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Single origin blend

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  • Single origin blend

    I saw a sign at the cafe on the ground floor of my workplace: "Try our single origin blend" I felt like approaching the owner and asking him WTF then I thought whether that really is an oxymoron.

    No, he wasn't selling a blend made by the 'Single origin Roasters' as another sign advises the cafe's coffee is supplied by Toby's

    • Would a blend of two different varieties of bean from the same farm be a single origin blend? (I say no)

    • The Tanzanian KVCG beans sold in BeanBay reecently came from more than one grower. Could it be argued that this is also a single origin blend? (I say no)

    • If you roast two different Ethiopian Yirgacheffe lots and blend them together, could that be considered a single origin blend? (Hmmm...I don't think so and why would you do this unless they are bag ends)

    I guess it doesn't really matter what the coffee is called as long as it's good but I'm sure that sign would raise more than one eyebrow.

  • #2
    I think it generally refers to a blend of beans from the same batch, but roasted to different levels (e.g. 50% Brazil PN roasted to CS10, 50% Brazil PN roasted to CS8) There are a few older threads on CS about this, but the search function doesn't like 'single origin blend' so I gave up.


    • #3
      Yes and its also their chosen form of marketing to try and get more customers in the door or to try perhaps a second coffee. They could just as easily have put up a sign that says...."try our NEW SIGNATuRE blend"..... or, " an extra 50 cents for your first cuppa, and get a second cup for free...made with our NEW highgrown swaziland arabica roasted in a gold plated roasting machine..."

      While the term has a particular meaning (well annunciated by Barry above / same coffee roasted 2 different ways then blended together), the current "street" meaning is...."...we need some more custom so please come in and try our coffee....whatever it may be...".

      This is a serious reply, we are living in very dire times for retailing in this country, with cafe and coffee industry particularly fragmented, and only the smartest will survive.


      • #4
        Definitely seems like a marketing gimmick to me. It could even be a CO-op bean. You never quite know, but there's no doubt that a single origin blend is just contradicting itself. I would suggest the WTF route to the cafe manager haha, I prefer the confrontational approach because it may very well give me a chuckle or two


        • #5
          I guess Barry's explanation covers it if a blend means " a coffee bean mixture that is made up of different roasts, styles, or tastes of coffee,"


          • #6
            Originally posted by brendogs View Post
            .... there's no doubt that a single origin blend is just contradicting itself....
            Not really. Its just an "unfortunate" descriptive term for a perfectly legitimate form of blending, which is to roast something in two different ways and add them together. There is no reason why that should be any different to roasting 2 diff types of bean in different ways or even the same way, then adding them together. They are all legitimate forms of blending.

            While the term may sound contradictory (SO/blend), the real outcome isnt.

            A lot of coffee terminology these days is nothing more than thinly veiled (or outright) BS, designed to get the consumer to consume yours over someone else's, and a lot of this has been pumped around courtesy of the www. I put it to you, that the www has put it to the masses over a considerable period of time now, that SO's are somehow "better" than blends and that blends are a convenient way for unscrupulous capitalist roasters, to hide their use of low priced inferior ingredients to increase their margins. I never said this by the way, its just the impression I get from years of reading this stuff on the web. So to offer an SO blend, must be somehow better than offering just a ....blend.

            That's marketing, and I wonder why a shop keeper just cant put up a sign that says "hey, this is my cafe, I sunk my last bottom dollar into it to eek out a living, I do my best, and I would really like you all to give me a go and try my coffee which incidentally I am presenting to you because I happen to like it and I hope you do to..."

            But of course that's just naive...

            Ultimately I dont care what the brew was made from (SO, SO blend or just humble blend) as long as it tastes good.

            EDIT wrt "...It could even be a CO-op bean...."
            Oh I should mention, coffees marketed or singled out to be so called "Single Origin's" often still go through a Co-Op for necessary processing....someone has to process it whether it be the farmer or the local mill. That doesnt mean the coffee has been bulked with others or that it is any less of a "single origin".
            Last edited by TOK; 25 February 2015, 03:29 PM. Reason: add EDIT


            • #7
              Agreed TOK and it becomes even more interesting re the um.... Co-op blend deal.

              You and I both know that when it comes to a lot of African coffee there is no such thing as an 'SO' unless that term

              is used in proper context and includes all of those coffees grown on very small plots, sold to a buyer, who then on-sells it to

              a washing station. The resulting coffee will be grouped with other similar coffees and given a classification. Sometimes the coffee

              will have a regional name only....i.e. Sidamo Grade xxx; sometimes it might be Sidamo Muwassa ( a washing station) Grade xxx.

              Provenance of some African coffee is often hard to trace back to the grower.

              Now, about micro lots..... :-D

              So it begs the question......what is an 'SO' anyway? ( other than a marketing term )


              • #8
                A good example of a single origin blend would be what is happening up at Mount Tamborine Coffee Plantation.Its called Moonage Daydream.
                Naturals, Honeyed,washed and semiwashed all from the same plantation,then blended and roasted.
                Timothy Sweet from Base, along with Uncle Joes have some of this wicked blend.
                So yes,single origin blend,Aussie grown,but not available everywhere.