Blends versus Single Origin coffees
2 May 2016
One of the great debates in the coffee world is the virtues of coffee blends as opposed to single origin coffees. For those without quite enough time on their hands to have followed this argument, here is a snapshot.
Single Origin coffees are coffees that come from one growing district or farm. Sometimes they are small production runs from a single farm which are called micro lots, or even nano lots for the really small producers. The idea is that you get to taste that particular coffee in its pure form without it being blended with other coffees and get a real sense of the specific taste of that origin.
The case for blends goes like this. Some coffees on their own can be a bit mono-toned. By mixing several coffee together you get a more complex flavour profile than you would with coffees on their own. You can also be more consistent over a crop year if you have to substitute some coffees.
There are some coffees, Colombians come to mind, that are nearly always fantastic as a single or in a blend.
So which do I prefer? Its horses for courses. If I find a particularly amazing single origin coffee I don’t want to use it in a blend (El Salvador Yellow Bourbon for example). But then I know that I can’t get it all year round, or afford to have it every day. If I want a high quality, consistent coffee then a blend it is. Particularly in the café world where consistency with the same coffee is hard enough to achieve.
What more and more of our café customers are doing is having their main blend while introducing single origins as an option. It puts a little more pressure on the barista but makes life interesting for coffee fans looking for something different and a good chance to talk coffee with them.