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different types of single-origin coffee in bags on white background

A Guide to Single-Origin Coffee

What’s in a name? When you are discussing coffee beans, the are typically divided into two categories: single-origin coffee and blended coffee. What is the value of a single-origin coffee bean, and how can it help you discover the perfect cup of coffee?

Types of Single-Origin Coffee

two piles of single origin coffee beans on white background
  • Single Origin
  • Single Farm/Estate
  • Single Cooperative
  • Micro Lot 

Single-Origin Coffee

The term single origin is the umbrella term for coffee beans grown and sourced in the same general region.

To be categorized as a single-origin coffee, the coffee beans need to be grown within one geographic region. Single-origin coffee beans can be sourced from as broad as one region or producer to as specific as one crop.

Most roasters use this as an indicator on labels since it is broad and all-encompassing. For example, single-origin Brazilian coffee can refer to coffee beans from all over the country, even if the growing regions differ in climate or production process.

With coffee blends, the different flavor intricacies of the coffee beans are factored in to create a complementary blend that produces a consistent flavor with every sip. Single-origin coffee naturally provides this consistency. Although single-origin coffee is not superior to coffee blends, they each have their benefits. 

Single Farm

Coffee beans originating from a single estate or farm will typically be more expensive. The single-origin coffee beans will have a distinct flavor profile since the beans are all grown in identical environmental conditions.

Coffee farms are estates that are usually multi-generational, passed down through families. When making coffee blends, some roasters use this opportunity to mix higher and lower quality beans together.

With single-origin and specifically single-farm coffee beans, you typically get a higher-quality cup of coffee. Since all the coffee beans are the same, the flavor cannot be masked or disguised, so the coffee bean quality must be at its peak.

Single Co-Op

people picking coffee beans on farm

A coffee cooperative is a non-profit group that works for the benefit of the growing partners as a whole. Money is put into the co-op and is then dispensed amongst the members based on their various and specific needs. It is a community effort to ensure each grower produces the best product.

Working together enables the whole community to have better access to resources, marketing, and business opportunities. Single-origin coffee bean growers in a co-op work to produce consistent growing environments that will then translate into a consistent coffee bean.

Micro Lot

As coffee consumers are becoming more invested in the specific origin of their coffee, the desire for micro-lot coffee beans is increasing. While many drinkers love a specialized blend and others prefer a single-origin coffee, an even more select group of people are asking targeted questions when ordering their coffee.

These inquiries include topics like:

  • Altitude
  • Climate
  • Processing Method

While single-origin coffees will have similar altitude, climate, and processing methods, the term is broad enough that these can all vary when packaging coffee beans.

For growers, dividing their land into smaller plots can assist with meeting specific requests from buyers. Breaking down their land into smaller segments will enable them to differentiate which select qualities the consumers prefer. In the same respect, any feedback is easier to implement on smaller lots.

Our 4 Favorite Single-Origin Coffees

Peru Atahualpa Coffee

When it comes to single-origin ground coffee or coffee beans, we have a wide selection. We managed to narrow down our top four single-origin coffees. If you are looking for a single-origin decaf, we have you covered.

Our favorite single origin coffees include:

Peru Atahualpa

Our Peruvian coffee is grown in the Pichanaqui, Chanchamayo, and Junin regions. These coffee beans are both hand and machine pulped, and fermentation takes roughly 12 hours. This is ideal if you want a well-balanced light roast with tropical citrus notes.

Ethiopian Yirgacheffe

Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee

This is easily our most popular single-origin coffee. While this is a Stone Street favorite, it is virtually unknown amongst most coffee drinkers. However, Stone Street taste buds across the country love how smooth and balanced the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee beans are.

This light roast boasts distinct and intense chocolate, floral, and lemon notes. It is ideal for making drip, French press, or pour-over coffee. 

Tanzanian Peaberry

This single-origin coffee is excellent for those that like a darker roast. This medium-dark roast is part of a mission to support family-owned farms in Tanzania. We partnered with Sweet Unity to bring this coffee from both the Northern and Southern regions of Tanzania directly to you.

Clean and crisp with caramel, stone fruit, and chocolate tasting notes. A beautiful fragrance paired with rich flavors, this is sure to be a favorite.

Mexico Soconusco

Proudly grown in Mexico, this single-origin light roast has chocolate flavors with a hint of lime. The Soconusco growing region is located near the Tacana Volcano, creating a unique soil that is rich in volcanic ash.

Over 37% of the Soconusco community is dedicated to growing coffee beans. This region takes producing coffee seriously, and they are constantly working to grow the best and highest-quality coffee beans.

Mexico Soconusco Coffee

Whether you are buying coffee beans or ground coffee, you will have a smooth and consistent cup of single-origin coffee.

Single Origin, Maximum Impact

Single-origin coffee beans give the consumer a well-balanced, consistent coffee drinking experience. However, without the benefit of relying on multiple coffee beans from different locations to create the desired flavor profile, the coffee beans are left to speak for themselves.

Single-origin coffee will contain higher quality beans from the same location. The location can vary from as wide of a growing area as the same country to something as micro as the same plot of land. As with any coffee drink, this preference comes down to the individual.

Even if you prefer coffee blends, knowing the flavor profiles of single-origin coffees will have lasting benefits. When you are able to isolate specific growing regions and tasting notes that you love, you can use this knowledge to discover other single-origin coffee beans or coffee blends that you will love.

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