Single Origin versus Blend – what is the difference?

Did you know that coffee single origins and coffee blends have similarities to wine and whiskey? A single vineyard wine, a single malt whiskey and single origin coffee all reference the single geographical place from which the wine, whiskey or coffee comes from. In all cases, with this single ‘place’ you will experience a product that is a reflection of not only the place but the specific growing conditions and microclimate from that vintage or growing season akin to concept of ‘terroir’ in wine.

As with single vineyard wine or single malt whiskey, a single origin coffee sourced and processed with care can deliver a higher quality, and with it a higher character, and often price, than a coffee that is a blend of regions. At Stash we source from a range of regions for our single origin coffees including Brazil, Sumatra/Indonesia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Colombia and Honduras. Each region in each country delivers certain characteristics that make their coffee unique. This applies not only to region but within a region down to particular farms or plots, influenced by their growing regime and harvest times.

You may initially find a single origin coffee strange. The body may be more tea-like, the flavours fruitier or floral rather than nutty or chocolatey. There may be a slight adjustment, a recalibration of expectation of what coffee tastes like, but it’s worth it. We roast each single origin coffee to its own profile and find that each coffee has its own sweet spot, which we try to bring out with the way that we treat it in the roaster.

Where a single origin coffee will change from season to season depending on the conditions, a coffee blend is ideal for those that prefer a consistent, well-rounded experience. Blends use beans sourced from multiple regions, for example our Heroes is a blend of coffees from Ethiopia, Sumatra and Columbia – bringing the best of each region into a style that is consistent and replicable with each batch.

We roast all of our blends as an espresso roast, and design them so that they are suitable to enjoy with milk. Our single origins are roasted either as an espresso roast or they may be roasted lighter, as a filter roast that better suits filter brewing (such as pourover, or drip filter) and may be best enjoyed black. We suggest, if you are looking to stretch your coffee boundaries, try one of our single origin coffees. Brew and consume it as per the instructions and take a flavour journey through the origin.

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