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Thread: Can a green blend be single origin?

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    Can a green blend be single origin?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Interesting discussion out of another thread which I hadnt previously considered...

    You buy greens produced from one farm of a co-op. and theyre marketed as single origin estate. Off the top of your head, would you consider that a blend of 2 or more varietals- say yellow bourbon and typica for example fits your definition or would you expect just one varietal? *:-?

    Keen to hear your thoughts....

    Chris

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    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Re: Can a green blend be single origin?

    Well... in the case where the coffee happens to be 100% yellow bourbon that is 100% from Fazenda Rio Verde I think the answer is pretty clear

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    Re: Can a green blend be single origin?

    Woah, thats an interesting conundrum.

    My response would be biased from the wine world. Most of the French stuff is DOC protected and the rules state that for something to be Bordeaux (for example) that it must come from grapes of the varieties x,y,z grown with in the boundaries of I, J and K. The mix of x,y,z may vary from year to year but as long as it follows the rules it can be labelled a Bordeaux and depending on where abouts within I,J and K borders it would even be labelled a Grand Cru, Premier Cru, etc further narrowing down the origin and pedigree of the wine.

    (Also thinking of things like Merlot/Carmenere from Chile where it was only recently discovered that Carmenere was a distinct genetic species from Merlot - they look very similar. Theyd be picked at the same time, but given very subtle ripening differences the wines from year to year would be different - still though single origin).

    Now with all that said - as a background to my thinking - coffee like wine expresses its Terroir (place, soil etc) in beans. The same genetic line could be planted in two different soils, aspects and locations and give wildly different flavours. As the coffee is sold as coming from place/estate and is labelled as such, Id consider for myself personally that it matches the definition of origin.

    Now if we see the day where coffee is sold based on its variety (and assuming there is significant differences in flavour between varieties like say Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon) it may be possible to see labelling as such. At present Id say were just like the French wine system - coffee is sold not per variety, but by where it came from. A super snob may know the varieties that are grown/in the given blend from origin X, but the average coffee snob would know origin, and youre ordinary punter would still think were all mad as hatters.

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    Re: Can a green blend be single origin?

    Thanks maille, its interesting to compare it to wine...

    As an example, the Ipanema Rio Verde web page claims a blend of Mundo Novo and Red Catui- also marketed as single origin estate http://www.ipanemacoffees.com.br/index.php/en/products/our-coffee/estate-coffees/rio-verde

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    Re: Can a green blend be single origin?

    I consider an SO a single varietal.

    However, its been mentioned before that you can roast an SO to different levels and then blend them.
    To me thats an SO blend.

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    Re: Can a green blend be single origin?

    Thats true Chris... Ipanema does indeed do a Rio Verde sourced blend of Mundo Novo and Red Catuai and their decision to label it a single origin coffee would definitely fit within the breadth of this debate.

    However, they also supply 100% yellow bourbon also from Fazenda Rio Verde... very confusing I know but perhaps the following details from HABs current coffee offerings help clarify things for you:

    Rio Verde High Natural 10/11 Crop - Just In - Fazenda Rio Verdes high altitude Mundo Novo and Red Catuai varietals are left unhusked for 45 days to promote an absolutely balanced & vibrant coffee - an IPANEMA™ coffee.

    versus

    Fazenda Rio Verde Bourbon PC - Prepared exclusively from 100% Fazenda Rio Verde Bourbon beans grown at an altitude above 1,100 metres - limited production coffee - fully washed with very refined acidity, thick caramel body with hints of Irish Cream in the cup - an IPANEMA™ coffee.

    Now, I certainly thing that the latter definitely qualifies for Single Origin, Estate coffee... wouldnt you agree?

    And I do thank you for your interest in my current coffee offerings. Your attention is very flattering indeed ;-)

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    Re: Can a green blend be single origin?

    Its the marketing strategy of the biggies- both co-ops and brokers which is of interest. Sounds like a good base bean?

