Single-origin, 100% Arabica and Specialty Coffee: meaning and differences

I maestri della tostatura media

A few days ago I received an email from the newsletter of a coffee dil brand.

The theme was the presentation of its new Mono origins.

Reading it, however, I realized that there is a lot of confusion on the topic of single origins and their difference with blends even among professionals. As a result, this creates confusion among consumers.

So it seemed only fair to shed some light and understand what single origin (single origin) coffee meant and how it differs from a 100% Arabica, specialty coffee, or blend.

Single-origin coffees are coffees that come from a well-defined and circumscribed area. They will then be single species coffee, that is, either Arabica-only or Robusta-only, and furthermore grown on a single plantation or Fazenda (farm).

Specifically, to explain, in Brazil, the world’s largest coffee grower: the most famous Brazilian coffee is Santos.

They get this name only because they leave from the port of the same name in Santos, but here thousands of different coffees depart from different regions of Brazil, from different Arabica species, grown and processed by different companies. As a result, coffee plants grow in soils that may have different characteristics from each other or the same farmers may use different harvesting and processing techniques.

From this it can be understood that each coffee bean from one plantation will have different characteristics from the beans produced in another plantation, even if the family to which the beans belong is the same.

Single-origin coffees are just that: a group of bags of raw coffee from one precise and limited area, resulting in equal, defined and distinct organoleptic characteristics of the beans that make the coffee immediately recognizable and distinguishable from others.

In this way, coffees of individual origins have unique characteristics related to the species of origin and more specifically to the place of production and the mode of processing.

This makes them incredible to the palate when tasting. In fact, you will experience unprecedented, intense and well-defined aromas such as fruit aromas, fresh or dried, citrus, chocolate, vanilla, tobacco, malt, candy, honey and many more.

Tasting a single-origin is a unique and incredible experience every time, enveloping the palate in a truly intriguing sensory experience.

That is why we at Ernani decided to select 4 different single-origins, from Brazil, Colombia, India and Ethiopia, each from unique plantations in terms of product care, whose growers manage to select only the best grains and treat them carefully and also sustainably.
  • Etiope Sidamo – a mild-bodied, distinctly acidic coffee with notes of citrus and flowers;
  • Kalledevarapura Summer Pulped Sundried Indian – an elegant coffee balanced between acidity and sweetness, with notes of ripe fruit, milk chocolate, toast, tea forges, and citrus;
  • Colombia Supremo Finca la Meseta – Pleasantly acidic coffee with distinct fruit notes;
  • Santos Cerrado Bom Brazilian Chocolate – Naturally sweet coffee with distinct cocoa notes and low acidity.

A 100% Arabica, on the other hand, is not necessarily a single-origin.

It can be formed from a blend of several coffees always of Arabica quality, but from different crops or even from different parts of the world. It may still be a blend of fine coffees, but by definition it cannot be called single-origin.

For example, we at Caffè Ernani have created a fresh and intensely fragrant blend of only Arabica coffees: the Blue Diamond blend.

A Specialty coffee, on the other hand, is a single-origin Arabica, with unique characteristics that are so special that it is precisely called Specialty.

Please note: when defining a coffee as high quality, the judgment is not subjective, but must meet objective, internationally evaluated criteria.

Simply put, the coffee selected and tasted must achieve a score of 80 out of 100. The judging is done by specially certified and authorized bodies.

After that an official certificate is issued, declaring it a Specialty Coffee.

We finally come to define what a mixture is.

Blending is an art born in Italy, a nation in which espresso has been a staple of everyone’s coffee breaks or breakfasts since the 20th century.

Espresso, in order to be prepared properly, that is, creamy and aromatic, requires the combination of the positive characteristics of both coffee species: Arabica and Robusta.

In fact, thanks to the blend, your cup of coffee, can take all the aromas and aromatic complexity of the arabica quality, while getting the round body and thick crema from the robusta.

If other extraction methods are used, such as filter coffees, where there is a lack of strong pressure given by the machine and thus the body and crema are much less consistent, if not absent, the robusta quality is not needed for coffee brewing.

In fact, in these cases, the addition of robusta, would only bring more bitterness to the cup, which would not be very palatable.

In other words, the blends are a well-defined recipe developed over time to create a perfect balance between the different arabica and robusta varieties.

Now all you have to do is experiment!

That is why we at Ernani have decided to cater to all shades of tastes and needs, offering a complete and very well-diversified package of products.

Discover the perfect coffee for you by answering 3 simple questions.

Within our shop you will be able to find as many as 5 different blends, starting from 100% Arabica, up to 100% Robusta, blending in different percentages, to meet all needs.

Intense, creamy and aromatic decaffeinated coffee that is so good it will feel like regular coffee.

Finally, we introduced 4 single-origins from 4 plantations located in 4 different parts of the world-Brazil, Colombia, India, and Ethiopia.

And to make sure we don’t miss anything, 3 of these are considered specialty coffees, thanks to the high rating they received!

Are you curious now to try them all and see what suits your personal tastes best?

Marketing, E-commerce e Social Media Manager
Coffee Lover


Martina Mazzoleni

Marketing, E-commerce e Social Media Manager Coffee Lover

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