grinding coffee beans

Coffee Basics: Single Origin vs. Blends — What's the Difference?

The terminology and technology of roasting coffee continue to evolve with the ever-growing demand for better-tasting brews. Often confusing to those who are beginning to educate themselves on coffee is understanding the differences between single-origin and blends. Keep reading to find out if one is better than the other and what Philocoffea's founder and world champion barista recommends.

What Is Single Origin Coffee?

Single-origin coffee simply comes from a single producer, crop, or region within one country. The beans are generally named after the community, farm, or co-op that produced them. The best single-origin coffees deliver a unique and unforgettable taste.

What Are Blends?

Blends are made up of different coffee bean crops. In other words, coffee beans from different farms are blended together to lessen unwanted flavors, acids, and aromas by matching them with softer, rounded flavors. Sometimes blends are made up by combining several coffees from around the world. Other times they are regional blends combining different beans from a particular geographical region such as South America.

Is Single Origin Coffee Better Than Blended Coffee?

Is Single Origin Coffee Better Than Blended Coffee?
While it is understandable, some might assume that single-origin coffee is superior to blended coffee because of its "pure," unadulterated flavors. That is not always the case. Tetsu Kasuya — Philocoffea's founder and 2016 World Brewers Cup champion — continues to work toward developing blends that embody the essence of what he considers to be "truly exceptional coffee."

However, creating a great blend is challenging for any roaster, including Tetsu, because you must first understand what makes for superb coffee. Then, it is a matter of calculating backward and adjusting factors such as the combination of mixing and matching green coffee beans and choosing the best roasting method to reach the desired outcome.

That is why it takes Philocoffea's team so long to create a new blend. Because of this, we do not serve the kinds of seasonal blends that are often promoted at chain coffee shops. Instead, we continue to produce our carefully tested, three standard blends throughout the year as they are delicious every season. With that being said, there are subtle changes that naturally occur as we roast our blends each time.

Just as single-origin coffee is not superior to blended coffee, neither are blends superior to single-origin. With single-origin coffee, everything comes down to the bean that is being roasted. At Philocoffea, we only purchase beans that we think are genuinely delicious and pursue the best ways to serve them to our customers. Part of what motivates us is the surprise and excitement of the resulting taste profiles that deep roasting brings out.

Philocoffea’s Single Origin Offerings

Whether you are looking for specialty coffees with a rich, fruity flavor and pleasant acidity or those with complex characteristics and sweetness, there is a Philocoffea single-origin coffee that will meet your needs.

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Red coffee beans on a vine, Sakicha Plantation, Ethiopia.

 

How Tetsu Kasuya Selects Beans for Philocoffea’s Single Origin Coffees

Tetsu has curated outstanding single-origin coffees in what we call the Kasuya Selection. To be included, they must meet the following standards.

  • The coffee beans must be highly rated by several international authorities.
  • Tetsu himself has visited the farm to inspect the fields and has left with a very favorable impression of the farm's operations.
Tetsu Kasuya with the staff of Sakicha Plantation, Ethiopia.

Philocoffea's Blended Coffees

At Philocoffea, our goal is to produce unique blends to fit the varying palates of our customers.

Our Three Standard Blends

We have created three options called the Rudder Blends that offer a spectrum of ideal flavors for casual daily enjoyment.

  • 012 Rudder Blend Medium has well-balanced natural sweetness and acidity. It is designed to help you get through the day with a little boost of energy. With this blend, you can take your time and enjoy its meandering flavors.
  • 013 Rudder Blend Medium Dark has a profound sweetness that is ideal for enjoying while taking a restful moment after lunch.
  • 014 Rudder Blend Dark focuses on a deep, rich sweetness and a sharp, clean bitterness. It is an excellent choice for relaxing after a hard day's work.

The flexible approach of our Rudder Blends is designed to help you enjoy truly great coffee whatever the time may be and how you may feel on any particular day. We hope you find they add color to your daily life.

A chart comparing the characteristics of Philocoffea's three blends; 012, 013, and 014.

Our Approach to Blends

Truly exquisite coffee is more than a drink — it makes you pause whatever you are doing and simply be present in that moment. While every coffee lover should seek this experience from time to time, it is not ideal for our daily routines because often we are too busy to put our full attention into drinking coffee during the day.

At Philocoffea, we believe that our blends should elevate even ordinary times. Our aim is to create blends that serve as your companion throughout the day, playing a supporting character in your life's story. Thus, we carefully adjust the combination of green coffee beans and the roasting method to deliberately avoid overly strong taste profiles.

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Last but Not Least

Each individual has his or her own way of enjoying coffee, and there is no right or wrong choice. We hope that everyone who picks up our single source or blended coffees will find enjoyment in their diversity.

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