At Color Coffee Roasters, we love drinking Single Origin coffees. It’s what we’re most excited about and is the reason why we love working in coffee. But what exactly are Single Origin coffees and what makes them special?
Back in the early days of specialty coffee, we’ll call it the last twenty years of the 20th century, Single Origin coffees came about as a way to showcase differences in flavors between different countries. The global coffee trade is big and coffee professionals know that coffees from different parts of the world taste differently. As a way to tell people about these differences and educate the consumer, coffee companies started offering these origins as unblended coffees that only featured coffees from Brazil, Ethiopia, Mexico, etc. The standard at this point was blends, a mixture of different origins, roasts, and even different species of coffee plants (ie Robusta). Single Origin coffees gave the consumer a chance to taste the flavors of one country.
As the coffee profession matured, so did the coffee market. Fast forward to 2010, coffee professionals and henceforth specialty coffee companies, started buying and sourcing coffees at an even more specific level. That is, smaller regions in coffee growing countries and even from single farmers themselves. More nuance was discovered and more information was able to be gathered from each cup. While the coffee industry started out as selling Single Origin coffees, one country on the bag label, Color and other like-minded roasters now offer a much more focused Single Origin experience. We offer coffees, from a certain micro-region (the equivalent of a county here in the US), from a village (the equivalent of a small town in the US), or even a Single Producer (the equivalent of a small family farm in the US). This level of focus offers the consumer a more singular experience. The chance to taste and drink coffee from a certain time and place.
When done regularly over the course of years, one can gain a better understanding of the nuance variations between different regions in Colombia, Peru, or Ethiopia, for example. For many of us, this is a highly rewarding and fun experience. One that we’re excited to share with curious coffee consumers endlessly. The goal of Single Origins is distinct origin flavors that can be pulled from each cup. Maybe it’s an apple cider-like experience from coffees from Inza, Colombia or a certain floral aroma from Guji, Ethiopian coffees. Once you have the ability to taste multiple coffees from different farmers or villages, it becomes clear that there are differences and patterns of differences. Much like French wine has differences between their different appellations, coffee does as well. We may not be where the wine world is in that regard, but we hope to get there. And hopefully in a less pretentious way :)
At Color, we’re looking to showcase vibrancy and fruity flavors via a color palette. That is our mission. It’s why we buy the coffees we do and roast the way we do (more on that later). We’re working to tell this story and get coffee to a similarly mature point where the differences are clear for our coffee drinkers. Telling the story of these coffee growing regions via these different Single Origin coffees is a huge part of how we’re going to get there. So head over to our Single Origin page and pick one out, our list is always changing and always refreshing seasonally. That is the fun part and part of Color’s Single Origin experience.