns, and farms in every country. Not to worry there is still another origin to discuss.

Single Farm/Plantation

This refers to coffee grown on a specific farm. This type of coffee is very high quality, expensive and limited because it is subject to special growing patterns, traditions, amounts of rain, and processing methods.

This particular origin of coffee is also bound to a harvesting season, which is why it is always limited.

Some coffee connoisseurs consider it the highest quality of coffee available. It costs from a few dollars per pound to hundreds of dollars per pound.

So now that we’ve discussed what the umbrella term single origin coffee entails, let’s talk about the taste.

How Single Origin Coffee Tastes?

It usually carries in its taste the pride, and distinguishability of the farm they are gotten from.

They possess a quality that is only akin to coffee grown in a particular climate and subjected to specific processing conditions by the farmer or producer.

Put simply, coffee tastes original, bold, robust, and exotic.

Why Do People Love Single Origin Coffee?

You may be wondering about the cause of single origin’s newfound popularity and love in the coffee community. Well, there are several reasons why this particular type of coffee is adored, let’s discuss some of them.

Single Origin Coffee Plant
Single Origin Coffee Plant


Being aware of the origin of the coffee says a lot about the quality and authenticity of the coffee. It makes it so much easier for you to appreciate the traits of coffee.

It is held in high esteem because of its ability to be traced to where it originates from. A coffee’s traceability strengthens a brand’s reputation as it makes accountability stress free.


The quality of single origin always remains undisputed and this is why coffee lovers can’t get enough of it.

Single origin coffee gets the best attention from farmers and roasters because it is usually grown in small quantities. Farmers keep a close eye on the cultivation, selection, and roasting process. And this is why every batch is packed with more than enough flavor.


Authenticity plus great quality equals amazing flavor. Single origin always comes with a special taste or flavor that is reminiscent of its origin.

Whenever one tastes, single origin one tastes more than just coffee. They taste the conditions the coffee was subjected to or grown in and how they have collectively influenced the flavor of the coffee.

The Third Wave

This newfound reverence started because of the third wave. Coffee consumption has gone through three stages, the third wave is the last stage.

The third wave came into play when people were no longer consuming coffee just because it was coffee. This time around there was a cultural shift– people started to appreciate coffee cultivation. And not just that. Coffee consumers also started to appreciate the authenticity and high quality of coffee.

Because it was catered to all these newly appreciated criteria, it began gaining popularity in mainstream coffee culture.

Now we’ve developed an in-depth understanding of single origin coffee, and why it is adored. Let us consider it in contrast to blended coffee.

Single Origin And Blended Coffee

Single origin and blended coffee are the two major packagings and processing for coffee. Although quite common, each coffee contains certain factors that separate them from one another. Let’s talk about those factors.


Most single origin coffees are seasonal, making them only available during specific periods. They are also grown in small batches, which reduces their availability.

For blends, the reverse is the case. Because they are combinations of different coffee beans from different sources grown in large batches, they are usually always available.

The availability of blended coffee is more dependent on the brand and type of blend than the season.


Single origin coffee is more pricey than blended coffee. This is due to the heavy amount of attention and care it receives from the farmers. Single origin coffee has a reputation to uphold so farmers always ensure every process of its cultivation, roasting, and packaging is done under proper supervision.

Unlike single origin, farmers don’t pay attention to minute details when dealing with blends. The flavor of blends is not nearly as specific as a single origin. This is why less attention is paid to it and this results in a lesser price compared to single origin coffee.


The quality of single origin coffee is one major factor that differentiates it from any other coffee out there. There is so much attention and detailing involved in the growing of single origin coffee.

The quality of single origin coffees also determines the overall roast and flavor of the coffee. This is why it is always of very high quality.

However, blends effortlessly fall into the category of low-quality coffee because of the process used in making them. When combining different varieties of coffee together to create a blend, it is very easy for deformed coffee beans to slip into a blend. Although this rarely happens, the quality of blends is still lessened because they combine different varieties of coffee beans.


This is another major difference between blends and single origin. Blends focus on a melody of flavors. Making it difficult to pick out a distinct flavor. Blends strive to offer a savory fusion of different flavors.

A single origin coffee on the other hand has a uniform taste and highlights specific flavors and overtones.

Single Origin And Specialty Coffee

Just like single origin, specialty coffee is also one of the highest-quality coffees in the world.

Before any coffee can become specialty coffee it must meet certain criteria. Here are some of the criteria given by The Specialty Coffee Association of America(SCAA).

  • The coffee beans must have a score of 80 points or above on the 100-point coffee review grading scale.
  • The coffee beans must have no primary defects. It has a limit of 0-3 full defects and a maximum of 5% above or below the given screen size.
  • It should possess a unique quality in body, aroma, flavor, or acidity.
  • The coffee should be free of faults.
  • It must have a moisture content of 9% to 12%.

It meets most of these criteria due to the amount of surveillance placed on them by the farmers and that is why it is a specialty coffee.

So there it is, everything you need to know about single origin coffee. It is no wonder this coffee is quite revered by coffee lovers. Its tastes, flavor, and quality are quite unmatched and this is why it is worth every single penny.