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    Re: Can a green blend be single origin?

    It is a good base bean and I have had some success blending it with a few of its South and Central American cousins but I have found that it stands out brilliantly as an SO due to its thick bodied, caramel and chocolate overtones... makes a great long black.

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    Re: Can a green blend be single origin?

    A single origin blend is possible by using different profiles and roast depth of separately roasted batches

    All of which will have a different flavour profile while sharing many common attributes

    KK

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    Re: Can a green blend be single origin?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1A3E373734340E1A3E223C3E510 link=1293415530/8#8 date=1293421532
    A single origin blend is possible by using different profiles and roast depth of separately roasted batches

    All of which will have a different flavour profile while sharing many common attributes *

    KK
    Yep KK, thats a given and I think many here have done that. I was more interested on opinions about blends produced at the plantation/estate.

    C

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    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Can a green blend be single origin?

    Quote Originally Posted by 0035383F0B173B32323131540 link=1293415530/9#9 date=1293429395
    Yep KK, thats a given and I think many here have done that. I was more interested on opinions about blends produced at the plantation/estate.

    C
    I think yes it can be done

    But if I wanted to be picky I would want

    1] The cherry picking is completed in short span in time from the same general region

    2] All beans processed together

    The only problem this mixing presents is that unless records are kept as to the percentages

    You could get a beautiful blend never to be repeated again

    KK


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    Re: Can a green blend be single origin?

    Im happy to accept what may be a loose definition of the term, single origin as the region, and understand that crops from the east side of a hill will vary from those that come from the west.

    As its not marketed as single varietal or paddock A, row B, etc. I think the answer is yes to your question Chris.

    Statements like, "abundant caramel, chocolate, etc." hint at the potential, though the outcome is entirely in the hands of the person roasting, so this is of less interest to me.


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    Re: Can a green blend be single origin?

    Quote Originally Posted by 61404B4B4C56250 link=1293415530/11#11 date=1293434865
    Statements like, "abundant caramel, chocolate, etc." hint at the potential, though the outcome is entirely in the hands of the person roasting, so this is of less interest to me.
    Well... this is the cupping room so I didnt think my comments on the roasted coffees character were out of place... this, of course, being the roasted coffee Chris and I have been discussing over a couple of different posts

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    Re: Can a green blend be single origin?

    Quote Originally Posted by 487770776A7F6D6D7B1E0 link=1293415530/12#12 date=1293435416
    being the roasted coffee Chris and I have been discussing over a couple of different posts *
    I havent seen it nor roasted it as I rarely purchase HAB. There is usually too much really special stuff out there for large volume beans to be of personal interest. As mentioned earlier on, I was just curious to hear what others thought the term SO estate meant? So I am asking about greens.

    Without even thinking about it, I had incorrectly assumed one varietal and probably picked and processed within a a fairly short time frame. Clearly that assumption is incorrect. It makes me wonder just how far the definition can be pushed?

    A mix of varietals, from different crops or even years...still estate SO?

    Chris

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    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Can a green blend be single origin?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6A555255485D4F4F593C0 link=1293415530/12#12 date=1293435416
    Well... this is the cupping room so I didnt think my comments on the roasted coffees character were out of place
    I didnt think they were either. Just my own opinion on what is more relevant for me.


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    Re: Can a green blend be single origin?

    How much genetic variation there is within the plants of a coffee plantation would depend on many things.

    If there are 20 different varieties of coffee grown in the same farm would it be a single origin from that farm?

    How much variation is acceptable?

    Counterfeit wine is quite common.

    It would be naive to think that substitution never happens in the coffee world either.

    All the buyers can do is pay a fair price and have a good relationship with the farmers.

    Also being well informed and so being suspicious if something seems amiss would help.

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    Re: Can a green blend be single origin?

