Behind the "Single Origin" Label

Here at Cadena, we love single origin.

In the coffee industry, a “single origin” label means the beans were sourced from a single geographic region.  This could mean the same country, region, producer, crop, farm, mill, or co-op.  The distinction is from blends, which are mixes of multiple single-origin coffees.

For Cadena, single origin means from the same country - Colombia, Ethiopia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, or Sumatra.  Though we source from different farms within these countries based on seasonal availability, 100% of the beans in each individual bag we package comes from the same farm or co-op.  

By tracing the beans’ source, the single origin movement recognizes the value of growers and processors in the coffee supply chain.  As our Fair Trade-certified growers are small farmers, many of whom harvest their beans by hand, it’s important to honor their work and contribution while protecting their individual privacy.  

Another benefit of single origin is that it highlights the connection between where the coffee was grown and its flavor profile.  You’ll see from our country profiles that some single-origin coffees are silky, some bright, some mellow; some have notes of peach or jasmine, while others are reminiscent of licorice or cinnamon.  These distinctions are all due to the coffee’s plant variety and its growing and processing conditions.  Rain and sunlight levels, soil characteristics, and altitude all vary with location and create a unique palate for the final product.  Because these factors also change by season, even single-origin coffees from the same place always taste a little different.  Single origin’s specificity of flavor is further amplified in espresso drinks.  During espresso’s short brewing process, coffee grounds are subject to extreme atmospheric pressure, which intensifies the profile.

Single-origin beans are normally roasted lighter than blends.  This is designed to showcase the beans’ inherent flavors over the roast itself.  A lighter roast teases out the coffee’s more subtle tastes and scents, resulting in a lighter bodied coffee.

All in all, single-origin coffee gives consumers a chance to dive deep into the tastes and aromas of one particular place at a time.  A trip around the world for the senses, all within your cup.