What Does Single Origin Coffee Mean?

Do you ever stop to think about where your coffee comes from? It’s probably fair to say that most of us don’t give it much thought. We just pop into the local Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, or wherever we usually buy our coffee and pick up a latte, mocha, or whatever strikes our fancy. But what does single origin coffee mean when it comes to it? Is there really a difference? And if so, should you be paying extra for single origin coffee? Read on to find out!

Single-origin coffee means it offers a specific taste and unique characteristic of coffee. Usually, single-origin coffees are grown in a single geographic area. It could be single or multiple farms in a country, for instance. Single-origin coffees are the highlights of coffee shops.

Single-origin coffee is also known as estate coffee. It maintains the transparency of the coffee firm, processing, and marketing of coffee. Expecting other areas’ beans will be a foolish observation.

Often, you could see cafes offering single-origin coffees while you walk in there. You could not find any difference ever you taste it sometimes. Then, what is single-origin coffee?

If you are not aware of the taste difference between coffee, then you might struggle a lot still now. Don’t worry fellow coffee lovers! Hold tight! We will jump into the single-origin coffee. I hope all of your perplex will clear up at the end of this article.

What Does Single Origin Coffee Mean?

Single-origin coffee comes from a single geographical area. In that area, people grow only one variety of coffee. After that, they collect, process, and package coffee beans. But, never mix these beans with other areas. Single-origin coffees have a unique taste and symbolic value that makes them precious. Specialty coffee lovers fascinate single-origin coffees as well. There are many types of single-origin coffees. Let’s learn a little about each type.

  • Estate Coffee
  • Small-lot
  • Micro-lot
  • Specialty Coffees

There is another type of single-origin coffee that is called Estate coffee. It is grown on a gigantic farm such as several acres or a collection of farms. In Estate coffee, coffee cherries are collected from the farms and processed in one mill. Brazil, Columbia, Costa Rica, and Mexico have many Estate coffee farms. In the Philippines, Starbucks has formed one large corporative farm by combining many small farms. Starbucks offers specialty coffee and single-origin coffee to its customer.

Small-lot and Micro-lot are the other 2 varieties of single-origin coffees. Micro-lots uses to grow specialty coffees. Usually, specialty coffee considers one of the highest-quality coffees. You can find it in the coffee market in higher price ranges. Small-lot coffees also trade as unique tastes and characteristic coffee in the market. They are categorizing it according to,

  • Harvesting day
  • A small range of altitude
  • A single field of a farm

You will never find other countries’ coffee blends in single-origin coffees. They maintain the purity of coffee beans. Even they mention the origin or farm name to keep things transparent.

How To Choose A Single Origin Coffee?

If you have never tried single-origin coffee, you must miss the authentic taste of coffee. Single-origin coffee brought the taste of its growing land. Pure coffee lovers never miss a chance to taste unique flavors. Before choosing a single-origin coffee, take a look at some specifications.

Pick An Origin

Different origin provides different flavorful coffee beans. When we talk about a single origin, we mean it. You will never find a blend of various regions or countries. Single-origin coffee bean packets have farms or country names on them. So, you get the transparency of product and trade. There are some options for each origin while you are going to buy.

Harvesting day

You may see multiple packets with different dates in the store or your coffee bean retailer. Specialty coffees of single-origin coffee have this type of packaging. They put the harvesting date on the packet so that you may pick the suitable package for you.

A small range of altitude

The altitudes of growing coffee trees are impacting a lot on coffee beans. Higher altitude coffee cherries take long to ripe than lower altitude. As a result, more sugar contents accumulate in the coffee beans. Lower-altitude coffee beans contain more acidic components than the higher altitudes.

A single field of a farm

A farm has many fields to grow coffee plants in a vast area. In single-origin coffee, it is natural to collect beans from different fields of a single farm. But some farms also apart coffee beans according to their fields. So, you could pick your favorite pack of your favorite farm field.

Choose Your Level Of Acidity

Depending on the different origins, acidity level also varies. The study states that Columbia, Nicaragua, and Indonesia have mild acidity. Meanwhile, Papua New Guinea has a very balanced flavor than other origins. Mexico Chiapas coffee has high, but Kenya has higher acidity content. So, pick carefully while you buy single-origin coffee packets.

