Coffee Blends or Single Origins: Which is Best?

Single Origin or Coffee Blend

Here at Redber we offer an exciting and ever-growing range of both single origin coffees and coffee blends, but which is better to drink? Do coffee roasters favour blends over single origin?

Let’s start by explaining the definitions of the two terms.

Single origin means that the beans come from one place, usually from a certain region or country or specific farm. The most elite are called micro-lot coffee.

Coffee blend combines coffee beans from several origins to create a tailored flavour profile.

So what’s the difference in taste?

Origin coffees often have unique or distinct characteristics, which makes them stand out from the ‘average’ coffee flavour. For example, our Monsooned Malabar has a spicy aroma that few other coffees replicate.

Conversely, blends give consumers the best of a few different beans, which will make the coffee more complex. It is the grouping of qualities from each coffee bean that gives the finishing product its flair.

Understanding and combining origin coffees in different ratios can produce some well-rounded tasting blends, but also on some occasions make things worse if not done well.  Roasters like us will spend a lot of time creating blends, trying different mixes for weeks or months until we are happy with the result.

coffee bean sacks

Creating a Coffee Blend

Blends can often be formed from beans that complement each other, but can also be created for a contrasting effect. Our Sweet Shop Blend combines the complimentary flavours of Ethiopia, Kenya and Brazil. It is the similarities of their sweet and fruity essences that create this aromatic blend. In comparison to this, our Santos and Old Brown Java Blend groups two popular beans that contrast with each other. The Brazil Santos beans are sweet and smooth, whereas the Old Brown Java are musky with rustic earthy flavour notes. The combination of the two creates a rich, bold, and smoky coffee.

Our blends may need to be altered from time to time if the taste of a certain bean has changed. Changes in taste can be due to a number of factors. These include climate change, a change in soil conditions, or a change in the way the beans have been fermented, dried, or stored. These factors can have a huge impact on the overall taste of the blend. This is something we try to avoid, as we wish to keep a consistent flavour for our customers that enjoy it. This means that the use of the beans will need re-assessing. The amount added will need to be adjusted or the bean substituted with an alternative.

There is much debate on whether beans should be blended before or after roasting. As expert coffee roasters, we say that there is no right answer. The preferred method depends on the beans, the efficiency, practicality, and the specificity of the blend. Therefore, we generally tend to use both methods.

coffee in roaster

So which is better: Coffee Blends or Single Origins?

It’s up to you! Coffee is all about personal preference, so there is no right or wrong answer. Some would say that you cannot beat great single origin beans, where you can enjoy coffee in its purest form. On the other hand, you have the option of multiple beans mixed specifically to create exciting new flavours. You have the opportunity to have an enriching coffee experience with either of the two! 

Explore our wide range of coffees here.