Here at A Little Further South we promote Direct Market, and single origin coffees. These are coffees that we buy from small farmers, everything is traceable, and we actually get to see the operations behind the coffees that we are importing.
Here’s an article that appeared in the “Perfect Daily Grind.” Please read the excerpt, and click on the link for the full article. Enjoy!
Single origin is a small phrase with a big definition. The meaning’s often simplified to a coffee that’s sourced from one single producer, crop, or region in one country. Single farm and single estate mean that the coffee is sourced from one farm, mill, or co-operative. Then you can go a step further and find coffee labels that tell you the estate name, the specific lot or paddock the coffee was grown on, or if it’s a microlot (a specific varietal from a specific farm).
Yet this isn’t all that single origin means.
As SCAE’s Andra Vlaicu says: “The most important thing about single origin is its traceability, the fact that you know exactly where your coffee is from and that it’s a specific coffee, not a blend. Usually of a higher quality, it’s the acknowledgment that the coffee is from a particular farm located in a unique setting, whilst its flavour depicts its origin, possessing characteristics of that specific area where the particular coffee was grown.”
So that’s why third wave coffee loves single origins – they’re all about a deeper understanding of your coffee’s profile and how that profile is affected by what goes on at origin.
The Increasing Popularity of Single Origin
So how did single origins enter “mainstream” vocabulary? Well, according to Jeremy Torz, founder and managing director at Union Hand-Roasted Coffee, the current interest in them has been influenced by an increase in the number of specialty cafés offering alternative brew methods such as pour overs and AeroPresses. “Other coffees can be offered without compromising the core espresso offer, and these coffees have then migrated into the world of espresso,” he says. “Given the fast pace of our industry and the desire amongst baristas to constantly experiment and innovate, it’s no surprise that many in our industry are now prepared to ignore convention as we look to reinvent the coffee experience for the 21st Century.”
Single origins appear to be particularly popular because of their traceability. Andrew Hetzel from CafeMakers Coffee Consultants explains, “Educated consumers that I have encountered are looking for guidance: help interpreting and communicating the complex tastes and sensations that they experience from good coffees. Most consumers are not educated and have no interest in becoming educated, but can be subtly guided to better quality coffees. The accompanying information a roaster or retailer provides is extremely helpful, describing its source (the farm, land, people, climate, cultivar, processing and so on) in as much detail as possible.”
Much as one can learn about fruits and vegetables from your local farmer, we also strive to share all we know about one of your most important daily beverages – coffee.
We go to the farm, so that you don’t have to!
© 2015 Ben Gangloff
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