What is a single origin coffee? Why Single origin?
It’s a question that I often get asked and I have read numerous discussions surrounding how to define single origin.
It seems to me that it can not be defined by a simple sentence, much like its cup profile, it’s much more complex than just one mouthful.
Single origin coffee are influenced by many variables throughout the seed to cup process. While processing techniques (washed, honey and natural) can significantly impact cup profile, these are underpinned by the influences of outside of the farmers and roasters control such as rainfall, humidity, soil type and altitude to name but a few.
At first glance, the label single origin can quite rightfully be placed on a coffee from one country, Kenya for example.
By the same count it can define the coffee that was purchased from a central wash station such as Muraho trading company’s Vunga CWS in the Nyabihu region of Rwanda.
(Vunga is a co operative of 260 members, some who have as few as <100 trees).
To further complicate or understand the term single origin, LaChichita from Rene in Guatemala (our November feature from Ozone coffee) is also a Single origin coffee, grown at La Reforma HueHue in Guatemala.
In short a single origin coffee can be defined as a coffee that has come from a single:
The water becomes further muddied when we consider that single origins can also be a blend, but fall within the single origin labeling.
While we speak of Specialty grade Arabica coffee, within this fall many many varietals, often grown on the same farm and being processed together. Kenya is a very easy to find example, with SL28 & SL34 varietals regularly as combined.
We focus on selecting coffees based on lot trace-ability in order to tell the stories of our single origin offerings and give insight into the unique aspects of each, with a focus on the people who produce the coffee at origin.
Posted: Thursday 20 December 2018