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



When you first enter the world of coffee, everything seems so simple. Usually, you learn about the different types of coffee beverages, like lattes, mochas, cappuccinos, and americanos. But as you get more familiar with coffee, you realize there are a lot more complexities.


For starters, not only is there drip coffee made with basic coffee makers, there’s also the concept of a pour over, which is essentially a more exquisite way of making a single cup of coffee rather than an entire pot. Similarly, there’s the whole concept of single origin coffee vs blends.


Even though the seemingly endless variety of coffee might appear overwhelming at face value, it’s actually a lot more digestible once you take a closer look. Today, we’re going to focus on single origin coffee vs blends.


We’ll tell you what single origin coffee is, followed by an explanation of coffee blends and how they differ from single origin coffee. Then, we’ll help you decide which is best for you and point you in the direction of the best single origin coffee vs blends on the market!


What is Single Origin Coffee?

Single origin coffee is exactly what it sounds like — coffee with a single origin. In other words, single origin coffee refers to beans that are sourced from the same place. For example, a single origin Nicaraguan coffee is coffee grown, harvested, and likely roasted in Nicaragua.


The one caveat of single origin coffee is that it's not always available. Since single origin coffee is sourced from one specific location, the production process for that coffee will be halted by the seasons.


Coffee cherries rely on certain weather conditions in order to grow, so the coffee growers and roasters will only be able to sell their coffee during seasons that allow for the production of said coffee. If the geography does not permit coffee to grow, the coffee can't be sold until the right season rolls around again. So, single origin coffee is usually seasonal.


What is a Coffee Blend?

Just like single origin coffee is sourced from one location, coffee blends are combinations of beans from multiple locations. The beauty of coffee blends is the way by which they create unique flavor profiles, tasting notes, and aromas because they combine the flavor profiles, tasting notes, and aromas of more than one type of bean.


Many people say that coffee blends provide more variety, which can be a lot of fun for people who want to expand their palette. Another advantage of coffee blends is that they are available all year round. Unlike single origin blends, which are affected by the seasons, coffee blends combine an array of coffee beans, meaning beans can be sourced every month of the year.


What’s the Difference Between Single Origin Coffee vs Blends?

The best way to think about single origin coffee vs blends is by considering where the coffee beans come from. Single origin coffee is not from one specific location, meaning you can buy single origin coffee from Ecuador, Colombia, Vietnam, Ethiopia, or anywhere else in the world that has viable soil and weather for coffee to grow!


But in order to be a single origin coffee, all of the beans have to come from the same place. Like we mentioned, single origin coffee is just that — all of the beans have a single origin! But blends, on the other hand, are made up of coffee beans from more than one geographic location, meaning blends contain coffee from multiple origins.


If it helps, you can think of blends as multiple origin coffee. That way, you can use a mental trick to remember that single origin coffee comes from the same place while blends contain coffee beans from multiple places.


Should You Choose Blends or Single Origin Coffee?

At the end of the day, coffee is a personal preference. Whether you choose blends or single origin coffee, you’ll be the one drinking your coffee of choice, so this is a question only you can answer!


But to help you out, we recommend looking at the tasting notes of the coffee you are thinking about buying. The flavor profiles of each time of coffee can make it easier for you to figure out if you’ll like that particular blend and single origin coffee or not.


It’s less about whether the coffee is single origin vs blends and more about how it smells or tastes! So, reading about the aroma and tasting notes of coffee will allow you to make a decision that you’re happy with more than focusing on whether it’s a blend or a type of single origin coffee.


Where to Buy Single Origin Coffee vs Blends

Are you trying to figure out where to buy single origin coffee vs blends? The good news is that at Altruistic Joe, you don’t have to choose between one or the other! You can buy both single origin coffee and blends from our online store.


Our list of currently available single origin coffee (at the time of this post) includes the following options:


  • Ethiopian Heirloom (Light-Medium Roast)

  • Guatemalan Huehuetenango (Medium Roast)

  • Guatemalan Palencia (Light-Medium Roast)

  • Colombian Unleaded Decaf (Medium Roast)

  • El Salvador Monte Verde (Medium Roast)


And when it comes to year-round coffee blends, we offer four types of coffee blends:


  • Big Iron Blend (Medium-Dark Roast)

  • Cream & Crimson Blend (Light-Medium Roast)

  • Wake Up! Espresso Roast (Medium-Dark Roast)

  • Smokehouse Dark Roast (Dark Roast)


If you are still not sure whether you would prefer single origin coffee vs blends, the best thing to do is try both! That’s why we offer sample packs. They make it possible for you to try an array of our coffee products without committing to a whole bag of beans.


Feel free to look around our shop and explore all of our coffee, including single origin coffee, year-round blends, and sample packs! Don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter while you're at it. If you sign up for our mailing list, we'll send you a discount code to help you save 10% on your purchase.


Now that's what we call great coffee you can feel good about!