Let’s be real. Normal, regular coffee drinkers don’t pay a lot of mind to this characteristic. But you are no normal, regular coffee drinker and you do care where your beans came from. The thing is, though both sides have their detractors and their advocates, both coffee types have their blessings and their curses.
The real coffee aficionado should know these, not only to impress other coffee drinkers but to make an informed decision whenever the time comes. Sometimes you will think a single origin cup of coffee is what you need; other times, a blend. The variety of flavors available is almost limitless, and you will be glad you made the choice to open your mind (and your taste buds!).
Let’s take a look at some of the more general characteristics of each group. You draw your own conclusions, and trust me, you will not be disappointed.
What About Coffee Blends
As it may be easy to imagine, one of the strongest arguments against blends is that producers may use this as a strategy to “hide” poorer quality beans. This is why it is strongly advised to taste and try the different crops that make up one blend in order to be able to enjoy each type separately, which will also make you able to differentiate which characteristics each individual crop brings to the blend.
But blends are definitely not all about hiding and suspicion. Roasters who specialize in this area of coffee making are genuinely looking into giving the costumer the greatest flavor possible. By taking advantage of one bean’s body, another’s aroma and a third one’s flavor, roasters and baristas are able to offer their clients a unique blend that represents their particular style and can even be a signature for their specific coffee houses.
How About Single Origin Coffee
On the other hand, a strong critique that has been made against single origin beans is that they often lack one or even more characteristics that are wanted when looking for the ultimate cup of Joe.
As I said before, blends are used to counteract this flaw, but many coffee purists affirm that the beans are not to blame. Their argument, which I find is pretty coherent, states that this weakness can be attributed to people applying the same process to every bean without leaving room for experimenting and trial and error.
It is considered a fact by most coffee drinkers that every crop is different, so using the same exact brewing method for all seems a bit counterproductive. If you are brewing with a quality coffee grinder then it should be easy to change your grind and use a different coffee brewing method to maximize the beans potential.
Is One Better Than The Other
So I think it is safe to say that the best thing about blends is how customizable they are. You can adjust almost every aspect of your coffee by purchasing different beans and mixing and experimenting. Of course this is a recipe for many failed cups but I promise you the final result is priceless and you won’t be able to get it over the counter.
When it comes to single origin beans, their strongest suit is their honesty. You will be able to taste every little facet of the bean in a much purer way, and once you learn which method works best for a specific bean, you are set.
Personally, I don’t think one type of coffee is better than the other. I am a coffee fan and I acknowledge that specific blends adjust better to specific needs but I can appreciate all the different little characteristics that come up when tasting a single origin cup of coffee. What is true, though, is how different both styles are, but I see that as an advantage rather than a competition. If you open your mind a bit, you will find that what you have been missing is much better and richer than whatever prejudice was holding you back.