Question: I noticed on your site that you have separate options for “Single Origin” and “Blends”. What’s the diff?
Great question. Quite simply, a single origin coffee is one that comes from one country, or one processing mill or even one single farm. Typically, these coffees are named for the area they came from. Ethiopian Yirgacheffe is a single-origin coffee that comes from one particular area in Ethiopia. Summatra Mandheling is a single origin coffee that comes from Summatra (but Mandheling is not an area – more on that some other time….)
It’s interesting to try different single origin coffees and see how a “typical” Mexico, or a “typical” Kenyan coffee might taste.
Blends are just what it sounds like. Several single origin coffees – typically from different areas – blended together in one. Our Breakfast Blend is a combination of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe and Papua New Guinea. Sometimes, roasters will blend two of the same origin coffee roasted to different levels as a blend. Roasters might blend coffee before they roast, or after. Depending on the flavor they are looking for.
The physical act of blending isn’t some magic that has to be done by the roaster! Seriously – measure out the right amounts and mix them together. It’s not rocket science. The art/science comes in picking the right roast and the right beans in the right proportion
Try it yourself. Pick up a bright flavored coffee (Ethiopian Yirgacheffe would be a great start) and something deeper and darker – Honduras or a nice earthy Mexico Oaxaca. Taste them separately and note the different flavors. Then mix them together in different percentages and see what kind of awesomeness you can come up with.
Have you tried any great coffee blends? Do you know what’s in them? Have you made any yourself?