Delicious coffee is easier to find today than years ago. One of the reasons is that high quality, single origin coffee is more common today than ever. Blends are getting better as well, but generally, people who want the best coffee will always turn to single origin coffee.
Here’s why. Coffee blends are made up from coffee beans from different bean crops. Blends might be made from coffees from around the globe, such as southern Columbia, Bolivia or northern Columbia. Wherever they are from, they are all the same in that several types of coffee from several farms are blended together.
The first coffee blend was known as the Mocha-Java. Mocha coffee beans that were grown in Yemen were mixed with Java beans that are grown in Indonesia. Originally, Dutch traders combined these type types of beans because they were the only coffees at the time that were traded on a commercial basis. This blend was popular for hundreds of years, but unrest in Yemen made it harder to get Mocha beans.
Coffee blends are made to generate a good flavor that combines the best features of beans from various places. The best blends can be complex and deep in flavor, but many can create a flavor that is too simple. Blends usually remove the edge from some of the harsher tasting coffees. Coffee roasters like to try to appeal to more people by creating blends.
On the other hand, a single origin coffee comes from a certain area of a certain country. Coffee enthusiasts and professionals like to buy single origin coffees for the most part because they are exotic and unique. Some single origin coffees are less well rounded than the best blends. In good blends, acids, aromas and unusual flavors may be toned down. Single origin coffees do not have any companions to cover the sharper flavors, but many coffee experts prefer this.
Also, single origin coffees may not be as consistent. In a good blend, if one bean is made from a poor batch, the other beans in there will make up for this and it will be difficult to detect. A single origin coffee does not have this type of safety net. If there was a problem with that lot, then you will know when you drink a coffee from that batch.
As for which is right for you, there are good blends out there. They are consistent and can be enjoyed for months on end. But if you want to experience the specific characteristics of certain coffees from certain parts of the world, you will need to try good single origin coffees. Also, for those who want to try the most vibrant flavors of coffee, including cane sugar, jasmine and strawberry, you will want to go with a good single origin coffee.