Types of Coffee: What is a Single Origin? February 19 2014

Single Origin Coffee

Single origin coffees are cultivated, harvested and processed from a single region in a coffee producing country. The coffee varietal, climate conditions, altitude, harvesting and processing each play a role in developing the character of a single origin coffee. Consequently, a single origin coffee from the horn of Africa takes on a dramatically different taste profile than a coffee grown in the jungle of Indonesia, and these distinctions can be a lot of fun to pick out!

Coffee connoisseurs often prefer lightly roasted single origins for their nuance, delicacy and challenge. For example, is a hint of mustiness in Sumatran coffee from the Gayo region a defect, or part of the coffee’s coveted character? Or the taste of blueberries in Ethiopia Sidamo; is it ferment or fruit?

Map of coffee producing countries around the world, with the top ten producers in yellow. (Credit: Natioinal Geographic)

At Desert Sun we offer an assortment of lightly roasted single origin coffees from around the world. These coffees, however, come and go seasonally and are limited in supply; so when one runs out, it might not be available for a while. Also, being a fruit, there is no guarantee that one season’s coffee crop will taste the same as the last.

You might see why single origins are not always the best choice for a “house coffee” at a coffee shop or restaurant, but do have fun with them and use them to learn more about the nuances of coffee flavors and origins. Check out a list of our current single origin coffees available!