Food & Drink

Become A True Coffee Connoisseur With Our Guide To Single Origin Beans

By Sophie Hart
9th Aug 2021

A barista brews a perfect coffee in a cafe.

We love to impress our mates at dinner parties and throw around our wine knowledge like it’s an Olympic sport, but we’ll admit when it comes to our morning coffee, we’re not so well-versed. 

So, if you’re like us and are looking to level up your morning chats, we’ve got you covered. 

Armed with a steaming cup of coffee, we sat down with Zarraffa’s Coffee founder Kenton Campbell to get the lowdown on everyone’s fave golden brew. 

The 101 On Single Origin Beans

It boils down to the fact that single origin coffee is grown in a single location. Just like wine, single origin beans are a representation of the coffee’s terroir. Where it’s grown influences its flavour and aroma. "Factors like altitude, the variety of plant, agricultural practices, and climate will all factor into the specifics of single origin coffee,” says Campbell. 

“Single origin is more like estate-grown wine, which is created from grapes in one section of the estate. The term single origin has both micro and macro-leanings, either a single farm or one country.”

Single O Vs Other Beans

Basically, single origin beans boast the most original and unaltered flavour profiles, whereas coffee blends the elements of various beans. 

“Each bean delivers a bespoke flavour, providing taste profiles that often get lost in a blend. Single origin is a premium coffee experience, as it is a higher quality coffee bean with ethical practices,” Campbell explains.

“This is due to specialty roasters having a firsthand, detailed understanding of the impact of farming and processing on their beans and how it increases coffee quality.” Supporting the local farmers? That’s definitely something we can get behind.

"For example, Zarraffa’s first Black Label Single Origin coffee, Kenyan Ntongoro (pronounced en-tonn-goro) is grown in red volcanic soils and is carefully hand-picked by the local Farmers’ Cooperative Society in Meru County, Kenya. Kenyan Ntongoro boasts a dark chocolate and walnut flavour with a citrus acidity, finished with a plum sweetness with high acidity and a rounded body perfect for espresso, drip filter and cold brew coffee.”

Why Single Origin Beans Are Hot Right Now

There’s no denying we’re obsessed with food, the way it’s made and where the ingredients come from. We love to feel a connection with the farmers, producers, makers and brewers. Our morning coffee is no different, and Campbell says that’s exactly why single origin beans are trending right now. 

“Customers love single origin coffee. It helps them understand that an individual farm in a certain part of the world will impart different flavour notes in the coffee. For example, a coffee grown and processed in Ethiopia will have a different profile than one produced in Indonesia and vice versa,” says Campbell.

“That insight into the origin of the beans gives us a particular coffee’s overall flavour profile helping to increase the understanding of coffee in general and helping to enhance and enjoy every single cup.” 

How To Brew The Perfect Cup At Home

There are a few important tips to making the perfect at-home coffee, starting with: a good set of scales for weighing the coffee, (the recipe is always important) and a good grinder (the best your budget will allow as the consistency of the particle size will affect the taste).

At the end of the day, you’re only as good as your tools. Campbell recommends investing in good quality brewing equipment like a home espresso machine (his top picks are the V60 pour-over and Moccamaster).

But most importantly, he says regardless of how you brew coffee at home, fresh is always best. “You cannot beat freshly roasted coffee, so try to not stock up on too much coffee at a time. Instead, buy smaller amounts more often to ensure you have the freshest, tastiest cup of coffee.”

And if you hadn’t figured it out already, your choice of milk is a key factor when it comes to creating the perfect coffee. Whether you’re an oat, almond, regular or a macadamia lover, your choice of milk will affect the taste and how the milk interacts with your coffee. 

“This is something here at Zarraffa’s we take into account when we roast any coffee. Our Ntongoro Single Origin, for example, has notes of chocolate and walnut and this is particularly highlighted with any of the nut-based milk, with the sweetness being perfectly captured with traditional whole milk also,” says Campbell.

Looking to level up your next cup of coffee? Zarraffa’s Coffee is an Aussie-owned specialty coffee company serving handcrafted, tailor-made beverages for over 20 years. For more information about their Single Origin range and to find your nearest Zarraffa’s Coffee location, click here.

Image Credit: Gian Cescon 

Editor’s note: This article is sponsored by Zarraffa’s Coffee and proudly endorsed by Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.

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