What Are Single Origins and Blends?

November 16, 2022

Navigating the coffee aisle at the grocery store involves reading plenty of labels on packaging. Two of the most commonly seen labels are "single-origin" and "coffee blend," which refer to a given coffee batch's origin and corresponding flavor profile. When it comes to choosing between the two varieties, there is never a right or wrong choice, but more so one that comes down to personal preference. Coffee is nuanced, so where you source your beans will make a significant difference in what you taste.


The term "single-origin" means that your batch of coffee beans was sourced from one place, often being a specific country, region, or farm.

However, how a person defines "single-origin" can vary. For example, brands at the grocery store may include very broad labels, like "Colombian Coffee," on their packaging without any specificity on where in the country its beans originate from. In other words, these labels can hide the fact that a coffee is a blend of beans from various regions rather than being true "single-origin" coffee.

To guarantee that your coffee is single-origin, check your packaging for details. Brands that share information on individual farms and producers usually provide true single-origin beans.

Have a favorite region, or curious to try new ones? Check the regional options here, and learn more about the farmers who grow it here.

At Lardera Roasters, we believe in sourcing our artisanal coffee directly from farmers to ensure quality and create a mutually beneficial business venture for us and our producers around the world. Venture into the world of single-origin coffees with ease by shopping our current selection. Our network sources beans from various farmers in the country directly, each one presenting a unique coffee experience in every cup.

Coffee purists often insist that single-origins should never be mixed with milk or other flavorings since it will obscure the roast's natural taste. This opinion stems from what makes single-origins particular: seasonality.

Climate and processing methods play a large role in a coffee batch's flavor, which is why some single-origins are only available during select months of the year. For avid coffee drinkers, a specific single-origin from a certain region might be a special treat that comes around every so often; therefore, enjoying it calls for a purist approach to savor its full spectrum of flavor.

Coffee Blends

Coffee blends are a mixture of various coffee bean types that form a specific flavor profile. In some cases, coffee blends can consist of beans from different coffee varieties, different regions, and even different continents.

It's common to find brands that blend beans from multiple origins; however, roasters typically want to avoid too many competing flavor profiles in a blend. More often than not, coffee blends will stick to a maximum of two coffee varieties when creating a delicious batch.

It's believed that the concept of coffee blends originated in the 17th century during the Dutch colonial era. Dutch traders famously brought the Arabica coffee plant to the Dutch East Indies, establishing what is known today as Indonesia's massive coffee industry. Arabica beans were the only variety commercially traded at the time, but Dutch figured combining beans from Indonesia and East Africa could potentially produce a new coffee experience. In doing so, they managed to create the Mocha Java blend, which is commonly consumed to this day. Known for its balanced flavor profile that combines elements of earthiness, herbs, and fruit, Mocha Java's success proved that this new concept could be a profitable venture.

In today's coffee market, Robusta coffee is commonly mixed in with Arabica for a handful of reasons. Robusta's higher caffeine content helps give Arabica blends a needed jolt of energy. Robusta beans also bring additional body to Arabica varieties, which in return contribute a far more complex flavor profile.

Lardera's beans are all Arabica, single-origin beans.

Coffee blends, unlike single-origins, are available year-round and are a more suitable option for mixing with milk and other ingredients.