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A Simple Guide to Single Origin Coffees

A Simple Guide to Single Origin Coffees

What is Single Origin coffee?

OK, since this is a coffee blog, it's got to have something to do with the coffee, right? Of course it does, but what they all have in common is that we know exactly where they're from. Those salad greens were grown at Hannah Brook Farm in Burnaby, Laughing Stock's grapes are grown in the Naramata Bench north of Penticton, and the coffee beans might come from a farmer-owned cooperative in the Atitlan Highlands of Guatemala - this is what's known as a single-origin coffee.

How location affects flavour

For coffee lovers, discovering the unique and distinctive flavour of a coffee from a specific place is similar to the wine experience of terroir - that the climate, soil and growing conditions impart particularly distinctive characteristics. And with coffee, the production and processing methods also come into play and shape the aroma and flavour of the tasting experience.

How direct trade drives coffee quality

The ability to source and buy single origins has come about, thanks in no small part, to importers and roasters. They expanded the free trade and direct trade movement and developed relationships directly with the coffee farmers and cooperatives in most of the world's coffee-growing regions.

Some of those importers are now specializing even further, sourcing coffee from single farms and single estates, meaning that the beans can be traced to the specific hillside where they grow protected from the harsh sun under a canopy of tropical shade trees. For those of us who relish the opportunity to expand our coffee tasting palate and for forward-thinking cafés willing to introduce exclusive coffees to their menu, it's an exciting development.

The Single Origin coffees we love

  • Smoking Gun

    Another of our local roasters, Smoking Gun, utilizes direct trade relationships with small farms.

  • Notch Coffee Roasters - Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Halo Beriti Natural

    Notch Yirgacheffe Halo Beriti is a natural processed single-origin Ethiopian heirloom dried on raised beds in the Halo Beriti washing station. The result is a bright, citrusy, satisfying brew with pineapple, chocolate and black currant notes.

These are just a few examples of single origins we carry at Roaster Central; you can see the full single origin coffee lineup here.

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