    Quote Originally Posted by 16232E291D012D24242727420 link=1293415530/13#13 date=1293442749
    A mix of varietals, from different crops or even years...still estate SO?
    A very good question and one very relevant to the wine trade but, seemingly, not to the coffee trade. Is vintage something that should be included in SO coffees (sounds more than reasonable to me) and if it is something that should be set as a standard, how is that done and by whom? Are standards usually just set by average industry practice or do associations such as the ASCAA and the SCAA play a role? Also, given the size of fora such as CS, is there anything we can do to make things a bit more black and white?

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    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Re: Can a green blend be single origin?

    Just a suggestion, shouldnt we move this thread out of the Cupping Room and possibly either shift it to the Blending Room or perhaps even start a new room focusing on Labeling Standards?

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    Re: Can a green blend be single origin?

    Quote Originally Posted by 72474A4D79654940404343260 link=1293415530/13#13 date=1293442749
    It makes me wonder just how far the definition can b
    I asked similar questions to the organizers of a recent roasting competition, seeking clarification on the rules for Single-Origin entries.


    Is the scope of Single Origin limited by the borders of a country, e.g. Ethiopia, Brazil, etc. ?

    One could develop a blend of 3 Ethiopians such as Sidamo, Harrar and Yirg and still refer to it as a Single-Origin.

    or

    The producing areas within a single country, e.g. some countries have defined coffee regions, even called sections where the coffee is segmented and graded.

    This is more challenging to manage for competition terms as complete traceability crop is the small minority. As we know, quite a few processing plants and Co-ops perform blending to adjust the grades by preparing a "batch" to a price or quality point, matching the current and expected future contracts.

    In the higher quality section, farm or estate branding provides assurance, but for some origins, the distribution of greens is more tightly controlled by exporters and/or government bodies. This would have been literally impossible to manage for competition.


    or

    Varietals within a country. Examples of pre-blended outcomes being the Ipanema and Monte Alegre as discussed in earlier posts.


    The official response was simplistic and didnt elaborate on the scope or take varietals into consideration.

    Single Bean, Single Country, no blending.


    My personal view is that a Single Origin should have been from "the same bag and/or lot number"

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    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Can a green blend be single origin?

    The definition of single origin would seem to require a specified origin, for example:

    If it says "Ethiopia" then I would expect all the coffee to be from Ethiopia. If it specifies the country, estate, farm, row, year, and processing style (as some do) then thats what I would expect.

    If it isnt specified, then it isnt specified. ;D

    Greg

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    Re: Can a green blend be single origin?

    Quote Originally Posted by 56637476467E637C707D75110 link=1293415530/19#19 date=1293771644
    If it says "Ethiopia" then I would expect all the coffee to be from Ethiopia. If it specifies the country, estate, farm, row, year, and processing style (as some do) then thats what I would expect.
    Id agree with this. I would think though that a single origin Ethiopian Robusta/Arabica blend labelled "Single Origin Ethiopian" would be a stretch.

    Without having thought about it before, Ive always considered single origin to be from one farm or growing region/co-op, and would have thought that all participants in that region would have similar origin plant stock, as opposed to different varietals. In addition, how it is pulped and dried would be very important - ie 50 farmers all bring their beans in for processing, and they should all be dried in the same manner, not be processed off site, then simply blended together prior to shipping/selling.

    It could get really messy with say a single origin Kopi Luwak...(ie did it all pass through the same animal or are all the beans from one place in the first place).

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    Re: Can a green blend be single origin?

    Quote Originally Posted by 726D6F756C796E6F78000 link=1293415530/20#20 date=1293774051
    It could get really messy with say a single origin Kopi Luwak...(ie did it all pass through the same animal or are all the beans from one place in the first place).
    Hmmm... now theres an idea. Cage them up individually, fill them full of coffee cherries and process the collected passthrough product as SO. Could be labelled as "Passed through Ralph the Palm Civet" etc...

    ;D



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