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  • single origin vs blend

    Hi, all!
    I am curious what people here drink more - straight single origins or blends. Is it 50-50? or someone prefers to stick to single origins predominantly? or the other way around?

    I guess its because I am still discovering coffee, I find it more fascinating to drink single origin coffees, as its quite different experience every time. Even though a good blend probably makes better, more balanced espresso at times, I guess single origins have more pronounced character at times. I guess it may change in future when I know more about coffee and perhaps when I start roasting my beans and blend them myself...

    cheers
    Ed

  • #2
    Re: single origin vs blend

    99% of the time I drink SOs.

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    • #3
      Re: single origin vs blend

      Im probably about 75% SOs, 25% Blends.

      I usually use blends when people come around and Im making a few drinks... I dont really know why I do, just seems the safe option for me i think....

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      • #4
        Re: single origin vs blend

        Nearly always SOs. I even only offer SOs in my cafe.

        I dont want to be stuck in the 3rd wave forever...

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        • #5
          Re: single origin vs blend

          I got into blending 3-4 beans for a few months but have reverted to so again. The majority of beans I have been purchasing stand up on their own without needed to be blended and experiencing the different characteristics of so beans I think helps enhance my coffee experience.
          Recent so that I have loved:-
          Honduran
          Indian Monsoon Malabar
          Kenya A
          Yemen Bani Ismail
          PNG Kinjibi Peaberry

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: single origin vs blend

            bit of a mix for me when it comes to SOs and blends. Ill usually buy a blend and an SO at the same time when I buy roasted beans, but if the SO comes out really well Ill go back and get more and keep buying it until i get bored with it or the supply dries up.

            Ill always pick up an SO if its one Ive not tried before.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: single origin vs blend

              Hehehe ... good question!

              My consumption patterns tend to yo-yo about wildly.

              I tend to enjoy drinking blends at cafes, even those that offer single origins. The prime example for me is St Ali, which is really famous for having a variety of SO coffees. The guys have now put several years of effort into their espresso blend and it has been heaps of fun tasting its development. I love drinking their blend in their cafe because that is exactly how they want to present it.

              I prefer drinking SOs at home to drinking them in cafes because I can really experiment with all of the variables to explore the flavours that I can get out of them. That said, I probably drink more blends at home than SOs. Maybe a 3:1 split.

              For me, theres nothing that magical about SOs ... nor is there anything especially brilliant about blends. Its a case of the ends justifying the means. Occasionally I will stumble upon an awesome SO that provides a perfectly balanced espresso experience, but this is pretty rare. The only ones that spring to mind recently have been the various Mountain Top coffees, a Colombian Popayan and the Zambia Lupili estate. Perhaps this is simply a case of Australia not having the buying power to get better SOs. I dont know.

              More often, I dont think that SOs contribute a rounded experience. I think that it isnt a stretch to divide most coffees into body beans or flavour beans. Seldom does one SO offer both. However, when pairing the two together is a very easy way to create an espresso that ticks all of the boxes. IMHO, a simple blend like this relies on the expression of the characteristics of both coffees, which showcases them at their best. This is a totally different idea from the bad connotation of blending - mixing good coffee in with mediocre coffee to make it palatable. I also enjoy more complicated blends, but subject to the idea that every component needs to contribute to the final cup. If a component isnt doing anything, Id rather ditch it and add more of the basic body or flavour bean. Im happy to dabble with relatively simple blends at home, but I defer to those with more experience than I have to create complex blends with four or more components.

              I tend to have a bias towards espresso with clearly defined flavours, so I probably would prefer to have a blend that focussed on one or two distinct flavours, rather than trying to create a melange. For example, I personally wouldnt blend a Harrar and a Yirg - I would rather have more of one and none of the other in a blend. But thats just my preference for a simple blend to have day in, day out. I also enjoy more cerebral, experimental blends. Often these have little or no body component and heaps of flavour/aromatic beans. So there is where I might enjoy a Harrar, Yirg, Kenyan, Guat potpurri type blend.

              I blend occasionally for non-espresso coffee, but this is usually where SOs shine for me. Something like a top-quality Kenyan has so much complexity that changes as the cup cools that it is difficult to say that adding more would be an improvement.

              ... but thats just where Im at now!

              Cheers,

              Luca

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: single origin vs blend

                Originally posted by luca link=1206395874/0#6 date=1206415176
                ... but thats just where Im at now!

                Yeah I hear you. I guess the only reason I have more SOs than blends lately is that I feel my palate is reletively undeveloped so Im trying to get a feel of the different characteristics of different origins and different beans.

                I almost enjoy the blends more in an appreciative sense, but I also enjoy the SOs in an education sense.

                I had some St Alis the other day here in Mosman, Sydney, (the only place in Sydney, maybe NSW, that you can get it) at The Source - one word - YUM. They definitely put the Synesso to good use there - and the barista with a (full sized) PF tatooed on his arm is usually a good sign theyre passionate about their coffee. I wouldnt be surprised if the employees are luring around this forum
                Top blend tho.

                YZa

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: single origin vs blend

                  Originally posted by YeeZa link=1206395874/0#7 date=1206416127
                  I had some St Alis the other day here in Mosman, Sydney, (the only place in Sydney, maybe NSW, that you can get it) at The Source - one word - YUM.
                  yeah, St. Alis espresso is a top drink! However, some of their SOs work well for me too..

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: single origin vs blend

                    Hmmm,

                    Interesting question. I usually try new beans/crops as SOs until Im satisfied that I have the roast profile where I want it and maybe for a bit longer. After a while though I seem to get to a point where I start to search for ways to balance out the brew more for my palate and this invariably leads to a series of blends until Im happy that the resulting brew really satisfies me. In doing this though, I always try to ensure that the intrinsic qualities of any single varietal are not lost or overpowered by other fractions of the blend, rather that they all contribute to the whole and not diminish any individual quality, preferably the blend will enhance the overall sensation of a beautiful and exceptional bean.

                    Of course, I really enjoy drinking SO brews intermittently so as to ensure I dont forget the main qualities of any of the bean varieties I have on hand..... Doesnt hurt to rebuild the synapse pathways now and again ,

                    Cheers,
                    Mal.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: single origin vs blend

                      I drink about 90% SO, with the occasional blend. At the moment Im enjoying having a different coffee almost every time.
                      Same with my wines--mostly varietal, with a few blends for a specific taste sensation.
                      Greg

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                      • #12
                        Re: single origin vs blend

                        Genrally only drank a blend that i came across after experimentation but recently have been having SOs.
                        I have no preference for either, i just roast whatever if feel like and that determines everything.

                        Mal

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                        • #13
                          Re: single origin vs blend

                          Im trying a SO (Malawi) now... but really loved Andys WOW blend

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                          • #14
                            Re: single origin vs blend

                            Funny enough sparro, tomorrows coffee of the day in the cafe is Malawi. Go figure!

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                            • #15
                              Re: single origin vs blend

                              hmmm just checked out your breakfast menu too.... yum... I could crawl out of bed by 11am... and compare the Malawis. yum yum.

                              Comment

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