Specialty coffees have been on the rise for coffee connoisseurs. This rising trend boosts the knowledge and enthusiasm for single-origin coffees. In this report, J&A briefly introduces what a single-origin coffee is, the differences in flavor profiles by region, its differences with blended or mixed coffees, and overall trends.
What Is Single-Origin Coffee?
Single-origin coffee comes from a single producer, crop, or region in one country. They are also often called single-farm, single-estate, single-malt, or single-vineyard coffee. Coffees that are not single-origin are blends, which include more than one single-origin coffee. Due to the one-time harvest in the year, single-origins are only available for specific times throughout the year.
Because tracing single-origin coffee leads to a single place, they have a distinct flavor based on the process from growth to processing of the region. Many factors influence flavors including botanical variety, soil, climate, altitude, and shade. Processing methods also vary by region and influence the final taste.
FIGURE 1: Coffee Flavor Profiles Along the Coffee Bean Belt
Single-Origins Versus Blends
Blends are a mix of two or more single-origin coffees from different regions. As such, the tastes vary, and the origin is not as distinguishable. Blends are more flexible in the market but cannot be sold at the same price or compete against -origin coffees in the niche markets. Blends are usually cheaper and found most commonly.
Single-Origins Coffee Taste
Single-origin coffees taste different than usual blends in the market. Light roasting single origins develop subtle aromas and distinct tasting notes. The body is more tea-like, and the flavors fruitier and citric rather than nutty or chocolaty.
Single-Origin Coffee Popularity
- In H1 2019, the single-origin coffee market had US $182 million grocery sales.
- Last year, these sales grew by 4%, outpacing the total premium coffee segment.
- 81% percent of coffee drinkers between the ages of 25 and 49 are willing to pay 10% more for single-origin coffees, incurring in financial rewards for many smallholder farmers who provide 80% of the worlds’ coffee beans.
The rising amount of cafés offering alternative brew methods has influenced the current interest in single-origin coffee. Single-origins are particularly popular because of their traceability. The impact of single-origins affects farming methods, and specialty farmers are developing and improving high-quality crops in response to the demands. Some farms and processing plants experiment with their varietals or cultivars selection, control over the growth stage, harvesting time and technique, and the milling and processing method.
Outlook of the Single-Origin Coffee Moving Forward
This report covered the details of what the specialty single-origin coffee is and what specifics categorize a coffee as such. The difference in atmosphere and preferred processing methods within regions produce many flavors, making single-origin coffees a niche market for coffee specialists. Blends are a mixture of various single-origin coffees that are indistinct from a specific region’s flavor profile. The rising sales and marketing trends for specialty coffees boosted the market for single-origins by 4%. J&A expects this trend to maintain as the coffee industry raises awareness for farm owners and consciousness towards the processing methods.