Is coffee all created equal?
A common misconception that all coffee is created equal. Isn’t coffee just a means of receiving my morning caffeine boost (and post lunch-coma boost)?
These are questions that we asked ourselves a few months ago and also embarrassingly asked many coffee experts/roasters. Since starting The Good Morning Project, we realized how complicated coffee really was. We also realized that origin actually matters...a lot.
Terms like blended coffee, single origin coffee, single-farm coffee and microlot coffee are details to pay attention to when purchasing your daily energizer. Let me explain, in plain English, without industry jargon.
It all comes down to: Quality and Traceability but also ensuring the farmers get a fair price for their beans.
In your cup, you could have coffee beans from Colombia, mixed with beans from Brazil, mixed with beans from Panama. The problem with this United Nations of coffee beans, is that you lose quality and flavor. Not to mention that you don’t know how old the coffee is (maybe the Brazilian beans are a year older than the Panama beans!) or where it was actually purchased. As a result, these types of coffees are typically roasted darker, in order to create uniformity from the contrasting origins (and in order to hide the variances between tastes). You also won’t get any particular flavor profile from those coffees.
Single Origin Coffee
A step above blended coffee. This means that the coffee beans only come from one country or one region. For example, the beautiful country of Colombia. However, similar problems still exist in terms of quality and traceability, but to a lesser degree. Colombia is a big country! So you could still have beans from one end of the country, mixed with beans from the other, with the same issues as with beans from different countries.
Single Farm Coffee
Now we get to the good stuff! Not only is the quality far superior but you also know exactly where your coffee came from - it comes from just one farm! Your coffee will express the natural flavors of its environment and your taste buds will feel the presence of the banana trees, orange trees and jasmine plants that surround the coffee trees.
The best of the best. Micro-lot coffee is the purest form of coffee. It resembles all the characteristics of single farm coffee but it is given extra special care and attention. Instead of coming from just one farm, it comes from just one lot from that one farm. Buyer beware, once you try your first micro-lot coffee, it will be hard to ever have blended coffee again.
Of course, as the old saying goes in coffee: “the best coffee is the one you prefer”. BUT, if you haven’t had the chance to try a single farm or micro-lot coffee, then you haven’t had the best :)