Understanding Single Origin Coffee


Coffee lovers around the world search high and wide for the perfect blend of beans making for a perfect brew. Many of these believe single origin coffee to offer the purest of tastes, but what exactly is it?

Single origin coffee is seen to be an exclusive taste, largely due to the limited location from which the beans are grounded from. In theory, single origin means that the beans have been sourced from the same farm, but can be as broad as a collection of beans from the same country.

Mostly, smaller coffee shops will stock single origin blends, especially if they are local, due to the unique taste and the ability to offer an alternative choice to larger brands. Depending on how small the geographical location is, and how refined the blend is, is what gives single origin coffee its exclusivity.

Is Single Origin Coffee Worth the Premium Price Tag?

As with any market, something is worth whatever the customer is willing to pay for it. Much of the premium price of single origin coffee is due to its exclusivity, rather than the taste itself – much like champagne, which as we know can only be from the region in France.

Those that are willing to pay for single origin coffee are usually those that seek out different tastes of coffee. The more casual coffee drinker will likely not be tempted by single origin blends and will be put off by the higher price, instead opting for a standard blend.

The Economic Effects of Single Origin Coffee

Farmers, who grow and produce single origin blends of coffee, benefit from the popularity of their beans as the taste and name are exclusive to them. Nowhere else in the world can grow that particular origin, regardless of how closely the taste can be replicated.

Guaranteed income for the farmers means that they can reinvest in better equipment, which means that they can then increase their supply to meet the greater demand. The profits are continually reinvested into the farm, keeping them in business in an otherwise uncertain economic climate.

In twine, small local businesses prosper from stocking such exclusive blends as they provided with a USP that large chains cannot offer. Where the farmer benefits, so too does the distributor, meaning that the supply chain as, a whole, benefits from the success of the blend.

The exclusivity of single origin coffee gives the farmer’s the upper-hand in negotiations, as sources are limited to where merchants can buy from, especially if the blend is limited to a single harvest.

What Exactly Does Single Origin Mean?

We have already touched on that, depending on the blend and where you are buying from; single origin can have various meanings. Whereas one merchant many class single-origin as being from the same farm or harvest, others broaden the meaning all the way out to the same country.

An example of this would be Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee, which is sold by many distributors such as Coffee Gram. This blend is grown in mountains in Kingston and Port Antonio, instead of one particular farm or harvest, with varieties of the blend existing depending on the altitude of which the beans were harvested.

It is important to remember that single origin does not necessarily mean that the blend originates from the exact same harvest. Some manufacturers use the term ‘single-origin’ as loosely as possible in order to market their product.


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