Body Of The Bean

The viscosity of the coffee drink is commonly known as the body of the coffee. It refers to the drink’s thickness and relates to its aroma and flavor. We mostly prefer the mouthfeel of full-body coffee drinks. Mexican non-Chiapas are very light. But, Columbia, Nicaragua, and Mexican Chiapas are medium-bodied. If you prefer full-bodied, pick among Indonesia, India, Papua New Guinea, and Kenya.

Preference Of Cupping Notes

The cupping notes may be your last concern while picking a single-origin coffee. Earthy to nutty, spicy to fruity, or floral to honey could be your preference. Check the cupping notes below the chart for a quick review.

Differences Between Single Origin And Blend Coffee

Blend coffees are created by mixing single-origin coffees. You may think it is not a big thing then. But, proving you wrong, blended coffees are great when you want every taste inside the cup. A balanced cup is a combination of slightly sweet, bitter, and acidic. Let’s check the fundamental differences between single origins and blended coffee.

Origin And Bean Combination

Single-origin coffee always comes from a single country. It is either from a single farm or multiple farms. Sometimes farmers notably pick and process a small batch of coffee beans from a field. It is packaged and sold as specialty coffee which is higher in price and demand.

Blend coffees may come from 2 or more countries. They usually blend 2-4 different origins of beans during processing. But, roasters or baristas can create a mix of 5-8 distinct origin coffee beans.


It is easy to track down the country or farm name for single-origin beans. You can find the origin of coffee beans are coming.

But for blended coffees, it is not easy to track them down. You may find the prominent country names on the package. But, you will not find the details of farms and all the country names.


Blended coffee provides a balanced taste since it is a mixture of various places. On the contrary, a single origin explicitly shows one pure flavor. For instance, Kenya has higher acidity content. But, Columbia, Nicaragua, and Indonesia have a mild flavor.


The costs of blended coffee beans are not high as those of single-origin beans. It is more convenient to buy blended coffee beans for espresso or non-black coffees.

Single-origin coffees are always more expensive than regular coffee beans. Unlike the blends, it takes a lot of effort from the beginning till the end. As a result, it is not available in large quantities and increases the price range.

Chart Of Cupping Notes

Sometimes, it is confusing and tiresome to know lots of information on coffee beans. Cupping notes of different origins always vary. You can follow our below chart for a quick review. So, you can able to pick your favorite single-origin coffee. 

Name of the OriginCupping Notes
IndonesiaEarthy and woody
IndiaSpices (peppers and nutmeg) and earthy
Papua New GuineaFruity, apple cider, and earthy
KenyaFloral, berry, and syrup
MexicoNutty, chocolate, and pear
NicaraguaCitrus, nutty, and floral
ColumbiaChocolate, caramel, and spice


Is single-origin coffee better?

Of course, single-origin coffee is better. It is the best for coffee connoisseurs. If you are picky in taste and notes, there is no other option but single-origin coffee. You may say about the specialty coffee. But, it is part of single-origin coffee.

Why is single-origin coffee expensive?

Single-origin coffee is expensive because it takes more care than any coffee processing. It never blends with the coffees in different countries. Even it picks, processes, and packages with extra care and transparency. As a result, single-origin coffee becomes expensive.

Can you drink single-origin coffee with milk?

Yes, why not? You can add milk to the single-origin coffee and drink it without anxiety. Usually, single-origin coffee is used to brew black coffee. So, you can distinguish the taste and flavor of different origins. You can add other additives to the single-origin coffee as your wish.

Are blends better for espresso?

Yes. Blended coffees are better for espresso. It does not mean that you cannot use single-origin coffee for espresso brewing. Blended coffees produce a balanced cup with multiple cupping notes. So, you can choose whatever you like to have.

What coffee is the smoothest?

Smooth coffee means the absence of any strong taste in the cup. According to this, blended coffee is silkier than single origin. Among lots of brands of blend coffees, some popular brands are- Lavazza coffee blends, Stumptown coffee roasters, Starbucks, Costa coffee, and so on.


In the end, it is clear as daylight that single-origin coffees are not a simple walk in the park. These coffees have brought a unique taste and freshness from the farms to our cups directly. Mostly, raw coffee lovers search for single-origin coffees because of the types’ preciousness. And, we know you are now planning to taste a cup of single-origin coffee. Then, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and let us know!

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