Aren't coffee beans all the same?
First things first, let’s chat about how unique coffee beans really are. There are heaps of things that affect the eventual taste, aroma and quality of a bean, such as soil health, exposure to water, altitude from the sea…we won’t bore you with the extensive list, but believe us, growing coffee is a careful balancing act.
These factors mean that not all coffee beans are alike. Take for instance, Brazilian coffee beans. They’re known to have a 10/10 mouthfeel (this is the sensation you get when you take a sip of coffee). Saunter over to the other side of the world in Papau New Guinea, and you’ll get one hell of an aroma from the coffee beans grown here - like, bottle it, save it, adore it kind of scent perfection.
What makes single origin so special?
Coffee purists absolutely love single origins, as it’s a way for them to focus on what a region does best, and hone in on a specific quality of a roast, such as aroma or mouthfeel. When the beans are that good, you can easily understand why you’d have a single origin coffee - a roast sourced from one location, one batch, one finely curated bean. Count us in.
So what's blend coffee then?
What if we told you that you could get the aroma of a bean from Papau New Guinea, the mouthfeel of a Brazilian bean, and the smooth aftertaste of a Mexican coffee, all roasted into one neatly packed coffee pod?
That’s what you’re getting when you’re drinking a blend - a culmination of multiple beans, landing you with a very specific coffee, and allowing you to enjoy a plethora of sensations that you’d otherwise never be able to. Blends are typically more complex in flavour, as there are multiple beans from multiple locations in the mix.
Is one better than the other?
So what’s the way to go? Single origin or blend? Well, we can’t really answer that question for you, as it’s honestly a matter of taste. Neither is better than the other - it’s just up to you to figure out whether you’d prefer to focus on a specific detail of the coffee you drink, or have a plethora of sensations dance across your tastebuds.
Happy coffee tasting!
This article was written with the guidance and reference of Barista Basics. Check them out for further reading.