Knowing the difference Between Single Origin and Coffee Blend. Which one is Better?
For specialty coffees, there are two varieties, and that would be single-origin and coffee blend.
Single Origin Coffee
"single-origin" connotes coming for one source. This is the concept behind single-origin coffee. With the coffee being sourced out from one location, either in one place or in one country, it gives the exclusivity of the coffee's taste and aroma. While this term would commonly refer to a geographic area, it cannot be expected to extract a single variety of coffee beans in a vast acre of a coffee plantation. However, because coming from just one source, the taste and aroma are exquisitely affected by different factors and conditions in that particular region.
The Sense of Exclusivity
Since single origin coffees have this exclusivity, they are brewed only when someone would order for it, unlike the coffee blend brewed in large batches. This also means that with the specialty of coffee beans involved, single-origin coffees being offered by coffee shops are supposed to be brewed by more expert baristas. Exploring single-origin coffees also entails time since baristas need more preparation for this type of coffee.
Considering that a single-origin coffee is coming only from one location, it would not be available all year round but only during a particular season. Also, since one harvest is different from one another, one could be getting a unique taste every now and then. With single-origin coffee, a batch would always taste different from the others. Since no two single-origin coffees could be the same, it could be fun to try one set of harvest from another. This also gives coffee shops a sense of variety in their menus because of the distinct taste that each batch of single-origin coffee could bring. With a single-origin coffee having its uniqueness among other coffees, it's been a hit for coffee shops that want to have their own signature coffee identity. A single-origin coffee would definitely be different from another single-origin coffee.
The third-generation roasters are also meticulous on the origin of the coffee beans. That is why a single source has been a hit for decades already, especially those single-origin coffees that are from a single farm than a single origin because of its traceability. A roaster or a coffee shop owner could easily have its beans get their own identity because they come from one source only.
Coffee Blends - Why Blends are being produced?
On the other hand, as the name suggests, a coffee blend is a mixture of different coffee beans from various sources. This could be a mixture of coffee bean crops from other countries or from different regions. That is why a coffee blend cannot exist without a single-origin coffee because, precisely, the former is just a mixture of the latter. Blends are being roasted to produce a more consistent taste in a product. This is because by mixing small amounts but in many quantities of coffee bean crops, one could blend in a large batch. Since large in excess, the resulting product could also be served in large amounts, coming from a single blend. For example, you could make coffee with consistent taste from a mixture of 3 different coffee bean crops of a thousand kilos each compared to three different flavors from those three other coffee beans of a thousand kilos each.
One would be getting consistency in the taste of coffee blends because they are mixed in large batches. In fact, the coffee blend is the most consumed variety of coffee in the world. That is how big the market of a coffee blend is. On the other hand, it would be hard to pick out the coffee beans mixed with coffee blends since each bean type's distinct flavors and aromas are already mixed up. When mixing, intricacies depend on the roaster's output as to taste and smell. It would depend on how much of a single-origin coffee mixture one should put into a blend to achieve the flavor the roaster wants. The roasting and mixing method is called "cupping." Because of the combinations that want to be reached, these should be memorized to have the next batch of mixtures the consistency in aroma and taste
Having been blended with different coffee bean types, the taste and aroma of it suit a lighter, mouthful, and full-flavored coffee compared to single-origin coffee. The various coffee beans are expected to complement each other. In contrast, single origin coffee has a more exotic and unique taste due to its originality. The single-origin is in its purest form. It is not advisable to be milk-based, unlike coffee blend that one may mix with milk due to the complimenting tastes of several coffee beans in one mix. The good thing also with blending coffee beans is that one coffee bean crop could wash away the other's negative taste. This is impossible to do with single-origin because it is a coffee bean in its purest form. In single origin, one cannot hide the sharp tastes on it. However, as much as blending could wash away the not so preferred taste in a coffee bean crop, it could wash away some of its right sides too.
So, Which One is Better?
In drinking single-origin coffee, think about traveling around the world and knowing the best coffee for every country. Considering the strong taste of single-origin, which cannot be altered by mixing other coffee beans or milk, this may not be a good coffee to start with for those who are just new to drinking coffee. On the other hand, those who want to have the same consistent taste from their morning coffee then stick with coffee blend. However, even so, if you are the adventurous newbie around the world of coffee, it all boils down to one's own preference in taste. There would really be no universal answer on which one is better.