Blends vs Single Origins — Which is Better?

With the rise in popularity of specialty coffee, there has been an increasing presence of single origin coffee among your favourite blends. But this begs the question, what's the difference between a bag of single origin coffee and blended coffee, and which is right for you?

Walk into any specialty coffee shop and you’ll be overwhelmed by the choices presented to you. A Brazilian single origin with notes of chocolate and malt or the House Blend with caramel and toffee, just to start. 

We love our single origins and blends, but the coffee you buy will change your home flavour experience. To help, decide if you want to discover something new or are after that familiar consistency with your morning brew. 

What is a single origin coffee?

A single origin is a single type of coffee bean that has been grown and sourced in one specific region of the world, from a single crop or producer. These beans are then roasted, brewed and enjoyed on their own, tasting unique every day.

What flavours can you expect with a single origin?

With single origin coffee, tasting notes depend on the climate, soils, and altitudes of where the coffee comes from; different regions will produce vastly different flavours. The flavours are summarised simply, reflecting localised climates in the overall experience.

This is an absolute paradise for those exploring the possibilities of flavour in coffee. Producing distinct flavours in each cup with single origin coffee relies heavily on climate and the weather, so there will never be two origins tasting the same. This results in a slight difference with every crop, roast, or cup you buy.

What are the best brew methods for single origin coffee?

Single origin coffee is perfectly suited to alternative brewing at home, with soft brew methods like pour-over or AeroPress. Brewing with these methods will gently bring out delicious flavour, so you’ve got a great chance of tasting those juicy apple and caramel notes in that Colombia Pescador you just bought. We’re constantly discovering amazing flavours in different regions, so we love single origin coffee and we’ve got an entire galaxy range dedicated to our favourites.

What is blended coffee?

Coffee blends are made up of two or more types of coffee beans from different origins roasted together to get a more balanced and consistent flavour. Blends represent the majority of coffee consumption as they allow us to conceptualise a particular flavour profile that we want to create, then use different beans, roast temperatures and ratios to tweak the roast and achieve this.

What flavours can you expect from blended coffee?

Blended coffee is a lot more robust than a single origin. You can select chocolate and nutty characteristics of one origin to work in conjunction with lighter tones like fruit, spice or sweetness from another to produce a beautifully balanced flavour profile.

Why do we create coffee blends?

Blending coffee is a way to guarantee consistency in every single cup; expanding repeatable flavour to build a dependable morning ritual. We take the best parts of single origin coffee and pair them with others, similar or contrasting, to achieve a variety of exceptional flavours.

Our Allpress Espresso Blend is the perfect example of how we use blending to produce a consistent and reliable coffee flavour. We've been refining this one for over thirty years, so you’d be hard-pressed to find a better example of how to achieve a specific flavour consistency over such a long period of time.

What are the best brew methods for coffee blends?

Coffee blends and espresso go hand in hand. When you’re slamming intense, espresso-level pressure through your coffee, you want to make sure there’s enough flavour to stand against that pressure and taste delicious once it’s finished. Do you want something big, fat, and chocolatey? Or perhaps something more subtle with smooth milk chocolate and citrus? Blends are designed and roasted to get you that flavour, reliably and consistently. Although blends are ideal for espresso, you can expect a wide spectrum of flavour from a blend regardless of how you brew - you can still use your stovetop to brew top-notch blends!

Blending coffee enables our flavour to travel around the world, from Dunedin to London; but iconic flavour doesn’t come by easily. The Allpress flavour is consistently delicious, because we blend for complexity and roast to perfection.

So, which is right for you at home; single origins or blends?

We’ve got out recommendations, but it comes down to however you want to enjoy your morning brew. We love the consistency in our blends, but when we’re discovering and experiencing a new single origin flavour, there’s never a dull moment.