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Single Origin Coffee Versus Blends

Learn the difference between single origin coffees and coffee blends to discover which type is best for your palate.

 
Comparing single origin coffees and blends is really an apples and oranges type situation. Single origin coffees are praised for their unique tasting notes and nuances, whereas blends are more well-rounded and focus on taste, smell, and mouthfeel (the physical sensation of the coffee in your mouth). Here are a few key differences between blends and single origin coffees to fill your cup with: 

Single Origin Coffees

  • All beans come from one location (can be a country or region within a country)
  • Unique flavors reflect the origin of the beans
  • Tastes best without milk
  • Often lightly roasted to sustain natural flavor of the bean
  • Best as a pour-over or Chemex
  • Enjoyed by coffee purists, since flavor of beans stands on its own
  • Increasingly used as espresso and drip in trendy, new cafes for its exotic flavor profiles
  • Tasting notes by location: Central American coffees (brown sugar, cocoa, and spice flavors), Kenyan (bright, juicy, sweet yet tart), Ethiopian (naturally processed- sweet berry flavor, washed coffees- jasmine or lemongrass)¹

Blends

  • Beans from a variety of locations that are mixed together
  • Smooth, well-rounded taste
  • Beans can be blended together before or after roasting
  • Tastes good black or with milk
  • Mocha-Java is known as one of the world's oldest blends. Back in the day, this blend consisted of one part Mocha coffee to two parts Indonesian Java Arabica coffee. Today, commercial Mocha Java blends use other coffees in place of the Yeman Mocha and Java Arabica²If you're looking for more of a crazy coffee adventure, try a single origin coffee that explodes with a variety of flavors in each sip. 

Slate's Ethiopia Kilenso is a great single origin coffee with an irresistible aroma and notes of strawberry, blueberry, and powdered cocoa. If you want something satisfying and all around delicious, go for a blend such as Herkimer's Drip Blend, Conduit's Westlake Blend, or Fundamental's Stemwinder Blend. Picking between a single origin coffee or blend is all about preference, so choose your favorite and get to drinking. You're officially in the coffee know.

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